College Abroad

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IB student wants to study abroad for college

May 2011

My child, a junior in the IB school at BHS, wants to go study abroad for college. We have been looking online and like some schools in Europe, but there is only so much you can find online. The BHS counselors, though great, are not very helpful in this field. Does anybody have experience with sending their kid to college abroad and can share some pointers where to turn? Is the IB program helpful at all, since (if) the kids earn the diploma, it will be on the end of the senior year? Or can someone recommend a college counselor/coach who is familiar with schools abroad? confused IB mom

We may be pursuing a British or Scottish University for our youngest daughter. It is easy to apply through the ucas system -- there is a common entry form. You apply as a foreign student. There has to be a teacher's recommendation, which you will see. They want to see AP courses. A UK degree is often viewed as a higher standard than a US degree. You can transfer back course credits to a US institution. UK fees are rising. The English ones have already gone up, the Scottish and Welsh may follow. The English universities require that you declare a major. The Scottish system may be more open about majors. You graduate in three years from an English University. I believe British schools like American students as they earn more in fees for foreign students. This is all I know currently. Good luck, Judith judith

To go to college abroad there are one of two ways. Either your student applies and is accepted to a foreign college and then you aquire the appropriate travel documents or the student attends a US school that has an existing exchange program and goes abroad for a specified amount of time, usually a semester or year.

There are other ways to study abroad, but all are shorter duration (several weeks or a few months as opposed to a a full four years). My organization and I work primarily with high school students going abroad. We do have a Work and Travel program for high school graduates as well as teach or volunteer abroad as well.

Here is the State Dept. link to their Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs dept, I think that is an excellent place to start. I hope that helps. Candace

You've received some good advice about applying to foreign universities. One more thought: See if you can't meet and/or e-mail with parents whose children have gone to foreign universities, especially as freshmen. Even a mature 18-year-old is very young--too young, in my opinion, to be quite that far from home. I speak from experience, and I now believe that it's better for them to have at least two years of university experience closer to home before trying their wings abroad. (Not to mention the expense of visiting foreign universities, international-student tuition, flying them back and forth, etc.!) Best wishes to you and your family. mel