Tips for Studying Abroad

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    Future and current nursing students often wish to find undergraduate and graduate programs with low costs but many do not know where to start looking. This article is a combination of a personal narrative about studying abroad and an informative narrative about scholarship opportunities for students wishing to pursue nursing degrees in different countries.

    Tips for Studying Abroad

    Many students try to circumvent the high costs of post secondary education in the United States by studying at overseas institutions. Meanwhile, others pursue education overseas because they believe that the quality of education is higher overseas or because they just want to travel and live in another country. Like many others before me, I chose to study abroad because I wanted to travel and experience another culture but most importantly because the costs of education in the US are too high. Studying overseas meant that the cost of education is 2 to three times less than the cost of schools in the states or free –if you receive a scholarship.

    As an undergraduate student, I studied at a private intuition in the US and the debt I accrued as a result of my studies will follow me well into adulthood. During those times, I always flirted with the idea of studying abroad, if even for a semester, however I could not afford it. I spent all of my free time working- just to pay the amount my loans wouldn’t cover. The last semester of my senior years, I made a decision to leave the country but didn't know where I would go or how I would survive. I just knew I wanted to do two things: see the world and study.

    While I was researching places to visit, I figured out a way to realize my dreams of studying and traveling. People do not know that there are scholarships offered by different governments to attend undergraduate and graduate schools in their country. For example, with the Chinese Scholarship Council (China) and the Endeavour Scholarship and Fellowship (Australia), students from all over the world can choose to study undergraduate and graduate programs in certain Chinese and Australian universities. Even the United States offers scholarships for US citizens to study overseas. The Organization of American States (OAS) Scholarship offers a scholarship for students to attend undergraduate and graduate programs in up to 35 North and South American countries- excluding the US if you are a US citizen. Some countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Indonesia offer only graduate level studies. Many of the aforementioned programs require students to take language courses in conjunction with the Nursing degree.

    If granted the scholarship, tuition, room and broad, and student insurance are covered. In addition to that, students receive a monthly stipend to help defer the cost of living. And in the case of the OAS Scholarship, round trip airfare will be provided- for all other scholarships recipients may be required to pay for their own airfare. Those looking to fill out an application would be conscious of the deadline dates.

    The most important thing to remember when studying abroad is that completing a nursing degree abroad does not mean you can automatically practice in the United States. The Nursing laws are different in each state however many require that you:
    1. Graduate from an English accredited RN program
      • If the language of instruction was a language other than English, the student with need to take and pass an English language proficiency test such as TOEFL

    2. Take and Pass the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLES-RN)
      • Some states require that nurses who have completed a degree overseas complete a Foreign Educated Nurses refresher course.

    3. Get a Basic Life Support (BLS), an Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) course, or a Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification from an accredited American Heart Association (AHA) provider

    As a graduate student in China, I have learned that there are highs and lows to living abroad. The lows involve missing family and friend but the highs include being surrounded by different and exciting people. Keep in mind that studying abroad is challenging and that flexibility is the key to survival.
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    About aoguagha

    US graduate student studying Hospital Administration. TJMU C/O '17

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