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international students

Other Safety

The Most Common Myths about Studying Abroad

June 18, 2017

What’s your biggest motivation for studying abroad? Of course, you want to get a high-quality education, but be honest: is that the only thing? If you’re like most other students, you want your studies to be the best adventure of your life. If a university accepts your application, you’ll get a chance to be part of that country’s culture.

You’re not wrong thinking this will be one of the most exciting adventures of your life. However, you’re probably thinking other things that will turn out a bit differently in reality. There are common myths about studying abroad, which we’ll unveil today.

  1. People Won’t Like You

If you browse through the Internet, you’ll start thinking that people from other countries don’t like international students that much. There’s a never-ending debate on this issue. As a foreigner, you’ll be contributing to this country’s economy, but some people will think you’re taking the seat of a native who deserves to be in that university.

This is not the impression you’ll get on campus. People will write anything online. In reality, international students contribute towards the diversity of the campus, and that’s what every university in the world wants to achieve. You’ll make the natives aware of the problems other countries face, and you’ll help them consider different points of view. International students are great contributors in productive classroom discussions.

  1. It Will Be Hard to Make Friends

Do you have the impression that foreign students stick with their own clique? That will be true only if you allow it to be. You can locate people from your country and the countries close to it, so you’ll feel the connection to your culture. However, that doesn’t mean that the native students will be hostile towards you. They will be very interested to know more about your country. You just need to give them a chance, and you’ll make friendships for life.

  1. “I’ll Just Do What Everyone Else Is Doing”

You’ll attend classes, take exams, write projects… how hard could it be? Everyone else will be doing the same thing, so you’ll handle the challenges, too. It may not be as easy as you perceive it. Think about it: the native students already have the needed foundation for writing academic papers. You, on the other hand, will have to write in a foreign language and adopt a different manner of expression.

Cathy Laurens, a writer for BestEssays, explains that international students face real struggles with academic writing. “They are just not ready for it, and the universities are not giving them the support and training they need. These academic papers are not impossible to write, but an international student has to invest double the effort a native puts in.”

  1. You’ll Have the Fun of Your Life

Think about it: you’ll be attending classes every day, and you’ll be studying like a maniac for tests and exams. You’ll have to write dozens of important projects each semester. Do you think you’ll have time to act like the college students you’re seeing on movies? Think again!

You will get enough time for friendships and hangouts. However, if you’re truly committed to your studies, you’ll need to shift your definition of fun. You can’t expect to attend wild parties every weekend and get sober just on time to study for the upcoming exam.

  1. It’s an Expensive Adventure

It will be if your family is taking care of all the finances. There’s an opinion that international students are rich. They can afford to pay thousands of dollars for tuition, and double that amount to cover their living expenses. In reality, many international students are getting top-level education thanks to scholarship programs.

The universities themselves include these types of financial aid to attract more international students their way. In addition, there are many other scholarship programs provided by governmental and private organizations.

  1. It’s Not Safe

You think your own town is the safest place on Earth? We all have the same feeling, simply because we don’t know what it’s like to live elsewhere. There are always parts of the world you’d like to avoid if you want to be safe, but you’re not signing up to be a photographer on a battlefield. If the country is relatively safe, you can expect the university campuses to be really safe. It is also worth knowing that the GradGuard renter’s insurance program that is most likely offered through your college and university provides world-wide property coverage.  So in case your backpack is stolen or damaged you will have coverage.

As long as you’re choosing a country that’s labeled as ‘safe to travel to,’ you’ll be just fine.

Did we help you form a more realistic vision of studying abroad? It’s an adventure and you’ll definitely face unexpected things. However, it will be a beautiful adventure when you’re prepared for it.

 

Author’s bio: Karen Dikson is a blogger and college instructor from New Jersey. Her works have been published on several education resources, including HuffingtonPost. Karen also participated in a teacher exchange program with Australia. Connect with Karen via Twitter.

Other Safety

Valuable Protection for International College Students

June 2, 2017

This is a big week for professionals who serve international students.

Screenshot 2017-06-02 11.23.16.jpegThe Association of International Educators, (NAFSA) is the world’s largest association dedicated to international education and exchange, is hosting its annual meeting and EXPO in Los Angeles.

With nearly one million international students attending American colleges and universities, it is important to understand the risks facing this valuable population.  International students will benefit from securing tuition insurance, renters insurance, and student health insurance prior to attending classes.

Three forms of insurance are particularly important for international students to consider securing to protect themselves from financial losses while studying in the United States.

International student health insurance – International students are often required to purchase student health insurance.  Typically students can purchase an affordable plan through their college or university or if they prefer they can also purchase it directly through GradGuard.

Tuition Insurance – If an international student becomes ill, injured or is forced to withdraw from classes mid-term, colleges and universities most often will only refund only a pro-rated amount of tuition and fees. Current Refund Policy Bar Chart Clip.jpeg

As a result, it is prudent for international students to become aware of the institution’s refund policy and to consider purchasing tuition insurance.  Tuition insurance is not drop out insurance but it can pay for the non-refunded losses to international students for tuition, academic fees, books, and housing.  Check the policy for complete details but tuition insurance is most often a smart buy for international students.

Tuition insurance is affordable and valuable protection but remember it must be purchased before the start of classes.
College Renters InsuranceMany international students are concerned about campus crime and safety.  Most are unprepared to replace a stolen computer or backpack, and many would benefit from the protection provided by renters insurance.

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GradGuard’s renter’s insurance program is ideal for international students in that it does not require a credit check and provides worldwide property coverage

For less than $.50 cents a day, an international student can protect themselves from financial losses that they experience or are found responsible for.

GradGuard works with schools to provide our insurance programs to protect all students, but we are particularly sensitive to the unique needs of international students.  We know from experience that our student benefits provide real value to all students and particularly international students who may face even greater financial risk due to the investment they are making to attending college in the United States.  In a small way, we hope that GradGuard can improve the satisfaction and success of international college students.