4 Important Questions to Ask Before Studying Abroad

Caroline Fry is a student at Kansas State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Caroline is currently studying abroad with ISA in Heredia, Costa Rica.

My Tico Familia.
My Tico Familia.

1. Why am I doing this?

I’m a believer in mission statements. Find purpose in what you’re doing. Do it for more than the pics.

 2. Who am I doing this for?

Are you studying abroad because your older sibling did? Maybe you’re going abroad because it’s what you and your friends decided. In the end though, there should be one answer to this question. You should be studying abroad because it is what you feel compelled to do.

 3. What am I expecting to get out of this?

For many “study-abroaders” this might mean improvement in another language. I know for myself though, I’m not sure what to expect. I do however expect to be put outside of my comfort zone. I expect to learn more about different cultures as well as more about myself. I think when you are dropped into something completely different from what you are used to it forces you to sift through your ideals and values to what truly makes you, you.

 4. What the heck am I doing?

This question will cross your mind at some point throughout your process. It’s good though, and it’s natural. This is the question that forces you to sum it all up. Justify your decision, solidify your intentions, and create your goals. This answer is ok:

“I have no idea what is about to happen, but I am perfectly ok with that.”

As long as you walk into the situation with an open mind and heart you will benefit from your study abroad decision. The biggest challenge will be being absolutely 100% aware and engaged throughout the entire experience. Let yourself take each and every moment for what it is. Invest in what’s around you; the people, the land, and the culture. Keep in mind you have the power to make your experience what you want it to be.

Want to read more posts on studying abroad in Costa Rica? Check out this post!