For international students interested in studying abroad in the United States, they must first find out how to study in the US. The first step is to do online research simply by typing in general key phrases (via your Google or other search engines) such as ‘study abroad in (insert U.S. state or city name) or ‘international students interesting in studying in (insert U.S. state or city name). What is more, with a world of information right at our finger tips, this strategy usually proves quite helpful in gaining a helpful overview of study abroad information, resources, and online tools, especially through websites specifically dedicated to assisting international students interested in studying abroad in the United States and elsewhere, such as InternationalStudent.com (which offers international students guidance and assistance with everything from securing health insurance coverage to ensure they safely travel abroad to provide comprehensive lists and study guides of universities and colleges throughout the various U.S. States).
However, international students interested in studying abroad in the United States should also consider adapting more diverse online research strategies in order to gain a more accurate sense of the individual student life experiences (living and studying) in their desired study abroad locale. One such strategy that can be employed to this end is simply visiting major websites dedicated to individual blogger posts, such as NetworkedBlogs and WordPress. Then, begin searching archived blogs (which can provide real world, first-person accounts and experiences) related to your study abroad goals and interests.
For example, an international student interested in studying in Alaska can research blogs written specifically by young people currently residing in that state (click to see an example of networkedBlogs on Alaska). By reading individuals’ accounts of their unique experiences, international students can gain a much more intimate sense of the day to day life experiences related to living in that area. International students interested in studying in the U.S. can research archives on these sites based on more specific colleges or regional preferences and can learn about the benefits and challenges by others who have chosen similar study abroad, academic, and career paths.
While this strategy doesn’t diminish the value and usefulness of major websites dedicated to assisting international students with their study abroad goals, it certainly serves to compliment the more impersonal, ‘general overview’ nature of these online resources with more personalized and specific first-person accounts of the lifestyles, attitudes, interests, and cultures of the people and places international students may hope to encounter during their time traveling and studying within the United States.