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Why you should extend your stay after a term abroad

Studying abroad in a foreign country can be an exhausting feat. Not only do you have to learn the challenging concepts taught in your classes, but you also have to adapt to a new culture, people, and environment. It can take awhile for you to feel fully adjusted, and, even then, you might feel pangs of homesickness along the way. However, as you read here, you will see why you should consider extending your stay abroad, before finally returning to your home country.

1. Airfare is expensive

You’ve already spent a large amount of money on your flights overseas, so you should try to see as much as you can while you are living in this side of the world. Rather than paying for flight tickets to study abroad and then having to invest in separate airline tickets for your next trip, you could combine two trips in one, and only need one round trip ticket.

2. You are at your peak
As most students going abroad for a semester are in their 20s, this can be seen as the prime of your youth. You have no children depending on you, no career obligations, and you’re in the best shape of your life. If there was any age where you could withstand long plane rides, late nights of parties, food, and memories, now is the time. 

3. Share experiences with new friends and old
While studying abroad, you will absolutely make new relationships with the native people of that country. Because it is difficult to maintain overseas relationships, due to time differences and varying agendas, this could be the last time you see these people for a long time. You should definitely try to take advantage of the opportunity you have with natives, seeing their homes, cultures, and lifestyles. A great time to do this is when you’ve finished your studies and are on break because you can fully immerse yourself into that way of life, without distractions from schooling. Additionally, it’s likely that at the same time of your abroad term, other friends from your homeland could also be studying abroad. In this case, sharing these experiences can make memories that will last a lifetime and strengthen the bond you share. 

One important consideration for deciding to extend your stay is that you must be eligible, according to your visa status upon entering the country. If you have a F-1 visa, you are eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) Status, which will allow you to stay if you are training in a field directly related to your studies, for up to 12 months. However, if you are studying with a J-1 visa, then you are not eligible for OPT status, so you would be required to get approval from your RO and dean. If that is satisfied, then you can begin paid or unpaid work for up to 18 months in that country. 

If you have any other questions about studying abroad, or want the best tips on travelling during your stay, visit 


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