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What To Know About Attending College Abroad

Question: I’ve heard that going to college abroad could be cheaper than staying in the United States. What are the pros and cons of getting a degree outside of our country? How do I find out about these colleges and their programs? — For Saving Money

Answer: What you have heard about getting a bargain degree abroad is largely true at most overseas colleges and in most countries. In fact, in many countries the tuition is free or virtually free for Americans. And there is also the possibility of getting financial aid from the schools as well as government aid from the United States.

Here are some facts about studying abroad in college. You can get a college education abroad without knowing the native language. There are more than 1,500 English-conducted programs in Europe alone and also some in Asia. For most schools, the admissions process is far less complicated. However, you will probably have to select a major when you apply and stick to it. Another plus to attending a European college is that most degree programs are typically completed in three years rather than four. The easiest way to educate yourself about the programs that are available in Europe is to visit BeyondTheStates.com.

By attending college abroad, you will have the opportunity to experience another culture as well as travel to nearby countries. In addition, you have put yourself up a leg in obtaining a job after graduation as employers will respect your international experience and resourcefulness in handling the challenges of living in another country.

Going abroad for college is not for everyone. There is the challenge of living in a foreign country. Instruction is quite different from American schools. It can be far more based on theory. As for grading, often there are no quizzes or midterms, with grading based upon a final paper or test. You also will probably be required to take at least one introductory class in the language of the country.

Students should not expect college life to be the same as in the states. You will not find sororities or fraternities, clubs or intercollegiate sports, and there is far less binge drinking. Student housing might not exist or last only just a year.

Question: My second-grader simply can’t sound out most new words; however, she is a very good reader. You can tell her what a word is, or she figures it out through context. Her teacher’s reaction is: “Some kids just won’t get phonics.” This remark bothered me. Is it important for my child to become more skilled with phonics? — Good Reader

Answer: Children learn to read in different ways. Your daughter is a sight reader. This is the way children were taught to read years ago. It would be helpful if your daughter could use phonics to recognize the first sound in unknown words, as it would make it easier for her to use context in recognizing them. While she might never be great at phonics, it is highly probable that she has some knowledge of phonics simply through her ability to read so well.

Send questions and comments to Dear Teacher, in care of this newspaper, 1 North Illinois Street No. 2004, Indianapolis, IN 46204, or log on to www.dearteacher.com, or email DearTeacher@DearTeacher.com.

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