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There are many reasons you might want to study overseas, and there are quite a few benefits to doing so. But how do you know when the right time to take the plunge really is? While there are many different factors to take into account when making the decision about when to plan your time in another country, the best time to go really is the time that’s best for you, both in terms of your personal development and your professional goals.

When You’re Ready

If you know you want to study overseas, but the thought of being so far away from home for so long is too overwhelming, it’s probably best to give yourself some time, especially if you’re just starting University and leaving home for the first time. Your first couple of years can be essential to helping you successfully transition into adulthood, and it may be better not to rush into a huge undertaking like study overseas.

Planning around Schoolwork

Another reason to wait until you’re well-established in University is that it gives you a chance to plan your trip around the coursework required for your degree. This is why most people end up completing their overseas study program during their third or final years, and it makes a lot of sense to stick with this model in most cases.

There are also usually certain classes you’ll be required to take before you leave for a semester or year overseas, and it’s easier to make sure you’ve taken them in time if you wait until your last years.

Your Goals

If you’re really anxious to get out there and experience the world, though, there are ways to do study overseas sooner, and a lot depends on your career goals and specific program of study. More and more now, you can choose a program that caters to people with your interests and ambitions, and if you can make that fit your schedule earlier, all the better.

While it’s true that the experiences you have in your time away will impact your worldview and very likely enable you to bring more insight to the classes you take in the future, it’s best to take on something like this only when you’re not stressed by too many other outside pressures.

For all of these reasons, the third year remains the most popular option for study overseas. It’s also when most Universities are set up to accommodate these types of trips, so you’ll have the most support and can arrange to have the least burdensome course load at the same time. All of which can add up to make your study overseas experience that much more amazing and inspiring.

Hosting a young person from another part of the world has many benefits. It will expose you to a different culture, give your kids a new perspective on the world, and allow you to share all of the things you love about your country with someone new. But hosting also comes with a great deal of responsibility, and in order to make your visitor’s stay as positive and enriching as it can be, there are several things you can do.

Limits and Flexibility

One very important first step to take when your student arrives is to go over the ground rules for the house. You should think a lot about this ahead of time, and include things like how often and when you want them to check in with you when they’re out with friends, what your expectations are for keeping the house clean, and what type of routines you have at mealtimes.

Keep in mind that your student may be used to a completely different set of cultural norms, and in order to anticipate some of the potential sticking points, you may want to research their home culture a bit first.

As important as these rules are, though, it’s also essential that you not try and manage every detail of the time they spend under your roof. One of the great benefits to hosting is that it allows you to learn about the culture your visitor is coming from, and you can’t do that if you create too many rules that act as barriers to them being themselves.

It can be a fine line to walk at times, and your rules and expectations will likely shift as you build a relationship with your student. This means that open communication is essential, and that you need to pay attention to their changing needs as well as your own.

Desire to Learn

It’s easy to slip into the role of teacher as a host and forget that there’s actually a lot you can learn from your visitor. Allowing them to share as much as they want to of their culture with you can make them feel much more comfortable and at home, and it’s also a great opportunity for you and your family to broaden your own horizons.

Patience with Yourself

This relationship you’re entering into can be a very rewarding one, but navigating daily life with a new family member will definitely bring its own set of challenges. While it’s important that you always try to keep things positive and maintain an open mind, it’s also true that you can’t force things to turn out perfectly all of the time.

You need to be patient with yourself and accept your own limitations in order to provide the best overall experience for your visitor. And you also need to pay attention to what type of person they are so you can plan activities that they’ll enjoy. Dragging someone who hates the outdoors around to all of your favourite camping sites probably isn’t going to help them gain an appreciation of your country.

And as excited as you may be with the arrival of your student, it’s important to recognise that the other members of your family might need more time to adjust. Just because you’re thrilled to have a new addition, you can’t expect them to get involved in the same way, and forcing the issue will only make relationships more strained. Give everyone time to get comfortable with each other, and good relationships will form much more naturally.

Knowing What Not to Share

While it’s very important to include your student in family activities and make them feel as welcome as possible, there are also some parts of your family’s life that they don’t need to be included in. For instance, going to visit a family member in the hospital or a nursing home probably isn’t the most enriching way to spend their time, and if they have no relationship with the family member you are visiting, it could be awkward or uncomfortable for everyone involved.

Naturally, your goal as a host family is to make your student’s stay as enriching and rewarding as possible. Finding the right balance between structure and flexibility is vital to helping all of you get as much out of the experience as possible, and taking time to really think about what you’ll do, and how you’ll handle different aspects of your living arrangements is an important step to ensure you’re as accommodating and supportive to your guest as you can be.

Hosting an international student is a wonderful way to help a young person from another part of the world, but it also brings with it many benefits for you as the host family. While you may first consider hosting as a way to help others, you’ll be surprised by how the experience will enrich your family life as well.

Cultural Exchange

One unavoidable part of living with someone from another part of the world is experiencing a different culture. Sure, they’re coming to your country to learn about your culture and way of life, but you’ll also learn a lot about theirs as long as you’re open to it.

This can be a great opportunity for you as well as for your children. Being around people from a different culture is one of the best ways for your kids to learn tolerance and acceptance of a variety of ways of life and beliefs, and being a host family allows you to give them this experience right in their own home.

Growing Your Family

Another wonderful thing about hosting is that you very quickly add another special member to your family. The bonds you form by inviting a young person from another part of the world into your home and helping them experience life in your country will last a lifetime, as will the memories you create.

Share Your Country

There are many things to love about Australia, and this is the perfect opportunity to share these with another person. In fact, you can learn a lot about where you live in the process, and it may just push you to do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do but never got around to. And showing someone else around can help you see your own country and community in a whole new way, which is a wonderful experience as well.

Unique Experiences

Hosting an international student is unlike anything else you’ll ever do in your life. It’s a unique and incredibly enriching experience. As the host, you’ll benefit doubly – first by feeling good that you can help a young person expand their horizons and live their dream, and second by exposing yourself to the wonders of another culture and the joy of being able to add a new special family member.

A New Destination

The bonds you form with your student can last a lifetime, and that also means you may want to visit them in their own country once they’re home. This is a great way to complete the circle of sharing by letting them open their homes to you, and it’s also a nice way to expand your vacation destination options. Visiting your student in their home country will also help you complete your understanding of them by seeing them in their home setting.

Image Courtesy: Old Globe – Kenneth Lu –

As you prepare for your trip overseas, either studying in a new country or traveling for leisure, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Your list of things to bring is probably getting longer and longer every day, but there are also some things you should avoid bringing on your trip.


It’s tempting to bring food from your home, especially on a long trip during which you may not be able to find it for weeks or months. But food can quickly add to the size and cost of your luggage. It also keeps you from enjoying the local cuisine where you are visiting. Unless there is a medical reason to do so, leave the extra packaged food at home.

Prized Possessions

Don’t bring anything that you would be heartbroken over if it was lost. If you know you’ll be returning home, leave the heirlooms, jewellery and other impossible to replace possessions with friends or family until you are back.

Medication without Prescriptions

Don’t forget your medications when you go on a trip, but make sure anything you bring with has a prescription. Medication without a prescription can cause problems in different countries depending on their local laws, and if for some reason, you need it in an emergency, a prescription makes it that much easier to be treated.

Your Existing Plugs and Adapters

Depending on where you are traveling and where you currently live, the plugs and adapters for your devices may not be compatible. Be sure to research in advance what types of plugs are needed in your destination countries and buy a universal adapter to match so you don’t have issues charging your items.

Payment Methods that Don’t Work

This is another thing you’ll want to research before you go on your trip. What types of payment are accepted in your destination country? Can you use your existing credit cards or will you need to get a new one to match modern technology? Can you easily convert any existing cash you have or should you convert it in advance to ensure you have enough money? You’ll be glad you answered these questions before going on your trip.

Your overseas study trip will be one of the most memorable events of your life, but make sure you only bring what you absolutely need and be prepared for whatever the trip might throw your way.

For more articles and tips on how to enjoy your overseas travel or study trip as well as information about upcoming events in Sydney and Melbourne, Like Global Experience on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter.

Image Courtesy of Liz West under CC License (

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity – a chance to see another country and all it has to offer for several months as a student. There’s just one catch.

As a student, your budget is limited. You don’t have the money needed to explore a city as a true tourist, but there are ways around these limitations. There are tricks and tips you can use to explore a new city like Sydney on a tight budget and have a great deal of fun.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Great cities are often surrounded by great outdoor attractions. Parks, historic walks, and sites just outside the city are perfect destinations on days off.

Sydney and the surrounding area are home to some of the most iconic and beautiful natural wonders in the world. From the white foam of its beaches to the architecture of the city itself, there are so many things you can see simply by walking or biking through the city. The Bondi to Coogee is particularly beautiful, giving you a first hand look at some of the most iconic beaches around Sydney.

Partake of the Arts

While not every city’s museums are free to enter (many will requires semi-voluntary donations), many are. In Sydney, the Art Gallery of NSW is open to the public, with free access throughout the week. Combined with weekly events and a robust schedule of speakers and films, this is a perfect destination for lovers of the arts. Other museums offering free collections in Sydney include The Rocks Discovery Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Visit Public Parks and Common Spaces

Whatever city you are visiting will likely have a large number of parks and public spaces. From well known spaces such as Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens and Bronte Park to less known common spaces like Camp Cove, you’ll find a number of locations throughout the region that are free to visit and brimming with opportunities to explore.

Explore Historical Culture

The great cities of the world are often home to magnificent churches and gathering spaces. Almost always free to enter, they offer gorgeous architecture and rich history. In Sydney, you’ll find St. James’ and St. Mary’s close to Hyde Park, and both offering free tours throughout the week.

Go Shopping in Local Markets

There’s nothing like an old-fashioned local market at which artisans, farmers, and small business owners peddle their wares. While buying anything at such a market will incur a cost, the visit alone is well worth the time spent. In Sydney, the market to see is Everleigh Market held on the first Sunday of each month.

Getting the Most out of Your Overseas Study Trip

Whether you are visiting Sydney or will be visiting another country with an equally robust cultural heritage, use the tips above to explore the city on a budget and uncover hidden gems at national and local parks, churches, markets, and more.

For more tips on how to enjoy your overseas stay on a budget or to learn more about local Sydney events and destinations, be sure to Like Global Experience on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Explore our “FOOD & CULTURE ” section

THIS MONTH – Let’s welcome all our Students from Spain by saying ” HOLA!” and there is not better way to learn a bit of Spanish by tasting a PAELLA VALENCIANA – Yum! – (Courtesy of SBS – “Feast” This dish is perfect for enjoying communally.


There are also thousands of restaurants in Sydney, and obviously there is not one perfect spot for everyone. During your stay, we encourage you to try as many as you can. Finding the location and cuisine that you enjoy most is sometimes a matter of trial and error. With that said, we’d love to point you in the right direction. If you’re looking for a great lunch spot in Sydney, check out these tips.

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In 2012, approximately 402,000 international students travelled to Australia to enrich their education and experience authentic Australian culture. And as an international destination, Australia is only becoming more popular.
In fact, the International Education Advisory Council of Australia recently reported that by 2020, they are expecting a 30 percent growth, to nearly 520,000 international students per year.
If you’ve considered becoming a host family for an international student or traveller, now is a great time to join this unique cross-cultural experience.

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You’ve travelled to a new city, and a world of wonder and excitement are waiting for you outside that window. The possibilities are endless – but they’re also overwhelming. You want to take a fun approach that gives you an enriching cultural experience, but how should you start? Of course there are many ways to explore a city, but this list of seven ideas should jump-start your exploration. Customize them to include your own unique style, and you’ll be feeling like a local in no time.

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A gap year is considered a rite of passage for young people all over the world. In general, the term refers to an extended holiday where you travel and experience different cultures – often during the year between high school and college or the year between college and entering the workforce. If you’re thinking of taking a gap year, consider these tips and ideas.

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