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5 Things to Consider When Studying Abroad in Non-English Speaking Countries

Written by CB Community

The number of students studying abroad in 2014 was around 5 million. Based on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data, it is estimated that in 2025, the international student population would reach 8 million.

However, with most of the world still facing the pandemic, these numbers could change over the years.

But if you’re still interested in studying abroad because, after the pandemic, you wish to study overseas, then keep on reading!

1. Will the Language Barrier Be a Problem?

Many international students have pointed out that studying abroad in a foreign country has significantly helped them build an understanding of themselves and the world.

About 98% of them reported that studying abroad helped them understand their own cultural values and biases, while 82% said it helped them see the world in a more sophisticated way.

However, when you decide to study abroad where English isn’t the primary language, you have to ask yourself if the language barriers would be problematic.

This is because you’ll be staying in that country for months, and if the language barrier is difficult, you might want to consider it.

This leads us to our next discussion:

2. Where Do You Plan to Study?

Keep in mind that where you will be staying will be for the whole semester or for a couple of years. And so, you have to do significant research on the country or region you’re planning to study at.

When deciding where you want to learn, you have to consider how long you’re planning to stay, the visa and documentation requirements, the educational institution you’ll be studying at, the conversion rate of USD, and more.

There might be several reasons you might want to study abroad, like because the institution you like is in that country or maybe because you have always found that country very interesting.

You should also consider the different ways you can fully immerse yourself in the experience of studying abroad.

3. What Translated Documents Do You Need?

Not all countries accept English documents. For example, China is very particular about translated documentations. If you were to study there, you would need birth certificate translation services for your requirements that need accredited and certified translated documents for applications to the educational institution you’re planning to enroll in.

Several experts have pointed out that finding certified and accredited translations saves you time and money if you were to do it yourself. Tomedes, a translation agency, has stated that when it comes to important translated documents like birth certificate translations, it’s important that the professional you will work with should be certified to meet the standards of USCIS and the international governments.

There’s a high chance that these documents could end up getting rejected if not done correctly.

According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an international, standard-setting non-government organization, all translation services must demonstrate this ISO 17100 on their certificates to show that they adhere to international standards of translations.

This accreditation proves that the translator is recognized and has the education and training, a graduate of a higher learning institution with two years as a professional translator, having five years of experience as a full-time professional translator, and has a certificate of competence awarded to them by a government body.

As for Legal Beagle, a legal research website, they have stated that one of the steps for translation of documents like birth certificates to get approved by agencies in the US is through notarizing them.

Depending on the country you’re planning to study in, you can get your translated birth certificate and documents notarized so that your documents will be verified.

4. Inquire on Accommodations Before Arriving

When planning to study abroad, you have to look into your options for accommodations. You might have already considered living in the dorms for the whole semester.

That’s alright, but if you’re planning to study and work abroad, maybe living off-campus would be a better alternative.

You should conduct your research on accommodations ahead of time so that you can immediately occupy the apartment or rented property once you arrive.

We’ve listed off some things to take into account when looking for accommodation outside campus, as follows:

  • Is the accommodation within my budget?
  • Is it near the campus?
  • Is it not far from where you’ll be working?
  • Is the space and amenities suitable for me?
  • Do I feel comfortable living there?
  • Is the location safe?

5. Familiarize Yourself With the Culture and Important Legal Information

When you’re studying abroad, it’s always good to know certain customs and traditions ahead. This will help you avoid awkward situations that could cause misunderstandings with your peers.

It’s also good to familiarize yourself with specific laws because ignorance of the law excuses no one that also includes you. If you’re planning to use a car as your means of transportation, be sure to know the traffic rules and laws.

When studying abroad, you should be familiar with the policies and regulations, especially regarding your rights as an international student. This is important because you are now aware of the restrictions and what you should avoid doing.

Not only that, but if you ever find yourself in a situation wherein you unknowingly violated a particular law, you know your rights and the legal action you have to take.


Studying abroad is one of the most exciting and life-changing moments. The life lessons from living and studying in a different country are worth every dime.

However, like with many great things in life, research and preparation are a vital part of any successful plan.

So take the time to evaluate and go through your plans and preparations. It’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared, especially if you feel this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.