Schmidt suggests they ask themselves: "Can I really handle academic Korean? Academic Chinese? Academic Japanese?"
If they want to go to school in a predominantly English-speaking environment, regions such as Singapore and Hong Kong may be a better fit.
"These are societies that utilize English. I would consider them to be quite bilingual," Schmidt says.
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Japan is also a popular destination for American students, says William Cummings, professor of international education and international affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Waseda University and Keio University are some of the most popular and oldest universities in the country, he says.
He encourages U.S. students studying abroad to step out of their comfort zone to have a richer experience.
"Once you're in the country, try to limit your interaction with people from your own country," he says.
Students from an American college can also help ease the transition, says Shao from the College of Charleston. If students are transferring to a school in Asia, they can find peers at their current school who are from the country they'll soon visit and ask about cultural differences.
"I think a lot of times we undervalue the contribution that a foreign student can make in preparing us in visiting their homeland," he says. "That's a rich pool of culture."
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