Are you interested in meeting new people, seeing new places, or trying new things? Are you looking for something to make your resume stand out in the crowd? Are you looking to take courses for college credit next summer? Consider studying abroad.
What is study abroad?
Study abroad is the opportunity to take courses for college credit in another country. This can be done through study abroad vendors, such as International Studies Abroad (ISA) or CIEE, as well as university faculty-led programs.
Where can I study abroad?
Many colleges/universities will accept credits from foreign universities that are U.S. accredited. There are study abroad opportunities on every continent, even Antarctica! Popular destinations for study abroad students include, but are not limited to: Australia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, and more!
What can I study?
Study abroad vendors offer students a wide range of courses, from foreign languages to natural sciences, business and marking to studio and performing arts. Before applying and registering for courses through any study abroad vendor, be sure to have course credits pre-approved by your college/university. That will ensure that the credits will transfer back and count towards your degree plan.
How can I afford it?
Look for scholarship opportunities, especially within your college or university. If your college or university has a study abroad office, there may be scholarship money available for you, as well as financial aid. Depending on tuition and fees for your college university and the price of the study abroad program, you might find it cheaper to take summer courses abroad than at your home institution!
I want to study abroad… what do I do first?
1. Discuss your study abroad plans with your advisor. He/she will be able to guide you to select the best courses to take abroad.
2. If your institution has a study abroad office, make an appointment to discuss your study abroad options, as well as apply for your school’s program, if necessary. The study abroad office will also aid you in getting your courses pre-approved.
3. Apply for a U.S. passport. If you are staying for more than sixty days, the country in which you would like to study may require you to get a visa. You can find information about passports, as well as visa requirements for specific countries on the government travel website.
4. Apply for scholarships and financial aid, if needed.
5. Once your courses are pre-approved by your college/university, apply for the study abroad program. There is usually an online application with a non-refundable application fee. It will also provide you with dates for payment and payment options. Keep an eye out for any information/instructions materials in your e-mail and your mailbox. Your program will provide you with a housing application, packing list, etc. prior to your departure.
6. Book your airline tickets. Make sure that you have plenty of time between connecting flights. Two hours is a great layover period for international flights, just in case there’s a long line or you have problems getting through security and customs.
7. Read up on the country you will be studying in. Learn about the language, culture, history, politics, etc. The more you know, the better you will adjust to living there whether it be for a few weeks or several months.