Studying Abroad: A New and Exciting Approach to College Education

By Lauren W., our College blogger.

In the past decade, the amount of American college students who have taken the chance to study in other countries has risen tremendously. Colleges and universities throughout America are offering students opportunities to live and study in foreign countries ranging from Canada all the way to Tokyo. Programs are offered in the summer, for a semester, for J-Term, and even a full year!

College students are taking advantages of these programs more than ever due to many positive impacts such as a new found confidence, new friends, new independence, and a respect for other countries and their cultures. Studying abroad in college is the chance of a life time. What other point in your life will you have 6 months to a year free to live in another country without an consequences or responsibilities at home? Chances are that will be rare to find after graduation.

However, choosing to study abroad entails a lot of research and preparation. Here are a few great tips to get you started:

So many options!: There are an endless amount of programs available to study abroad. Some colleges have their own campuses in other countries, such as Italy or China. Schools that have these campuses make it easy to study abroad. Prices are generally the same at either campus and classes fit the criteria for graduation without any weird technicalities.

Many schools offer programs through other universities. Do research and look at what program fits you best. Look at the courses offered, the price, and of course location to pick the program that will give you the experience of a lifetime.

Talk to an academic adviser: Once you have an idea of what program you are interested in, make sure to make an appointment with an academic adviser. It is important to go over what classes you are planning on taking abroad with an adviser to make sure the classes are approved for the university and will count towards credits.

There have been many stories reported of students who did not do this and returned only to have the school deny the class because it did not fill its requirements.

Explore!: Studying abroad is an experience that is special and should be taken advantage of. Many study abroad programs will offer weekend trips to explore the country and what is has to offer. These trips not only open up student’s eyes to their surroundings but can bond fellow students, making the experience even better. The friendships made while studying abroad are connected by a special bond.

Take advantage of the sites, the culture, and immerse yourself in the local social scene! After all, it is not very often you will get a chance to live in a foreign country without many strings attached.

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