Best Overseas Advisor, Why Should I Study Abroad?
By: - (admin) 2013.10.04
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The following guide will answer most of your Study Abroad questions. If you don't find what you're looking for here, email us and we'll do our best to find the answer.
Why should I study abroad?
-Not only will you get a break from your standard college routine, and get to travel someplace new and exciting, but study abroad can also give you a workforce advantage for those post-college years. According to Bill Hoffa of Amherst College, students who study abroad have a distinct advantage when it comes to landing a good job after school. International experience is becoming more important in the work force. Other than that, you will experience a new culture and make new friends in foreign lands- the first steps to becoming a global citizen.
How do I get started?
-Planning ahead is an important first step. Many programs have sign-up deadlines 6 months or more before the date of departure and some programs can fill up fast. The best way to start is to go into your local study abroad and see what they have to offer.
Who can I talk to for help?
-Your study abroad advisor is an expert on study abroad. They have all the information you need to pick the study abroad program best suited to your needs. Chances are they've studied abroad themselves at some point.
Questions to ask a study abroad advisor:
-What are the requirements to apply for your study abroad programs?
-Do you have schedules for this particular program?
-If not, how can I find information?
-What are the average class sizes and how many citizens from the United States are usually in a class?
-Are there outside activities or classes that can bring me closer to the culture that I am in?
-What can you provide or suggest for insurance?
-If there is an emergency (death in the family, sickness), what is your policy for leaving early?
-What does your organization do to help in the planning stages for those going abroad?
-Can I call/e-mail past participants to ask about their experiences?
How much is this going to cost me? And what about study abroad financial aid ?
-Find out what is included in the cost of your program. Many programs include tuition, housing, and some meals.
-If you have a limited travel study budget, you may want to consider the cost of living in your chosen country. Life in South America is far cheaper than in London.
-Find out what financial aid options are available to you. If you are already receiving financial aid, you may be able to use it for your studies abroad.
-It's a good idea to talk to your financial aid advisor and your study abroad advisor to find out what financial aid options are available to you.
- The key to the financial process is to find the person responsible for overseas financial aid, and to talk to them directly.
Can I get a scholarship to study abroad?
-Many study abroad programs offer scholarship opportunities for eligible students applying through their program. Outside of these schools there are few general scholarships for undergraduate students. Check www.rotary.org.
Should I get insurance?
-If you're going to be traveling for a while, you might want to consider getting travel insurance. Ask your study abroad advisor what insurance options you have (sometimes you are covered through your program) or check out Travel Assistance International (www.travelassistance.com) or Hinchcliff Internatinal Group Services (www.HIGSinc.com).
Will I get credit for the classes I take abroad?
- It is possible to get academic credit through most study abroad programs . As long as the program is sponsored by any college or university, and you can prove to your academic advisor that the classes fit in your general education or major requirements, you should be fine.
-Know where you stand before you leave. Make sure your general education requirements are fulfilled (or on track to be fulfilled) and that your graduation date won't be pushed back by your jaunt abroad (unless you're putting off graduation on purpose).
-As always, talk to your study abroad advisor to make sure you get credit for the courses you take abroad. Also, just in case you encounter any problems while you are abroad, it's a good idea to get your advisor's contact information before you go.
-It's always a good idea to get written approval of your overseas coursework before you leave, just in case there are any problems. Make a list and have your study abroad advisor sign it.
- If your organized enough to pull it off, you should keep your coursework from your studies abroad. This way you will have proof of the work you did.
Where will I be living?
-Check to see if housing is included in your program fees. If it's not, see if they provide assistance in securing housing.
-Some programs offer you housing choices including student housing or apartments with other students. The more exciting option is to do a home-stay with a local family.
-Ask about finding a host family. Living with locals is a great way to experience some local culture, learn the language, and make foreign friends.
When should I go?
-Decide when a semester abroad would best fit into your academic and social schedule. Would a summer session fit best, or would you rather head south for the winter semester?
-Don't worry about what you will miss at home. Your worries may inhibit one of the greatest experiences of your life.
Where should I go?
-With programs in practically every country, where to go can be the most difficult choice you make when deciding to study abroad. Do your research, talk to your study abroad advisor, and ask around campus for advice from those who have already taken courses abroad. Above all, don't stress too much, chances are, you'll have a blast no matter where you end up.
What about Semester at Sea?
If you can't pick just one country to study in, you might want to consider studying with Semester At Sea. Semesters start at $9,275 and hit at least nine countries. You miss out on the cultural immersion that long-term study abroad programs offer, but you get to travel all over the world. Students can select from 23 general courses in business, art, communications, and humanities. Credits are transferable to most universities. Go to SemesterAtSea.com or check out Sea of Education Association (SEA.edu) for more options.