What! People Like You Can’t Study Abroad.

Sure You can! Whether you are an athlete, STEM student, first generation college student, or financially strapped, YOU can study abroad. Study Abroad takes timing to succeed. The sooner you start preparing to study abroad, the better your experince will probably be. If you’re planning to study abroad Summer 2011, start the process by following these steps:

1,   Meet with your Study Abroad or Academic Advisor: Each school has different policies for stud abroad. Your school may even have different policies for different majors. Meet with your study abroad or academic advisor to discuss your interest in going abroad. Your advisor can help you understand how study abroad fits in with your academic plan

2.   Research Study Abroad Program: There are hundreds of study abroad, intern abroad, teach abroad, volunteer abroad and language abroad programs. Choose a program that fits your academic and personal goals for going abroad. See Choosing the Right Program

3.   Apply for Study Abroad Programs: Study Abroad Programs fill up quickly. Apply for two or three programs as soon as possible, or at least a few months prior to the application deadline. Review the application carefully. If your school is the program’s sponsor, see your study abroad advisor for specific application information. For all other programs, contact the program administrator directly for application questions and deadline.

4.   Get Study Abroad Courses Approved: Once you have applied, see your academic or study abroad advisor as soon as possible. Discuss with them what classes you will take abroad. You must have your classes approved before going abroad. That will ensure that you get credit for the classes you’ll take abroad.

5.   Apply for Financial Aid: Apply early for scholarships, grants, federal or personal student loans to study abroad. Ask your study abroad advisor about grants your school may provide. If you are not going to a school-sponsored program, contact your program and ask about financial aid. See Study Abroad Financial Aid

6.   Prepare for the Adventure: You’ve chosen your program, and you have your classes approved. Now it’s time to plan your trip. Follow these steps:

You’re The First In Your Family To Study Abroad? You Better Be Prepared!

Being a first generation student to study abroad can be an overwhelming experience, however, you do not have to go it alone.  In preparing for study abroad, here are a few tips to help you successfully navigate the process:

  1. Talk to Your Advisors and Fellow Students:  When preparing to study abroad, seek advice from people at your current university or college.  Generally, most study abroad advisors are open to discussing studying abroad with students.  In addition, talk to students who have already studied abroad.  They can give you firsthand advice about the process of living abroad. Some universities have organizations specifically focused on advising and preparing students to study abroad.
  1. Personal Research:  Do personal research by reading books about study abroad. There are many books available that can guide you through many of the issues you will face during your studies in your host country.  Of course, books may not answer all your questions, but they are a good place to start.
  1. Find Support:  Once abroad, it is important to have a support unit in place.  Form a cohort with other students in your program.  Having a group to work with will provide you with the support needed to successfully navigate your program.
  1. Take Advantage of Opportunities: Do not return from your program abroad without taking advantage of international opportunities. While abroad, your uniqueness will be a great icebreaker to help you make friends with locals.

Having support and information before and after studying abroad can go a long way in helping you prepare for your time abroad.  Use the study abroad search function to find a program that works for you.