Studying abroad may be that defining moment in your education that will change your life.
Nothing will be quite the same after you have studied abroad. Your perspectives will be global, your attitudes will be international and you will have memories that you will carry forever. Your resume will be more attractive, in some cases your language proficiency will be advanced, and you will have developed lifelong friendships.
The largest misconception that prevents students from participating in study abroad is its perceived inaccessibility.
Students who do study abroad are often amazed at how easy it was to put the whole thing together. Financial aid is often available, every major field of study can partake, and study abroad is an experience available for every student.
Why Study Abroad?
- Academic credit - The most obvious reason why students study abroad is to earn academic credit. You should consider the type of credit you will earn on your study abroad program. Will you earn credit towards your major, a general education requirement, a minor, or elective credit? Will you receive grades or pass/fail credit? You may study abroad to earn upper division credits in your major field or you may be overseas to earn some of your core or general education hours your freshman year. Additionally, any study abroad program bearing three or more credit hours waives general education goal 9.
- Language acquisition - The world market place is shrinking rapidly, and many companies require second languages. Foreign languages are not only valuable in the work force; they are valuable in the real world.
- Practical experience - Study abroad coupled with an international internship is an incredible way to gain some real world experience. Additionally you may find that only an international program can offer the real expertise you desire in your education. Australia is a great place to find a marine biology program, the engineering labs in Sweden may exceed your facilities at your home institution, and peace studies in Geneva would offer an insight that couldn't be matched in the U.S.
- Resume building - International experience is ranked high among many employers as a critical asset for prospective employees. Study abroad shows that you are resourceful, adventurous, internationally minded, and diverse.
- Experience of a lifetime - In a couple of years you may forget the name of your literature professor in Grenoble or the name of your street in Valencia, but you'll never forget the friends you made or the incredible experiences you shared.