Considering studying abroad? Get tips on how to make the most of your experience!!.
1. Book a study abroad program through your university
Students traditionally study abroad through their college or university. Often considered the easiest way to book a program, study abroad credits are almost guaranteed to fit your academic requirements, and primary fees often link directly to your tuition payments.
In addition to easily transferable courses, your university’s study abroad program may also manage logistics like visas and housing. Speaking of housing: did you know that many students report studying abroad costs to actually be less expensive than staying on campus?
You can inquire about study abroad opportunities available through your school by reaching out to your on-campus program counselor or browsing your school’s study abroad online portal.
2. Find study abroad programs through a third-party provider
Just as not all schools are created equal, not all study abroad programs through universities are the same either. If your university doesn’t have a program with the focus, location, or dates that you’re looking for, don’t give up there and assume you’re not destined to study abroad.
There are many companies that work within the education sector to help students spend a semester, year, or summer abroad — regardless of your major or school. These companies are called “third-party providers” and they specialize in matching students with study abroad programs around the world. One thing to note, though: there’s almost always a program fee for their services.
Sometimes universities with few study abroad options will have already established relationships with a couple of program providers (meaning, your credits will transfer easily), so check with your academic counselor or study abroad office for recommendations. If your school doesn’t have any established relationships, you can start your research by searching Go Overseas.
3. Enroll directly with a university overseas.
Another way to study abroad
(that not many students think of)
is by directly enrolling in a
Rather than going through an organized program with your home school or a third-party, you can directly enroll for a semester, year, or full degree at a university abroad.
Surprised to hear you can attend school in a different country even if you’re not a citizen there? Yep, many colleges and universities abroad actually welcome international students with open arms! And that’s just one of the numerous benefits of direct enrollment.
Do note, however, that if you’re applying for a university that doesn’t provide courses in English, you’ll have to already have a pretty good grasp of the local language. Not to worry: we’re one step ahead and rounded up a list of international universities that teach in English. Just be sure the international university’s credits are transferable if you’d like to complete your degree at your home school.
4. Take a global independent study.
Are you working on a big project or academic paper within your major and the study abroad programs you’ve researched just seem too generic? Perhaps this project might be essential to the next phase of your academic and professional career, even. If this sounds like you, a global independent study overseas might be just what you need.
Independent studies are usually an in-depth course both created and completed by a student under the guidance of a faculty sponsor. For example, Brown University has a wonderful system laid out on their website to assist students in completing the requirements for an independent study.While these types of study abroad opportunities are similar to booking a program through your school (you’ll have to reach out to a professor, academic counselor, and your study abroad office) they stand out because of their size, requirements, and niche focus.
5. Supplement your learning with field research abroad.
Do you thrive in hands-on learning environments and can’t stand the thought of sitting in yet another classroom (even if it is in another country)? There’s a special type of study abroad for you.
Perfect for students who find global independent studies to be too demanding, field research is another type of immersive learning experience for prospective study abroad students. Though it may not offer as much academic credit as class-based studies, the field experience will be worthwhile.
Consider programs that’ll get you down and dirty in archeological digs or one that will help you dive off the coast of Malaysia to research marine life. Regardless of what you’re looking for, there’s likely a field research program for it.
6. Intern for school credit.
Though interning abroad is usually considered the next step after college in order to get a job, you can still intern abroad for school credit before graduation day.Many companies around the world only offer internships to candidates who can receive academic credit, and many universities around the world may require a number of internship credits (also known as hours of experience) in order to graduate.
These pre-entry level job opportunities may be unpaid, but they offer a wealth of learning opportunities while meeting academic requirements. Remember: be sure to get your intern program pre-approved to ensure the hours and internship type meet your home school’s credit requirements.
7. Study abroad through a student exchange.
Have you ever considered swapping places with an international student just to see what a semester or year in their shoes would be like? Well, you’re in luck because that’s totally a thing!
Study abroad programs by way of student exchanges are usually facilitated through “sister schools”, or schools that have established relationships across the seas. These schools accept a foreign exchange student under the condition that the international school will, in turn, accept you into theirs. When both of you have completed your semester or year, you switch back!
Student exchange programs are most common in universities but can be available for high school students too. Usually for a shorter duration, high school exchange programs include language learning and cultural immersion.