Throughout our lives, most of us have dreamed of traveling the world, seeing the wonders of the world in our youth, before the real world kicks in. And throughout the college, process, we have all come to discover that the perfect opportunity for us to do that is through study abroad. However, some institutions fail to truly educate students on the steps they need to take before they go abroad during their collegiate career. Here are some tips for staying ahead of the curve so you're ready to go!
1. Research programs offered through your institution
We've all seen the stunning "programs offered on 6 continents!" headline on college recruitment paperwork, but did you know that many programs that colleges boast to have are only partnered through other institutions? This means that credit might not be granted, because it's listed under another college. Make sure to research your desired program and plan to take courses that your college will accept for credit, and better yet, credit toward your major!
2. Make sure your chosen program offers the right classes
Now, this one might seem like a no-brainer, but many students who come back from study abroad find out that the credits they earned don't actually go toward their major, or they find out before they leave, that they don't have necessary pre-requisites in order to take a course. Schedule a meeting with your school's study abroad office, and your academic advisor, so you can be 100% sure that you're going to be prepared, and that you will still graduate on time.
3. Figure out how to pay for your travels
If you're lucky, you attend an institution that allows institutional financial aid to transfer to international programs, but some of us are plagued with the thought that we will have to pay for this on our own.
Fear not! Many colleges and universities actually offer grants and scholarships for study abroad students in specific fields our countries. There are tons of opportunities out there, you just have to search for them!
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