Thinking of studying abroad with the “Semester Abroad” or “Study Abroad” options available at your unit, yet not sure if it’s the right thing for you? Is it all that it seems to be from the outside or like they say, does the grass just seem greener on the other side? Let us show you what’s for real and what’s not when it comes to studying abroad.
Based on what we heard from the co-author of “A Student Guide to Study Abroad”, Stacie Nevadomski Berdan, also a business professional, here’s what we can tell you about it all.
Myth: Studying Abroad Costs A Bomb!
Fact: The general impression is that studying abroad is going to leave you drowning in an ocean of debt and that it is unimaginably overpriced. The fact is that the cost of your education is going to vary depending on the type, duration, and location of the program. The bottom line is that it can be an affordable option.
Myth: It’s going to be All Fun and Games!
Fact: We’re sorry to burst this bubble early and let you know that studying abroad will actually require you to work hard, study, and build valuable skills for your career and your life. It’s not going to be a walk in the park but it will definitely be an enjoyable experience — that’s for sure.
Myth: Scholarships Are Hardly Available!
Fact: Fortunately, there are numerous scholarships that you can take advantage of, either through merit or for financial need. Make sure you do your research before-hand and make use of all the opportunities you have at hand to reduce your financial burden. Most colleges have a straight forward and clear scholarship application process — be sure to hand in all the materials before the due date.
Myth: Travelling Abroad Will Give You the Same Experience!
Fact: Needless to say, studying and travelling are two absolutely different activities and cannot in anyway give you the same experience, whatsoever! Studying abroad will not just give your academic profile a boost but hone your communication skills and give you a deeper insight into foreign culture. Travelling abroad is more about sightseeing and having a good time and would not make too much of a difference on your resume, unlike studying abroad.
Myth: Relevant Only For International Relations and Language Majors!
Fact: Any subject can be taught through a global perspective and study abroad will be beneficial for all majors. It was seen more in the past that most of the study abroad programs were related to humanities or languages, however recent times have shown an increase in the number of students opting for social sciences (22.9%); engineering, math, sciences (13.2%) and business (20.5 %).
Myth: This is Only For Juniors!
Fact: Unlike the common misconception that the study abroad program is more for juniors; the study abroad program is very much open for undergraduates and postgraduates as it is for juniors. Freshmen and sophomores generally study abroad for any given duration from two weeks up to a complete academic year. In the US, it is seen that an increasing number of community colleges are offering study abroad opportunities for graduate students.
Myth: Study Abroad Programs Are Only For The Local White Students!
Fact: It’s not true that only local students are eligible for study abroad programs; any student looking to study abroad can generally do so. It is seen that 8% of students that take up Study Abroad programs are Asian Americans, 14% African-American, and 13% Hispanic.
Myth: Europe Is The Only Destination!
Fact: Students can choose to go to any country across the globe. The year 2012 saw 40% of students studying in these destinations — Italy, the U.K., France, and Spain. As per the Open Doors Report, it was found that four of the top ten destinations featured are outside of Europe, which are: Australia, Costa Rica, China, and Argentina.
Myth: Study Abroad And You Will Graduate Late!
Fact: If you plan ahead and ensure that all your credits transfer, your graduation will not be delayed. In fact, recent findings show that graduation rates for those who studied abroad are 17.8% higher than those who didn’t.
Myth: Study Abroad Programs Are Not Valued By Potential Employers!
Fact: This is absolutely incorrect and we all know it! Employers are increasingly looking for workers who can speak another language and work cross-culturally. Just enlisting it on your resume is not going to cut it though, you will have to find ways to show the employer what you learned through your experience and the various skills it helped you develop over its course and how it can complement the job you are applying for.
These are just some common misperceptions that we wanted you to get straight. Explore all your options well before you pass up on an opportunity of a life time. Give your resume the edge with a study abroad program now!