Below we offer responses to some of the common reasons students give for not going abroad. You may find that it is easier to study abroad that you may have realized. Let us know how we can help you with your plans.
- I cannot afford it! Talk to the study abroad director and financial aid advisor. You may be surprised to learn that study abroad costs are similar or less than Cal U. Students can apply their federal and state financial aid towards the costs and many programs offer scholarships. There is a program for any size budget.
- I play a sport and/or am involved in campus leadership activities. You should talk with your coach/student life office about the option of being away for a semester, as well as continuing the sport/leadership activity overseas. You may be able to get involved by joining a team or club that involves your athletic or particular interests. If not, you may consider studying abroad during a time when it will interfere less with your activity, such as in the summer.
- I need a class for my major. Meet with the international programming director, as well as your faculty adviser to discuss an academic plan for a semester abroad and for your remaining semesters. The study abroad director can help you identify classes for your major while abroad. You might find that planning out your courses in advance will assist you with completing your major while studying abroad. Planning is the key to making sure you can fit everything in during your college years.
- I do not know anyone else going abroad. Most students who study abroad do not know anyone else on their program. You will meet people and make new friends as soon as you arrive at your study abroad university. It is a great way to break out of your comfort zone and meet students from different parts of the world.
- I do not think it will benefit me. Employers and graduate schools look for candidates who have studied abroad. It demonstrates that the person took initiative and did something unique. Also, students develop skills abroad that they cannot learn on campus. Generally, employers and graduate schools are impressed that you studied abroad because they know that the skills you gained go beyond your on campus experiences.
- I do not speak another language. Many programs offer classes in English. Also, some study abroad programs offer the option to study the language for the first time in the host country and/or to take courses in English. You have a variety of choices, so take the time to meet with the study abroad office to find what experience best fits your interests and goals.
- I don't want to leave my girlfriend/boyfriend/family! Have everyone visit during a program break or after the program ends. You will want to share what you love about your host city/country with this special person(s), and travel is a great way to build on your relationship. If a visit is not possible, focus on the big picture you will be away temporarily and it is very easy to stay in touch while abroad.
- I've never done anything like this before. Many students have never spent time abroad. The study abroad office can put you in contact with study abroad alumni so you can speak with a student who has been abroad. It is a great way to learn about a particular program and/or country from another student.
What are you waiting for? Lifelong benefits outweigh short-term doubts. Studying abroad may seem daunting; you may be anxious about being away from family or worried about fulfilling graduation requirements.
Almost everyone who has studied abroad agrees that studying abroad is the best thing they ever did. You have access to the world – take advantage of it!
Benefits to Study Abroad
- Expand cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills
- Prepare to work in an increasingly diverse and international workplace
- Broaden academic horizons
- Globalize world view
- Improve foreign language skills
Director of International Programming
Noss Hall, Room 108