Having Trouble Deciding?
Are you interested in going abroad to study for a semester or a year? Even if you are a first or second year student and your junior year seems far away, it's not too early to begin thinking about where, when, and how you might go abroad.
Ideally, study abroad should be more than a pleasant change of academic scenery: it should provide you with the opportunity to expand and enrich your total course of study in ways not available at the College. This means that study abroad should factor into your plans as you begin to map out, at least tentatively, your four year college program and ponder the various alternatives. Language preparation is of critical importance and a potential obstacle when you do not plan ahead, especially if you are interested in studying in Chile, Costa Rica, or Senegal. Although there are some English speaking options, certain universities in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and Japan also require language fluency. Have not yet completed your language requirement? You can do so at a number of programs abroad including Belgium, Italy, Nepal, Egypt, Morocco, and Korea.
Below are some of the issues to take into consideration. Past participants of international academic study programs have suggested that you begin your planning by thinking about these questions, and use all the campus information sources available to compile your own answers. Most students study abroad junior year, but students can study abroad as early as second semester sophomore year and as late as senior year.
"Leave thy home, o youth, and seek alien shores: A larger range of life is ordained for thee." - Petronius
Why Study Abroad?
The following articles offer insight on the benefits of studying abroad.
- To Boost Creativity, Study Abroad
- Top 10 Reasons for African American Students to Study Abroad
- Study Abroad Increases Professional Job Prospects
- Recent Graduates Survey: The Impact of Study Abroad on College Graduates' Careers
Things to Think About
- What do I want out of a semester or year abroad—e.g., language proficiency, exposure to a new culture, on-site historical or sociological study, research thesis, etc.?
- What are my academic objectives, and how can they best be satisfied?
- What shall I major in? What are the requirements of the departments in which I might major and how can I meet them?
- How can I integrate my study abroad experience with my major, minor, or concentration?
- What are the requirements for graduation and how do I intend to meet them?
- Read Student Program Evaluations and Student Comments.
- How can I fulfill my language requirement abroad?
- Does my program have a minimum language requirement?
- When is the best time to go abroad and how long should I stay?
- If my GPA is only modest, is now the right time to study abroad?
- What about finances? Is financial aid available?
- How do I apply?
Sources of Information and Advice
Donna Mancini, PH. D.
Dean of Global Affairs and Associate Dean of the College
Chase Hall, Room 213
Phone: 610-896-1230; Fax: 610-896-4960
For appointments email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call x1230
- A number of faculty members have also volunteered to help students with international study advising. Resources: Faculty Contacts >
- The Office of International Academic Programs maintains catalogs, applications, videos and files of materials describing international study programs, including a number of books dealing with various aspects of going abroad. Student and faculty evaluations and Informal Student Guides from past participants are also available.
- Students who have been abroad are often willing to talk with students who are thinking about international academic study. The Office of International Academic Programs maintains a list of such students. Resources: Student Contacts > *Log in required.
- Read your mail, e-mail, and check our website & bulletin boards for special events! We often host visitors representing overseas universities and programs on our campus. Do take the opportunity to speak with them about their institutions.
- Attend a Mandatory Information Session, special Study Abroad Collection, Country-specific Study Abroad Sessions, and the Study Abroad Fair in October.
- Check the links to the websites of our affiliated programs. These websites include information concerning course offerings, student life, housing and cultural events. You will get a sense of the institution and may find details dealing with your particular personal interests.
- If you wish to study abroad during the summer, follow the procedures outlined in the Haverford catalog. Then, contact your Dean to review these procedures. Summer Study Abroad is not under the oversight of the Office of International Academic Programs.
- If you wish to study at another college within the United States, talk to your Dean. The only exception is University of Hawaii, a Semester Almost Abroad which falls under the Office of International Academic Programs.