THE TRUTH ABOUT STUDY ABROAD
1. MYTH: “I’ll be behind and won’t graduate on time.”
FACT: Actually, study abroad programs can sometimes put you ahead of your stateside classmates. Check with your academic advisor or study abroad coordinator to determine the course you’ll need while abroad.
2. MYTH: “You’re really supposed to go abroad during your junior year.”
FACT: In reality, programs are available to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The earlier you plan, the better off you’ll be in determining the best time for studying abroad.
3. MYTH: “Study abroad is too expensive, and I can’t afford it.”
FACT: Ironically, it may actually be cheaper to study abroad than it is at home! Favorable exchange rates, the elimination of some of your usual expenses and lower costs of living may make your study abroad cost even less than studying at your home campus. Also, many student loans and financial aid packages can be applied to your study abroad program; many study abroad scholarships are available, including the University System of Georgia Regents Scholarship.
4. MYTH: “I’m not a foreign language major, and I can’t speak another language.”
FACT: Many programs do not require any knowledge of a foreign language. There are quite a few programs offered in English.
5. MYTH: “My school doesn’t offer any programs that fit with my major.”
FACT: The University System of Georgia offers 257 programs anywhere from nursing to education, computer science to graphic design, theater to wildlife management, and everything in between. In addition, the USG belongs to ISEP, the world’s largest study abroad organization, which offers diverse programs in a wide variety of disciplines and majors. You can earn credits toward your major while abroad and return to the states right on schedule with your studies.
6. MYTH: “You have to plan it all out beginning in your freshman years.”
FACT: Program deadlines are usually less than six months prior to departure, and for some programs, the deadline is less than three months prior to departure.
7. MYTH: “You have to have very good grades to be accepted into a study abroad program.”
FACT: Study abroad is not just for students who have a 4.0. For many programs, the requirement is simply that you be in good standing with your college or university.
8. MYTH: “Studying abroad is not safe.”
FACT: Many cities and towns overseas employ even stricter police and law enforcement standards than cities and towns in the U.S. Crime rates in many countries are much lower than they are in the U.S.
So now you know the facts on study abroad. Don’t let the myths keep you from pursuing your desire to study in another country!
[Source: University System of Georgia Office of Internal Education (www.usg.edu/oie)]