In our increasingly interdependent world, studying abroad can add to your college experience and boost your resume while opening your eyes to a new culture, giving you a fresh perspective on your way of life. Carefully selecting the right study abroad program can give you some unique insight into your field of interest while helping you become more appealing to future employers, regardless of your major.
International experiences appeal to both employers and graduate school admissions counselors. If you study abroad in a country that does not speak English, you can also build foreign language skills and open up a wider array of career choices upon graduation. Study abroad returnees routinely report their time abroad as a life-changing experience. Take advantage of this opportunity to spend an extended amount of time in another culture.
The best time to study abroad depends on the student. With our Appalachian Faculty-Led Programs students can study abroad as early as their Freshman year. For semester or year study abroad and exchange program once you have completed at least two successful semesters at Appalachian, you are eligible to study abroad.
Studying during your senior year is an option, but note that academic calendars abroad do not always coincide which could create conflicts for you if you want to walk in graduation. When reading program descriptions, be sure to pay careful attention to the calendar of the foreign institution; if you plan to study abroad for only one semester, you must be sure that the semester at your foreign institution does not prevent you from beginning your next semester at Appalachian. Also consider what courses you need to obtain for your degree and whether or not these courses are sequenced.
With careful planning, you can receive credit towards your major, minor, elective, or core curriculum requirements and still graduate on time. The key is to come to a general information session early – your first semester at Appalachian is not too soon – in order to explore your options. Many students within certain majors can study abroad for an entire year and still graduate on time. For others, study abroad programs are during the summer semesters may be a good choice.
Studying abroad doesn't have to be expensive. Look into the details of the study abroad programs you are considering to determine which options could fit your budget. State and federal financial aid may be applied to your study abroad expenses if you are eligible and some scholarships are available. If you already have a scholarship, it's possible that it can be applied toward the cost of studying abroad.
Please visit the Finances page of our website for more information.
You can take courses for your major, minor, electives, or general education. While not all areas of study are available in all locations, students can find appropriate courses for their program as long as they begin planning well in advance. Appalachian actively promotes the advantages of studying abroad by assisting students in matching credits from foreign institutions to their own curriculum.
More information on course approvals and credit transfer can be found on the Academic section of our website.
You can study abroad in English even if you don't have proficiency in another language. Destinations like England and Australia are obvious choices for studying in English, but did you know that many countries have programs in English even where English is not the primary language?
A few examples are Thailand, Finland, South Korea and the Netherlands. You can reap the benefits of study abroad regardless of your major or long-term goals. Students who have studied abroad gain qualities valued by employers and graduate admissions counselors because they tend to be more mature, independent, culturally aware, and effective as communicators.