For many students, entering college represents the opportunity for them to start making their own decisions. They control what they eat, what they do, what to major in, and what they want to spend the rest of their life doing. Students often get so wrapped up in this newfound power that they forget to consider some of the less obvious, but equally important decisions.
Studying abroad is one of those decisions. By interviewing a number of different students across ages and majors, I found the general consensus regarding studying abroad is that it would be a great experience, but that financially it is just not an obtainable objective.
A number of communication majors describe the positive effects studying abroad had on them as a major. Reponses include that it helped to develop their intercultural communication skills through interaction with individuals of different backgrounds. In addition to this, Abigail Boyd, a senior in the Department of Communication described her experience on the department’s Australia trip as an opportunity to experience the concepts and theories she had learned, while learning the similarities between ours and the Australian culture, and in the process, forming relationships with classmates that would last a lifetime.
With the “why” of studying aboard now determined, it is now time to discuss the ‘how’, because many students believe that financially, studying abroad is not feasible. An interview with Nolan Miles, current SGA vice president and Harlaxton Alumni reveals that there are a number of scholarship and grant programs to lessen the cost of study abroad. “Studying abroad was one of the best opportunities of my life. The Student Government Association offers scholarships each semester to make sure all students are getting the opportunity they deserve.”
Having studied abroad myself, I encourage everyone to seek more information from the Study Abroad and Global Learning Center, as this really is a life-changing experience.