To some students studying abroad is an exciting adventure. To others, it is a topic that brings about many concerns. Over the course of New Student Orientation I have heard many of these concerns from parents and students, however many are common misunderstandings. The following statements are the top 5 study abroad myths that have been BUSTED!
1.”Studying abroad is expensive.”
Studying abroad is NOT always expensive. Costs vary depending on the location and duration of the program that is chosen. Programs offered by our office may be less expensive, similar to, or more expensive than costs at ISU. Loans, grants, and other Financial Aid that students receive at ISU may be applied to study abroad programs as long as all scholarship requirements are being met. Scholarship awards may be used as well, and there are additional scholarships available on The Branch through the Education Abroad Office and other ISU programs.
2.”You have to speak a foreign language.”
While it might be helpful, study abroad students are NOT required to know or study a foreign language. Almost all fields and subjects are available for study, not just language or cultural studies! The Office of Education Abroad has connections with many English-speaking universities, as well as campuses of foreign languages. Locations with a host language other than English may still offer English-only courses. While language studies are not required, studying abroad is a great way to learn a new language or develop language skills through immersion.
3.”Studying abroad delays graduation.”
Studying abroad SHOULD NOT delay graduation. If students plan ahead, and confirm that classes will transfer toward their degree, there is no reason for graduation to be delayed. Courses offered abroad are not confined to random electives. Students can take courses toward their major, minor, or foundational studies. In some cases, students may even graduate early because of the accelerated courses they took while abroad!
4.”You can only study abroad in Europe.”
The ISU Office of Education Abroad offers courses at over 350 universities in more than 60 countries! Europe may be an interesting destination for some, but many of our students are choosing to travel to other locations such as Colombia, China, Morocco, South Korea, and more. Students are definitely not limited to European countries, so just imagine where you could go!
5.”Studying abroad will not promote my future career.”
This is largely false. First of all, students receive academic credit for any courses taken abroad. This credit will bring students closer to their future career by helping them complete their degree. More importantly, employers greatly value workers who are internationally experienced as they have gained many skills by going abroad. Students who go abroad develop better global awareness, self-confidence, problem solving, language skills, intercultural competence, and so much more! These are vital skills and characteristics that employees look for in interviews.
Want to read about some more common study abroad myths? Read this!