Thursday, June 2, 2011

Why Study Abroad?

I started this blog a little over a year ago to chronicle my journey studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. For me, the decision was easy. I am a Spanish and International Business double minor and it was the perfect opportunity to hone my Spanish skills and learn about business internationally. When deciding to study abroad here are some things to think about.

I knew a semester was too long, and too far from home and friends, so I picked a summer session. They offer year long, semester, tri-mester, winter session, almost anything is possible!

Where do you want to study? If you are interested in a language, go there. While Europe is definitely the most popular location, look into other options like South America, Australia, South Africa and Semester at Sea. Also, consider culture, climate, travel (options to go places on weekends, breaks)

What classes will you take and will they transfer back to your school? If you are going with your university, it will be no problem, but if you choose another program, make sure your credits will transfer back. Also, look into an international university, it provides a different view on the topics then you are used to. For example, at my university in Spain, my international management class was taught by an American who now lived in Spain for 15+ years and a native Spaniard. It provided insight to both worlds views.

Make sure there is adequate support by the program when going abroad. You may think you are completely prepared, but once you get there, you have no idea. Make sure they have knowledgeable staff able to help for any emergency or small issue. My roommate went to a doctor and a staff went with her to help translate and I needed to find a hotel for one night in Madrid and they helped me find one necessary for my needs.

There are many other aspects to look into when deciding whether or not to study abroad but here are some general tips.

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