Studying Abroad: Exchange Program 101

So you're thinking about studying abroad but have no idea where to start. Where should you go? What classes should you take? You don't even want to think about the millions of programs available to you or how much it's going to cost. Studying abroad planning really isn't that overwhelming if you know what you're looking for.

I decided that I wanted to study abroad Spring 2018, but I had no idea where to start. I did some research and found the perfect affiliate program. I had 15 credits lined up to transfer back and the program looked amazing. The only problem? It was twice the amount of tuition I would be paying for out of state. So, I explored other options and began looking into other programs. I didn't really know where I wanted to go, all I knew was that I wanted to go somewhere where I could get major credits out of the way. As a Public Health major, I found it extremely difficult to find classes I could take abroad that would transfer back. With each program getting more expensive and no luck with transfer credits, I was about to give up on my dream of studying abroad. But, then I discovered exchange programs.

Photo from of University of Southampton 

Exchange programs are exactly what they sound like: you and a student from another university abroad switch schools for a semester or a year. CofC offers exchange programs in several countries, anywhere from the United Kingdom to Ghana. These programs let you pay your CofC tuition (instead of another schools), which also means your financial aid will apply towards your program. Exchange programs may be a practical alternative to those affiliate programs that cost way too much money. You also have the freedom of choosing whatever classes you want (for the most part). This differs from affiliate programs which usually only offer certain classes you can take abroad. In this way, you can take major credits and general education credits.

Some countries even offer multiple locations where you can study abroad on an exchange programs. For example, within the United Kingdom, CofC offers locations in Belfast, Brighton, Nottingham and Hertfordshire. With so many options to choose from and a entire course catalog, you'll have no problem finding credits to transfer back.

Studying abroad should be a meaningful experience where you explore the world and learn more about yourself. If you're trying not to break your bank or just about had it with credits that won't transfer, consider exchange programs!