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Why You Need To Start Thinking About Going Abroad NOW

 

 

Coming into college, studying abroad is always an exciting concept, albeit one of the "distant future" variety. Very few collegiettes opt to study abroad before their second half of college, and of those, the primary feeder-majors are the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Business (meaning very few students from other majors venture abroad).

Of course, you may argue that your class schedule is basically written in stone and that you don't have time to spend a semester abroad, or that the costs of taking even a class or two outside of the country are daunting. To this, all we can advise is to take a step back and look at your bigger picture. Yes, certain majors at CofC have their semesters essentially planned out to a T (hi, education majors!), and yes, study abroad programs like Semester at Sea can cost a little more than an arm and a leg (perhaps your abdomen, as well); but there are infinite resources at your disposal, not to mention all of the adventures that exploring the globe can offer you.

Maymester: These programs last a little over three weeks, and typically run from the second week in May to the first week in June. In fact, as far as the College's unique offerings go, there is a much more diverse selection when it comes to locations and specialized courses. Go to Cambodia. Go to the Amalfi Coast. Go to Ecuador. GO!

Study Abroad Fairs: The College offers informational fairs every now and then, and lucky for us, the Center for International Education will be holding one on Tuesday, September 10th (with a separate fair held on September 23rd for Affiliate programs). Click here for more information about the upcoming fairs and application deadlines.

Advisors: Your advisors are WAY more helpful than you think - at least, we hope so - and should be able to tell you how to set up your class schedule at the College in order to get the most out of your time here. This way, you can assess how much time you really need to finish the courses that must be taken domestically and what time you can set aside to explore the world, all while getting college credit.

Scholarships: You.can.get.them. Money, grants, loans, you name it, there's a way. You simply need to start researching and applying well enough in advance (and not failing all of your classes might help a little). Check to see if the school offers any awards geared toward your concentration of study or if there are any grants you can apply for online. Repeat after me: if there's a will, there's a way. To Paris or Serbia or Timbuktu.

Summer classes: Still finding it hard to squeeze in some time under the Tuscan sun? Take care of any and all possible GenEds over the summer (if not here, then at your local community college and save a few Lira/Euros/Yen), thereby knocking a few credits off of your to-do list. Spending a few hours of your summer in a classroom pays off when you remind yourself that you'll be going to a cultural and historic destination in a few semesters.

Alumni and students alike who have studied abroad will tell you that their time on foreign soil was some of the best of their lives, and those who haven't will often tell you that not opting in is one of their greatest regrets. Take this most opportune time you have while at school to expose yourself to a new environment in an exotic land! Your life will never be the same. *insert flag emojis here*

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