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If there is one thing that every university student should take advantage of, it’s the opportunity to study abroad. What is study abroad? Study abroad is where you can go to another country and earn credits towards your degree. How cool is that? Not only are you earning credits towards your degree, but you also have the chance to travel somewhere entirely new! To get the entire scoop of what study abroad is and how it works, I sat down with study abroad advisor Caitlin Dugas and here’s what she had to say:

  • What are some benefits of study abroad?

“There are many benefits to study abroad and a lot of studies have been done on the benefits of it. Students that study abroad come back and have higher GPA’s even if they didn’t previously, they tend to graduate at a higher rate and they graduate on time. International experiences look really good on a resume since it sets you apart. It’s also very rewarding personally, instead of only seeing a right way and a wrong way to do things in the world, students are exposed to many different ways of doing things and they’re all valid.”

  • What kinds of programs are available to students?

“We have a lot. We have faculty lead programs which are short term programs lead by a faculty member where you go with a group and generally get a grade for an NMSU credit. These are usually the cheapest programs and fit the best into someone’s degree plan. You can go any term and for any length of time. We have language programs where you can learn a language intensively, we have internships where you can do an internship for credit, and we have direct or exchange programs. A direct program is where you go directly through another company or directly to the university and you pay their tuition and their prices. Then we have exchange which is where students from NMSU and another university essentially switch places and those are the programs where students get in state, undergrad tuition.”

  • What would you say to students who are still unsure or on the fence about going?

“It depends on the reason why they’re not interested in going, there are a lot of different reasons. Students should know that all of their financial aid can apply, there’s additional scholarships, and again our programs are really flexible so we have something for everyone, you can go for winter break or summer break, you don’t have to go for the whole semester or year. We do also offer programs in all different majors, you can go to Costa Rica and get nursing credit if you’re in the nursing program all kinds of engineers can go abroad, it’s really a lot more flexible than maybe students think.”

  • How do students get started?

“If students want to study abroad they should come down to the office, Garcia Annex room 132, first to make an appointment with the advisor for whatever region they’re interested in. When they come in for an appointment they should bring a degree audit and have an idea of what type of credits they want to earn.”

While the idea of studying abroad sounds super exciting, it can also be incredibly daunting, but don’t let that hold you back from such an incredible opportunity! Now is the time to listen to every motivational poster you’ve ever seen and leap out of that comfort zone. Head down to Garcia Annex room 132 and don’t forget to bring your degree audit and classes you’re interested in taking. Now go out, make that appoint and get ready to spread your wings!


Student at NMSU double majoring in Journalism and Government. 
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