Things to Consider When Applying to Study Abroad


1. Will this work with your school schedule?

When I was looking into studying abroad for a whole year as a biology major, the first thing I was told was to consider summer programs. For a major like biology that offers courses once a year, you have to make sure to plan around that because it could set you back an entire year (if you know you want to graduate in four years)



2. When choosing the length of the program, make sure you reflect on what type of person you are.

When I was considering the length of the program I wanted, I wasn’t really sure what to do so I asked some of my friends who went abroad. You may never really think about this and as much as your family might annoy you, you might actually be one of those people that actually loves being around your family. If you apply for the entire year program, you might want to consider whether or not you will get really homesick, if you think you do, you might want to consider the semester or summer program instead of the entire year. I have friends who have went abroad for one semester and some who have gone for the whole year, it’s definitely a valuable experience regardless of how long you go for!


3. Are you anywhere close to graduating and if so, will you have your required units to graduate from your major?

When I was planning to study abroad, I had always wanted to go abroad for an entire year but being someone who switched majors recently, going abroad for the entire year was a very risky move. That would mean I would finish all of my upper division courses abroad and not fulfill the department’s requirement of having at least 27 upper division course units finished here so that is something you might also want to consider.



4. How will you afford studying abroad?

Depending on the country that you want to study abroad in, it can actually come out to being cheaper than studying at UCSB! Apart from that, there are many ways you can finance your trip abroad without having to borrow money - scholarships or paid internships! Always be on the lookout for those. You might also want to start saving up because there are other expenses other than tuition and textbooks, you may also want to travel!


5. If you are going abroad for one semester, where are you going to live when you come back?

One of my friends who went abroad to Japan one semester was hoping to get university housing when she came back but so many people were trying to do that, there were over forty people on the waitlist (just for females, not counting males). She ended up having to couch surf for a couple of weeks and she brought this to my attention when I was considering going abroad. So make sure you might want to make sure that you can secure a place to live for when you come back!



6. Will there be a language barrier? Are you willing to learn a different language?  

Before determining the country you want to study at, you might want to consider if there is a language barrier. You might want to apply to a country where you are more knowledgeable of the language and are able to communicate better. You never know... What if you are in a life or death situation and you’re not able to tell the nurse that you’re allergic to something?! Could be dangerous.


7. What type of courses are the host university offering? Can any of these classes apply to your GE requirements or major classes?

Even though you’re abroad, you want to make sure that the classes the host university is offering are accepted by UCSB because you don’t want to work really hard in classes and end up not getting credit for them! Taking classes accepted by UCSB would also help you stay on track to graduate and much of the time, host universities will offer classes that aren’t offered by the school here so it’s always nice to be able to broaden your horizons and learn different things!

Hopefully, these questions can help you find a good program that you will love! Now go and explore the world! Thanks for reading this and have a wonderful week collegiettes!