Study Abroad Need to Knows!

Considering studying abroad? Here are some things you need to know!

You don’t have to do it during the school year

Many schools offer summer programs so that students with demanding majors can fit study abroad into their schedule. This experience has no ability to set you back in your classes, it can only propel you forward by getting you credits over the summer.

Not all credits transfer

Before setting your heart on a certain program, look into whether or not the courses you would take are redeemable at your university. Most classes are not carbon copies but they will align with your home school’s classes and therefore be exchangeable for credits. Ensure you talk with an advisor prior to deciding on courses because some will not do you any good for your degree requirements.

There are SO many scholarships

Your study abroad office, your major, your home university, your study abroad university and a ton of study abroad organizations all have money. They want to hand it out in order to help people just like you. Look out for all the ways to get money to fund your education. This includes many scholarships.

Some programs are major specific

VCU is starting a London program specifically for actors to study at theatre institutions in the UK. Other programs are specific to engineers, pre-med and etc. Look into what programs cater to your studies and what options are available to you.

You may not be able to study abroad

Certain majors are incredibly demanding and require being at your home university in order to get all requirements accomplished in time. Other majors have detailed, specific courses needed that may not be offered at an abroad institution. In this case, look into a summer study abroad as mentioned in the first bullet. Other than that, look at shorter trips. Virginia Tech has a two week long abroad trip at the brink of the summer that their students can use to just travel.

You have be accepted by your home university and abroad university

Once you have completed your global office’s application, you will also have to be accepted by where you intend to study abroad. Typically, your school will send your information abroad, but be aware that you may have to do that for yourself.

You will probably have to purchase your own flight

This isn’t the middle school Europe field trip where all the kids sit together on the never-ending plane ride and whisper secrets back and forth. You will probably be on your own on the cheapest flight you can find. Of course, you can discuss with others that you know are going and try to buy tickets for the same flight.

You don’t have to go with a pre-approved program your college advertises.

If you find a school in Germany that your home college has never worked with before, don’t worry! If you meet with your study abroad advisor, you two can discuss ways to make that experience happen, you will just be doing some more work independently.


Study abroad isn't something intangible that only Instagram ambassadors get to do, you can do it too with a little research and preparation! Make your education truly yours and get all you want out of it! Go on! Bon voyage!


Photo Credit: Kathryn Madriaga, Jackie Diedam, Gary Arndt, Ella Tjader