You probably know someone who has had a terrific experience studying abroad, like the young women pictured here. We hope you will join them.
What do you think are the most common obstacles to a UMBC student studying in another country as part of his or her undergraduate program?
You might guess:
Need to graduate on time
Lack of language skills
Yes, those are all points to be discussed, but the main obstacle to students at UMBC studying abroad is:
Not taking the time to investigate, research options, and plan ahead. All of the obstacles above can be overcome if a student starts early and works at a solid plan for study abroad. Here’s the breakdown:
Second semester sophomore year through first semester Senior year (sometimes even earlier for short-term Winter and Summer programs)
Any country in the world that is considered safe for travel by the U.S. State Department, as long as there is an accredited higher education program available
Any UMBC student with a GPA of 2.5 or higher who applies on time and follows the process
To learn first-hand about another part of the world and its language and culture, to prepare for global citizenship, to develop independence and self-reliance, and to earn credits toward a UMBC degree while doing all the above
The first step is to attend the one-hour briefing called “Study Abroad 101” that is given every Monday from 12:00 – 1:00 pm and every Thursday from 3:00 – 4:00 pm in Room 218 Administration Building
Eight Other Things You Need to Know About Studying Outside the USA
1. You can take your UMBC merit scholarships, all federal financial aid and most state aid with you to cover costs.
2. You do not have to be fluent in a foreign language because many programs are conducted in English.
3. Housing choices vary from apartment-like settings to dormitories, to home stays with families.
4. With prior approval, the credits and grades you earn overseas will be entered on your UMBC transcript, reflected in your UMBC GPA and will count toward graduation. It is possible to fulfill major, minor, electives and general education program requirements (GEPs) while studying abroad.
5. Your parents may be more open to the idea if you suggest that they visit you while you are abroad! Also make sure they understand the resume value of an international experience.
6. You can take courses about the history, geography, economy, or government of a particular country in that country, with site visits that are relevant and meaningful.
7. Study abroad scholarships can help meet expenses. Scholarships are offered by a wide variety of organizations, such as the Golden Key International Honor Society, the U.S. government, and private foundations.
8. Some UMBC academic departments offer courses that involve a short-term study period abroad, such as the Ancient Studies Department programs to Greece and Italy.
If all this information does not prompt you to start investigating studying abroad, consider this:
Nearly every student who studies abroad considers it a life-enriching growth experience not to be missed. Even though it is not “easy,” because it involves challenges before, during, and after, it is one of those genuinely worthwhile life experiences that are absolutely worth the effort.
For additional facts, ideas, and encouragement, and to learn about how UMBC’s Study Abroad Office can help you develop a plan tailored to your circumstances and interests, click here.
QUESTION FOR EXTRA CREDIT READERS TO RESPOND TO IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW:
Where would you most want to spend a semester studying outside the U.S. and why is that your first choice?