Steps to Studying Abroad
Are you considering study abroad, but don't know where to begin? Below are eight steps to get you started!
1. Think about why you want to study abroad
Why has study abroad peaked your interest? What do you hope to accomplish during your time abroad? What are your goals for your study abroad experience? All students decide to study abroad for different reasons, what are your reasons? Completing a Signature Learning Experience, challenging yourself in new classes, improving your language proficiency, building your resume, volunteering in a different country, exploring new places, as well as learning about a new culture all are excellent reasons to consider studying abroad!
2. Talk to your academic advisor
As you soon as you think about studying abroad, let your academic advisor know. The earlier you make them aware that you’re interested in potentially exploring this opportunity, the earlier they can help you identify the best time for you to go abroad. Your academic advisor will be able to help you map out your courses during your time at Etown and help identify strong programs for your major, minor and/or career aspirations.
3. Watch our 'Steps to Studying Abroad' video
Watch our 'Steps to Studying Abroad' video, covering all these steps in further detail. Also, be sure to take advantage of all the Study Abroad Office's resources to learn more about studying abroad, such as our YouTube channel with program-specific playlists, podcast, blog and Instagram.
4. Meet with Etown’s Study Abroad Advisor
Etown’s Study Abroad Advisor, Megan Bell ‘14 is available to help you through the entire study abroad process, from researching programs to preparing for your departure. Megan can help you narrow down your program choices, review the application process, explain study abroad finances, shares scholarship opportunities, discuss how credits transfer back to Etown and more. You can schedule an appointment with her here. If the available timeframes do not work for your schedule, please email Megan (email@example.com) to select an alternative time to meet.
5. Decide where you want to go
The Study Abroad Office encourages you to talk to recent study abroad alumni, the Study Abroad Office’s peer advisors, family and friends about your decision to go abroad and assistance in selecting a program. You should also review history and current news about your intended host country and city, as well as study abroad resources to help you identify the program that is the best fit for you academically and personally. To begin reviewing your program options, you can explore the College’s affiliated semester and year programs, as well as our faculty-led and other winter and summer programs.
Check out our Program Matching Quiz to help narrow down your options!
6. Secure financial aid
It is important that you understand how study abroad finances work and allow time to budget for your time abroad. You can learn about study abroad finance policies through our website, but please be mindful that everyone’s financial aid package is different. Therefore, all students are encouraged to meet with their Financial Aid Advisor and/or Jennifer Behmer, Associate Director of Financial Aid, to learn how much of your financial aid and scholarships will or will not transfer to your study abroad experience. And don't forget to apply for study abroad scholarship opportunities!
7. Complete the Etown Study Abroad Application
Once you’ve decided that you want to study abroad, you’ll need to complete the College’s study abroad application. This is a simple application, where you indicate that you plan to study abroad in a future term, let the Study Abroad Office know which program you’re interested in attending and why you selected it. To review study abroad eligibility requirements, application deadlines and other important information, check out our ‘Apply to Study Abroad’ webpage. You can begin your application here.
8. Apply to your intended study abroad program
Once you’ve completed all the prior steps and been approved by the College to study abroad, you can apply to your desired program. Your program will not be able to accept you, until they know the College has approved your decision to go abroad, so you’ll need to be mindful of these steps when approaching deadlines.
If you have any questions, please reach out to the Study Abroad Office by contacting the Study Abroad Advisor, or stopping by Nicarry 117 & 118 during business hours.
Five Reasons to Study Abroad at Etown
1. Complete a Signature Learning Experience
You can fulfill your cross-cultural Signature Learning Experience (SLE) by studying abroad! All Etown students are required to complete two SLEs (internship, research, study abroad, service learning and/or capstone course) before graduating. Please note, study abroad programs must be at least 15 days in length to fulfill the Cross-Cultural SLE requirement.
2. Financial aid travels with you!
Your Etown scholarships and financial aid travel with you for affiliated semester and year-long study abroad programs. Therefore, you pay the same for tuition for a semester abroad as you would on campus! The College also offers additional scholarships and grants for summer and semester study abroad participants!
3. Faculty-Led Programs
Each year, the College hosts 5 - 10 faculty-led programs. These short-term study abroad programs are led during winter break, spring break or May Term. The programs are led by Etown faculty members. Some programs are designed for students within the professor’s discipline, but many are open to all students, regardless of their major. These programs are a great opportunity to travel with a group of Etown students outside the academic year!
4. Continued Learning
Our students often use their study abroad experience as a jumping off point for other experiences, including continued research, as well as applying to Peace Corps and the Fulbright Program. The College had 16 Fulbright Scholars in the last seven years and they all studied abroad as undergraduate students! Learn more about prestigious scholarships and fellowships here.
5. Very Influential Experience
Etown graduates continuously rank study abroad, as one of the top two most influential education experiences of their time enrolled at the College. Meanwhile, Etown alumni, who did not study abroad, constantly say that not studying abroad was one of the biggest regrets of their time at Etown. So don’t have regrets and study abroad!