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Home USA Home Page
          Home: Study Abroad: First Steps
First Steps
 
Orientation Sessions
Choosing a Program
Review/Approval
Deadlines
Costs/Fees
 
 
Orientation
Sessions
   

General Information Session

The Office of International Education coordinates the following throughout the academic year:

    • A study abroad fair in the fall and spring semesters.
    • Informational sessions and tables by program providers.
    • Informal information sessions are available at the Office of International Education resource center (Alpha Hall East, room 320).

Pre-Departure Orientation Sessions

    • Orientation sessions are mandatory for all USA study abroad participants. These sessions are coordinated and scheduled by the Office of International Education. Consult with the Study Abroad Coordinator for more information.
 

 
Choosing a
Program
   
Your Personal, Academic, and Professional Goals
    • Studying Abroad is the most effective experience you can have to broaden your intercultural awareness. You can enhance the knowledge of your major/minor in an international context, learn about a specific country/region, acquire language skills, and strengthen a range of personal skills.
    • You can study abroad and still graduate on time! Course work abroad can satisfy many USA requirements.
    • Studying abroad builds resumes. It is more important than ever to stand out from other applicants however possible. Research shows that studying abroad
      gives students additional qualifications that can improve their chances of landing a position.
Academic Fit
    • You will work closely with the Study Abroad Coordinator and your academic advisor to match study abroad courses to USA requirements. The Office of International Education Resource Center located in Alpha Hall East, room 320, provides brochures and catalogues listing courses offered in various study abroad programs that encompass all majors.
    • Consider the following:

1. What is your major or area of interest?
2. Do you have another interest or a complementary subject area that you want to focus on?
3. Do you learn better in the classroom or in the field?
4. Do you like independent or guided learning?
5. Do you want to study one topic intensively or take a variety of courses?

Location
    • Where you will study is important for many reasons, most of which pertain to your course work and academic goals. However, your personal goals are also important so be careful to choose a program that will take you on a journey that you will enjoy and want to visit again.

Some things to consider might be:

1. Are you interested in a region of the world or a specific country?
2. Is there something happening in the world today that you want to learn more about?
3. Do you want to explore family roots?
4. Is there a political system that intrigues you?
5. Are there historical or current factors in places around the world that may impact your experience there?

Financial considerations
    • Financial aid (i.e. loans, grants, and scholarships) is applicable to program costs except in limited instances. Scholarships are available through the Office of International Education as well as other units.
    • It is also important to consider which program will give you the “most bang for your buck.” When choosing a program be sure to consider course credit and its value pertaining to your graduation needs. For example, you may find that you can fulfill a language major or minor in less time because of the courses offered in studying abroad.
 

 
Review/Approval
   
  • Once you have researched and considered which programs are of interest to you, begin by meeting with the Study Abroad Coordinator to review program options, application process, and deadlines.
 

 
Deadlines
   
  • All approvals and paperwork are to be concluded before the last day of class of the semester preceding your study abroad program.
  • The process for a study abroad program should begin at least a full semester before the start of your proposed program.
For example:
    • Program for the summer of 2013 means you should begin the process no later than the beginning of the spring semester of 2013.
    • Program for the spring of 2013 means you should begin the process no later than the beginning of the fall semester of 2012.
  • All applicants to study abroad must meet the deadlines of their proposed program.
 

 
Costs/Fees
   
Budgeting considerations when planning to study abroad:
    • Program fees (Tuition, room and board, transportation, visas, etc.)
    • Do the program fees include airfare?
    • Passport fees
    • Home financial considerations. (Will you need to sublet your apartment, etc.?)
Ways to help you pay for study abroad:
Other Resources
    • The Study Abroad Coordinator can assist you with a wide variety of additional scholarship, grant and loan opportunities from other sources that can be used to support your study abroad program.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Student at Leaning Tower of Pisa
Map of Europe
 
 
 
 
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For questions or comments Contact Us
Date last changed: October 22, 2012
http://www.southalabama.edu/international/studyabroad/firststeps.html