Studying Abroad: What’s in it for me?

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Can you imagine studying architecture at the Parthenon, or art history at the Sistine Chapel? What about learning a language in its native country, or observing exotic plant life where it lives and thrives? Now imagine doing those things and actually being able to afford it. Believe it or not, it’s possible.

For a lot of students, the idea of studying abroad is an exciting opportunity to stray from their comfort zones and the daily routine of campus life. The wheels start to turn and the idea of traveling from city to city, gaining international experience and meeting new friends while abroad becomes a near reality. Before solidifying this decision, students must first work through a long list of choices to decide what type, length and location of program is best while considering which funding opportunities will meet their needs.

Read on to learn about the different types of study abroad programs available, the advantages of traveling abroad and how you can expect to pay for the trip.

What’s in it for me?

No matter the type of program, you will gain invaluable experience both professionally and personally from studying abroad. The bullet points a study abroad program will add to your resume have the power to set you apart from other job candidates post-graduation. From international relations experience to living in a new culture and possibly speaking a foreign language, studying abroad shows future employers you are able to adapt and excel in new environments.

Aside from the professional experience, studying abroad affords you the opportunity to have fun in new and exciting ways! You will make friends from around the world, travel to exotic cities in your free time, visit famous landmarks, and much more. Many students arrive home after a study abroad program to find they are more open minded with a new outlook on life.

What are my options?

Study abroad programs are offered for both undergraduate and graduate students and can vary in length from a traditional semester overseas to a shorter stay during the summer or an entire academic year abroad. While abroad, students typically select a normal course load of credits toward their degree, however some programs are service oriented like a volunteer program. Other programs such as internship or intensive language programs focus solely on developing skills.

Many schools offer study abroad programs directly. In fact your college might offer a variety of programs, but don’t be too quick to choose a program just because it’s through your school. You can enroll in programs through other colleges or third party providers. Be sure to compare the prices between programs, courses offered and if the credits you earn will be applied toward your degree. Often times, students find that their college doesn’t offer a program to the country or city where they want to live. Others find they would prefer to travel with their school’s program because it might be cheaper (which isn’t always true) or they want to go with an established group of friends. The decision is yours.

What about the Benjamin’s?

Sure this all sounds great, right? But now you’re left thinking, can I afford it? Funding opportunities are as immense as the types and locations of study abroad programs offered. Students can often apply their current financial aid package used at their on-campus institution to the study abroad program. Additionally, there are countless scholarships and grants provided by a variety of organizations.

Where do I start? helped more than 2 million students research study abroad programs in 2010. With more than 12,000 study abroad program listings, search the directory of undergraduate and graduate programs to find semester, summer and year-long study abroad programs, internship programs, intensive language programs and more. Read articles and blogs written to answer your questions about what to expect, how to pack, and other hot topics of study abroad hopefuls.

No matter the program or destination, studying abroad will expand your borders and horizons. Join the movement to study abroad.

This is a guest post from – the Internet’s leading source of information for students seeking a study abroad program.  Find your study abroad program at
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