Tips for Studying Abroad

Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity that every student should take advantage of. Many students have questions and concerns about going abroad but it is not as complicated as it seems. Here are some helpful tips/advice for before, during, and after your study abroad experience!

  • Make an appointment with your advisor- When considering going abroad, make an appointment with your acadmeic advisor first before going to the abroad office. They will be able to tell you if/when studying abroad is the right choice for you. They may also suggest certain locations or schools where classes for your specific major are offered.
  • Research locations/ talk to previous students- The endless list of different locations and programs can make choosing your destination difficult. Do some outside research for your particular location to make sure it is the right choice for you. Talking to previous students (study abroad ambassadors) who have gone to your preferred location can help you gain more insight and ask question about where to live/ nightlife/ transportation etc.
  • Set time aside for the application process- If you are planning on going abroad for a semester or longer, make sure you have plenty of time for the application process. I would suggest getting started during the summer if you plan on going the following spring semester or during the beginning of the spring semester if you plan on going the follwing fall semester. Keep in mind you need recommendations from professors and lots of paper work to fill out. You may also be required to write an essay. I would also suggest getting a passport right away and the required visa if needed.
  • Fill out the Transient Study form before departing- In order for your classes to transfer you have to complete a Transient Study form. I would suggest getting this filled out before you depart to study abroad to ensure all of your classes will transfer. This involves getting signatures from the head of department of which your class applies to.
  • Join Facebook groups- Social media can make your time abroad much easier. I would suggest joing the UNCW study abroad facebook group to communicate with students who are going to your location or near your location. There may also be a Facebook group for your school abroad which can help you make friends or answer any questions you have.
  • Make the most of your time abroad- Studying abroad is a rare and wonderful opportunity so make the most of it and travel! Traveling can be expensive but there are many ways to save money. Transportation by train or bus is much cheaper than flying and make sure to look up student deals when choosing to fly. You may not be returning to your location so make sure you see as much as you can while you are there!
  • Keep a journal- This is probaly the best advice I have to give regarding studying abroad. Your time abroad will fly by and no matter how many pictures you take, a journal is the best way to record and remember your time abroad. You will thank yourself in 10 years when you look back and read about your study abroad experience!

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