Who should study abroad? Almost everyone! Study abroad is an enriching educational experience that will change your life. You will learn more about yourself, your country and your world. Whether you already have a destination in mind or are only beginning to imagine the possibility of studying abroad, the Office of International Programs is here to help you get from here to there.
Your reasons may be as varied as improving language skills, learning about another culture, strengthening your academic program, having an adventure or enhancing your resume. Whatever your reason may be, consider:
- Do you want to study subjects pertaining to your major or are culture and language classes more important to your goals?
- How does study abroad fit into your academic program? Will you use the credits to fulfill general education requirements, major requirements, or as general distribution electives? Will you be able to graduate on time?
- How deeply do you want to be immersed in the culture? Would you prefer to take classes with other American students or with local students?
- Where do you want to study abroad and why?
- How much money can you afford to spend?
- How much time do you want to spend abroad?
1. Consult Your Campus Advisors
The first and most important step to making your study abroad plans is going to visit the Office of International Programs. Here you will find helpful and knowledgeable professionals who can answer your questions and guide you in making your plans. At Meredith, you may speak with a member of the Office of International Programs staff. They will help you choose a program that best suits your educational goals.
2. Evaluate Your Language Skills
Your language skills and aspirations will be key factors in deciding where to study and what kind of program to choose. If you have completed six hours of language study on the 200 level, you may well be ready for an intensive language and culture course.
If you have little or no language proficiency, take heart! There are numerous programs where English is the language of instruction. Just because you can't speak Spanish does not mean that you can't study in Spain! There are programs in almost every country tailored for those on beginner or intermediate levels, combining language study with courses in the English language.
3. Choose a Location
England? France? Italy? Denmark? Spain? About two-thirds of U.S. students choose to study abroad in Western European countries, but that is rapidly changing. Increasing numbers of students choose to study in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The cultures of developing countries offer stark contrasts and unique perspectives into the United States. With over 80% of the world's population living in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, a better understanding of nations is valuable preparation for life in an increasingly interdependent world. Other options include the former Soviet Union, East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
4. Arrange Academic Credit
You will need to meet with your academic advisor to see how your study abroad credit fits in with your degree and graduation requirements. The Office of International Programs can help guide you in choosing a program that fulfills your requirements. If you choose to go on a Meredith-sponsored program, credits will transfer easily. If you choose a non-Meredith program, you need to work closely with the Office of International Programs to ensure all of your credit will be accepted.