By: Ludonis Maule
Ludonis Maule is a senior at Baruch College majoring in Entrepreneurship Management with a minor in Spanish. She has worked at Baruch College’s Study Abroad Office for the past three years where she advises students on their study abroad options and procedures, she has also coordinated several of the office’s Study Abroad Fairs. This spring 2012 semester she is interning at InteRDom in the Marketing department.
Imagine waking up to warm, beaming sunshine rays, fresh morning breeze and the sound of the waves beating against the shore. You hurry out of bed, get dressed and head to school. This is the first day of classes and your internship. You met some of your classmates at the program’s orientation a few days ago, the excitement you feel reminds you of your first day of college all over again.
On your way through the school’s gates you are greeted by your new friend who offers you breakfast prepared by her mother. You both hurry to class to begin your first day at school; this should be a great. This could be the beginning of the paper you write recounting your perfect study abroad experience.
Studying abroad is a valuable and fulfilling part of college life. It is not only a great asset to your marketability as an employee, but it also gives you the opportunity to experience academic life in another environment while immersing yourself in a foreign culture.
In order to make this experience a success, planning is vital. This process can take up to a year depending on the length of your study abroad program. One of the first and perhaps the most critical step in the planning process is deciding what are your main reasons for wanting to study abroad. These are a few things which can be taken into consideration when determining your reasons for studying abroad.
• Major or field of concentration
• Career goals
• Language ability
• Cultural/Heritage connection
You can begin your search for the ideal program on your school’s website or office, most schools have study abroad or International Education offices which you should visit to get more information about the procedures and policies at your school.The Study Abroad/ International Office should also be able to provide you with information about scholarships offered through your school. National scholarships are available for study abroad purposes; with a little research, you should find scholarship information which will be helpful. Another way to obtain information about studying abroad is to visit academic campus fairs. Many schools have going/study abroad fairs or International Education weeks where you can obtain information about opportunities readily available to you. In many cases, they may even have individuals who went on various programs at the fair. This is a great opportunity for you to get first hand information from an actual recipient.
Obtaining college credits may be just as important for some as is financing. It is of utmost importance that you find out from the respective office at your school, the procedure of obtaining credit for your study abroad. You want to ensure that the credits or grades you receive will be included on your transcript when you have completed the program.
Deciding your reasons for going abroad, visiting the respective offices at your school and doing some online research provides the surety that you are well on your way to planning a life changing study abroad experience.
The blog also provides useful information for students and inspires lively debate and increased interest in exchange and the development of Hispaniola.