Every college student has the opportunity to study abroad, and Rams are no exception. Whether students temporarily transfer to a university in another country or follow as Colorado State University faculty member for a structured program, the international experience is known as a cannot-miss part of the college experience.
While students are absolutely encouraged to study abroad, it can be a daunting task. Packing up and leaving your home country for several months, saying goodbye to family and friends and finding someone to sublet your apartment are only a handful of the things you have to do to prepare for the journey, not to mention adjusting to living in another country.
We all know that Rams take care of Rams, so here are some words of wisdom offered by CSU students and faculty for those preparing to study abroad:
Alexis Svenson, a senior business student who studied in England last spring said you do not have to be afraid to study abroad alone.
“I had a lot of friends who studied abroad with their other friends, and they had a great time, but studying abroad somewhere I knew absolutely no one really helped me gain a sense of independence,” Svenson said.
Svenson that because she went alone she was able to meet new friends from all over the world. Additionally, she encourages students to try and learn a bit of the language practiced in the country they are visiting.
Kelvin Asante, a senior business administration major said to be weary of living options.
“Live on campus if your study-abroad university gives you the opportunity to do so,” Asante said. “It’s easier to meet people that way.”
Asante, who studied in London last semester, also knows from experience that students should keep an eye on the clock while abroad. Many countries in Europe utilize a 24-hour clock, which makes it all too easy for American students to miss a bus or a plane.
Asante was also provided a list of useful resources for students planning to study abroad. He recommends that you visit Hostelworld.com, Skyscanner.com and Trip Advisor to help you plan your time overseas, and he said WhatsApp is a helpful app for communicating with family.
Whether you are studying with a CSU-based program or an affiliate, The Office of International Programs wants your study abroad to be successful as well.
Emily Garner, the Education Abroad Coordinator for Faculty-Led Programs said they will work with students to make the trip best fit people’s individual needs.
“I want the program to be the best option for you,” Garner said. “Choose a program that is the perfect fit academically and financially and that also fits your personal career goals.”
Garner said students often forget that they do not have to study abroad for a full semester. Going for a few weeks is a good option too.
In addition to having coordinators like Garner, the Office of International Programs hosts several information sessions and workshops for finding a program and raising money to participate. Information about these programs can be found on their website.