Sunday, October 16, 2011

What Can I Find in a Directory of Study Abroad Programs?

Are you considering the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend school overseas, if even for one semester? Do you need more information about study abroad programs, including what these programs entail and the candidacy requirements for each program? There are many, many different ways to study abroad, with programs available for almost any interest, but getting started can often pose quite a challenge. If you are a high school student, for example, you could of course check with the school guidance counselor, but many of these professionals can be very overworked, and are therefore not very current in their knowledge of study abroad opportunities. Even some college students find it complicated to find the appropriate on-campus resources that can help answer their questions.

Fortunately, with the widespread popularity of the Internet, finding information on study abroad programs has never been easier. There are now many international exchange programs with a website on which students can browse through a directory of study abroad programs, getting answers to questions that range from “how much does it cost to study abroad” to “what are the requirements of each program.” To illustrate this, below we will outline just some of the crucial pieces of information you can usually cull from a directory of study abroad programs, which in most cases, also includes the name of a contact person that can help answer any further questions.

Directory of Study Abroad Programs: What Information Is Available?

A directory of study abroad programs is a great tool when performing preliminary research on studying overseas. Some of the information you can locate includes:

Type of Program. A directory of study abroad programs will generally place programs into two general categories, representing the two basic types of international education programs: Study Abroad and Exchange. A study abroad program may span one semester, an entire school year, or be more short-term in nature, such as a 4-week program during summer or winter intersession. They will typically consist of courses that are aimed at a particular course of study, including language acquisition, and are taught by instructors at the host school. Exchange programs usually span one semester or academic year, and are very similar to study abroad programs in terms of courses and instruction. However, the major difference between the two programs is in the word “exchange.” In an exchange program, when a student goes to study in a host country, a student from that country is sent in exchange to study in the United States.

Requirements. A directory of study abroad programs will also list the program’s requirements. This can include eligibility requirements, such as a specific grade point average, or requirements after acceptance, such as the travel documents a student will need to participate.

Cost and Financial Aid. Also to be found in a directory of student abroad programs is the cost of each program, and resources through which students can apply for financial assistance and scholarships.

Living Arrangements. Living arrangements could include both on and off-campus housing, along with living with a host family.

This is just a small sample of the wealth of information you can discover in a directory of study abroad programs, and collectively, these directories make it easier than ever to research academic opportunities overseas.

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