Students: Make a Change to Your School’s Study Abroad Programs
Most schools offer pre-established programs that students can participate within. Many schools are also always looking for ways to improve the international programs that they offer to their students.
Study abroad programs are created for a student to go explore the world and to learn intellectually (and personally). However, if a school doesn’t provide their students with the right locations, students will be less interested in the opportunity to spend a semester or year in another country.
If a student truly is interested in going to a certain location, then they need to talk to their study abroad office or the Dean of Students. Given enough time, some study abroad programs can be approved to allow a student’s financial aid to go towards their experience. Credits can also be counted towards requirements of a degree. By making a desire known to administrators of a school, students can help “develop” study abroad programs that truly fit around what students want and need – in addition to what the home institution requires from a semester away.
Schools with large study abroad offices also coordinate multiple events per semester and have volunteer and student worker positions – for students who are thinking of going abroad, who are abroad, or who have returned from an abroad experience.
No matter what school you are at, take the time to talk to your administration if study abroad is something that you are considering doing. Who knows – something you might want to do could become the school’s biggest program in a few years!