Talk to your peers as you consider studying abroad!
Some universities prefer their students to study abroad their sophomore year while other institutions focus on providing opportunities within one’s junior year. Either way, studying outside of the “norm” time frame can actually work in your favor!
By going abroad as a sophomore, you open yourself up to more opportunities while still a student. A fellow classmate of mine was able to study abroad in Rome during fall of her sophomore year. She enjoyed the thrill of being in a different culture so much that she studied abroad for another semester her junior year – to South Korea. After graduation, she received an award to teach abroad and is located in the Philippines until this upcoming May.
One of the best resources I had as an undergraduate when determining what study abroad program would work the best for me was a friend who had studied abroad in one of the locations I was considering. I had plans to study abroad during spring of my sophomore year to Spain but when those plans fell through – I knew studying abroad was still important to me. I evaluated my college experience and realized I wanted to do something completely different – which led me to a choice between Morocco and South Africa.
During the summer leading up to my junior year, I did research on both schools and locations and decided on South Africa for spring my junior year. I talked with a friend of mine who had studied abroad during our sophomore year to South Africa and was able to become friends with a sophomore from my school who was spending an entire year in South Africa.
Through talking to my peers about their experiences abroad – I was able to gain a better perspective on what it was like to be a student and a world traveler. If you are considering studying abroad, your peers will truly become one of your best resources.