“O that sounds so cool! I definitely want to do that!” This enthusiastic response is one I typically hear when talking with students about study abroad.
Then the questions set in. “What about finances?” “Can I study abroad and still graduate on time?” “Hmmm…but I want to be a student leader at some point. Can I still fit study abroad in?”
These and other questions are ones I commonly hear from students who show an interest in study abroad, and often these questions prevent students from seriously pursuing an opportunity to have a study abroad experience.
Myth # 1: Study Abroad is Expensive
Like many things in life, there are economical and affordable ways to do study abroad if you’re willing to look into the options. CCU partners with study abroad organizations which send students to 45 countries around the world, and many locations within those countries. A typical study abroad semester (often in Europe) is very comparable with CCU’s semester-by-semester tuition rates, and some locations can be considerably cheaper.
When it comes to study abroad, scholarships abound. Most of CCU’s partner organization have a large sum of money set aside for scholarships, with up to 80% of students receiving some kind of scholarship. To boot, there is a plethora of outside organizations who offer scholarships to students studying abroad. All you need to do is apply!
Myth #2: Studying Abroad Will Ruin my Academic Plans
So you think studying abroad is a nice idea, but you’re a Pre-med major, or a Music major, or an Elementary Education major. There’s hope for you. Many study abroad programs are run through large and prestigious state institutions, which means that they offer all the courses CCU does and many more! Is there something you would really like to learn but CCU doesn’t offer a course in this area (think FOREIGN LANGUAGES)? A study abroad term can be a great way to make this happen! Why not?
There is such a thing as summer study abroad semesters. Suddenly the term “summer school” doesn’t sound quite so bad! The most popular summer study abroad with CCU students is the Oxford Summer Programme (might be something to consider).
Myth #3: But I’m going to miss out!
I know, it can be hard to think about leaving your CCU friends for a semester, and there’s some serious FOMO here. Truth is, you are going to leave sooner or later, and taking a study abroad semester will better equip you for that time. And if you’re hesitant about leaving your CCU friends, get one to join you abroad! If you take advantage of the opportunity to live in another part of the world and if you develop friendships with people around the world who are very different than you, that’s likely a decision you won’t regret.
The Reality: Study abroad is not easy. It takes planning ahead. It means that you have to overcome the law of inertia that is keeping you in your seat and be proactive. Study abroad can also be immensely worthwhile. You do not magically change into another person when you study abroad. Who you are oversees is who you are here. But I can guarantee that you will not come back the same person. And many of the pre-conceived notions that may keep you from even looking into study abroad are more myth than reality. So GO for it!