So you are thinking of studying abroad? Well, you are in the right place! Is this true, or did I just catch you off guard? Well it’s too late now, and you have successfully been sucked into reading my blog post for today! (Attention-getters work just amazingly, don’t they?) Anyway, today I am going to talk a bit about studying abroad and finding the right place and program to best fit you.
First and foremost, it is always important to mention what a significant impact studying abroad has on a resume! It shows your passion for learning and development, illustrates that you are personable and welcoming of new people and cultures, and above all, demonstrates your independence and personal confidence. After being selected as the hiring candidate for a marketing internship this past summer, I can tell you first hand that the experience I had overseas put me above and beyond the competition.
If studying abroad is on your agenda during your time at UMD, what things do you need to think about in order to find the program that best fits you? Let’s take a look…
Meeting Your Needs
It seems pretty simple, but you would be surprised how often this can get overlooked. When I talk about “meeting your needs” I mean making sure that you are taking courses or doing internships that keep you on track to graduate on time or help to develop professional skills. If you are thinking about going for the semester or even year, it will be important to map out the classes you need to complete before graduation. Take note, however, studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to fulfill liberal education classes that you would otherwise not be able to at UMD! Perhaps you want to take Marine Biology in Australia, Art History in Italy, or Architecture in London. Ultimately, there is no better way to learn, than to do! Most importantly, remember that UMD’s International Education Office has a Course Equivalencies list of all classes that have ever been taken abroad by UMD students. It’s best to cross reference this list when looking for classes abroad.
Location, Location, Location
I know what you are thinking… “duh, Zach! The whole point of studying abroad is to travel.” Location is key when planning your study abroad adventure! It’s crazy to think, but I could guarantee that you could put your finger on the globe give it a couple spins and find a study abroad program where you are pointing. I have heard from some UMD students that they decided not to study abroad because UMD does not offer programs they are interested in. Well I am happy to tell you that you do not have to only select from the programs UMD offers! You can select from programs across the nation from the UMTC campus, third party sponsors, other universities, or you could even open enroll in the school or program you are interested in abroad. If you are interested in studying abroad, my suggestion would be to think about the location first. If you have your heart set on a specific location, but UMD does not offer a program there, you may just have to do bit of research and digging to find one that fits you.
That “Just Right” Feeling
I know it’s not right to give open-ended and redundant advice, but this statement is so true! When you have found a program that meets your academic or internship requirements, and you have decided on the location of your dreams, the rest just seems to fall in place. Of course there is some paperwork with applying to programs, but don’t let that deter you! For me personally, I was always excited to fill out paperwork for my study abroad program because it meant I was getting that much closer to going! Overall, once you make that connection between the program and location, there is not much else to determine. Hop on that plane, and get a move on!
When planning you study abroad endeavors, remember to stop by our office at Solon Campus Center 22, as we can help show you ways in which to develop professional skills during your travels. UMD’s International Education Office can help you find programs and classes that will work within your major, as well help you with the application process.
Related articles of interest:
- Unpacking Your Study Abroad Experience
- Learn, Grow, & Achieve: Developing Skills While Abroad
- Put Your Travel Bug to Work
- Connecting Learning Abroad & Your Career
If you ever have any questions about study abroad, feel free to stop by and chat! I look forward to seeing you soon!
Photo by: eGuide Travel