Advice from Our Summer 2022 Correspondents

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It's ok to be a little bit scared!

Ashley Villanueva (IES Abroad Rome - Summer Internship | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

"Take a chance on yourself and you won't be disappointed! There are undoubtedly some levels of fear and self-questioning behind a huge decision like moving across the country for months, but now is your time to stretch yourself and explore, especially with an organization to help you navigate your steps. When you study abroad, you don't only grow in understanding of academic material and appreciation of brand new culture, but also self-confidence and character will be shaped as you become a stronger, more independent version of yourself. Each program is truly its own 'once in a lifetime' experience and absolutely an opportunity worth seizing!" 

Antonina Yarichevskaya (IES Abroad Nice - Multiculturalism & Immigration in the Mediterranean | Case Western Reserve University)

"Do not let fear and doubt talk you out of an incredible and life changing opportunity that can benefit in so many different ways. Going overseas and life in foreign countries are eye opening... Also, start looking for options early to know what are provided and which one will benefit the most... Starting early will help to be aware of deadlines so opportunity won’t be missed."

James McGee (IES Abroad Arles - Study in Provence | Georgetown University) 

"There is no model study abroad student. Apart from being flexible and openminded, your unique personality and background is what makes study abroad the best time of a student's life. You need not look, dress, or act a certain way because the diversity is precisely what enriches everybody from your peers to the locals... ultimately, the diversity of interests and people during study abroad affords you the opportunity to diversify your own experiences."

Study abroad is for everyone, find what fits for you!

Margaret Robinson (IES Abroad Santiago - Health Studies | Indiana University)

"Think critically about the location and type of program you wish to pursue, and to plan ahead... Starting to plan early and tailor your schedule to accommodate a program is essential to putting plans into action. Additionally, take time to reflect on what knowledge you hope to gain from your time abroad. Imagine yourself in a future interview-like situation describing why the experience was so meaningful to you, and find a program that aligns with these values."

Elena Eberwine (IES Abroad Amsterdam - Society, Culture & Gender | Purdue University)

“There's truly a study abroad for everyone and talking with different people about location, duration, programs, etc. helps to paint a more full picture of what "studying abroad" is and how it could look for them individually... just begin looking at programs and diving into what is holding them back. Whether it be financial, traveling, or scheduling fears, there's a good chance that someone else has been worried about those things as well and there's someone available to help navigate those mental roadblocks!”

Samuel Wherley (IES Abroad Dublin - Summer Internship | Penn State University)

"Do it. I studied abroad twice during my junior year of undergrad, went abroad thereafter on a Fulbright grant, and am now headed out once more this summer. These experiences have been invaluable in helping me to cultivate a more globally and cross-culturally informed perspective, something anyone, of any age, in any field can benefit from. Studying abroad can be spectacular fun in terms of the new people, places, languages, and other cultural elements with which you will get the chance to interact, but it also carries notable value in the challenges it presents. Learning to look after yourself in a new place and to make friends and build networks there can be daunting, but it is rewarding in even greater measure. So, go. Get out there and seize the opportunity to have an experience that will inform and improve your approach to all subsequent endeavors."

Do some research and plan ahead!

Amanda Goss (IES Abroad Cape Town - Health Studies | University of Pittsburgh)

"Be open to new countries you had never considered studying abroad in before! Reading student blogs and reaching out to students who have completed a program are great ways to learn about programs and countries that could be a perfect fit for you!" 

Logan Bowers (IES Abroad Rome - Language & Culture | Miami University)

"When I first began the initial process, I felt a bit overwhelmed by all the research and steps in finding the right program for me. However, once I found a program that I was passionate and excited about, I knew I had found the right fit for me... [Don't] be afraid to reach out to other students who have studied abroad or advisors who can help guide you to find the right program for you." 

Bailey McFadden (IES Abroad London - Summer Internship | University of Iowa)

"Get organized early! The planning process is long, but worthwhile. Stay on top of your deadlines and trust the process. Something I did to build excitement for my time in London, was compiling a list of places I wanted to go or things I wanted to do while there. It's helped keep me motivated."  

There are many scholarship & financing options available

Mira Wibel (IES Abroad Cambridge - Pembroke Programme | Whitworth University)

"Even though a study abroad might seem difficult to navigate or stressful financially, it IS possible in almost every situation. Go ahead and apply anyways, you don't know what will happen! Most programs offer scholarships, and there are many places where you can find outside scholarships as well." 

Brian Waligura (IES Abroad Paris - Language Immersion | The Ohio State University)

"Do research on a study abroad country that you are interested in learning about or simply curious! All it took for me was to read through a couple of the student blogs, along with my passion for the French Language, to figure out what program would be best fit for me... I would encourage anyone interested in studying abroad to reach out to your study abroad office to find resources to help you pay for this journey and anything else you may need. As a first generation college student, this was daunting as I knew I would I have to fund this experience myself, but through hard work and perseverance I was able to pay for this experience myself."

Mimi Tran (IES Abroad Paris - Language Immersion | Indiana University)

"I would say, 'go for it for it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, for you to be immersed in another culture, to travel independently, and meet amazing new people.' If it’s financial problems that are the issue, many programs offer amazing scholarships that will aid you so don’t worry! Next to that, if you feel both scared and excited to go, then that’s a good thing. However, do as much research as you can before you go to get the full experience!"

Ready to put these plans into action?

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