Article Written by Maya Geving.
The week from November 14th through November 18th marks International Education Week at St. Cloud State University. In addition to other study abroad events, mini education abroad fairs were held in Centennial and Stewart halls on Tuesday and Wednesday. There, global mentors from the Center of International Studies answered questions from students about studying abroad.
There are many as reasons as to why you should study abroad in college. According to Global mentor and fourth-year student at SCSU, Brian Pham, studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity. “You’ll never really get another opportunity to study abroad. Once you graduate college, you start working and there are less opportunities for travel”. He mentions having studied abroad at the Alnwick castle in England last semester. Another global mentor, Camille Matheny, has also been on two study abroad trips to Alnwick. She says that studying abroad in college is a great experience and great opportunity to see the world. “It broadens your worldview and is great for personal growth”.
According to Matheny, her favorite parts about studying abroad in England were living in the Alnwick castle, experiencing the town, and getting to travel around England. “I have family members who studied in abroad in England so getting to have that experience for myself was great”. She also mentions how kind and inviting the people she met while studying abroad were. Pham says his favorite parts of studying abroad were being able to travel all around Europe as well as England. “The school provides many excursions, some of the trips we went on while studying in England were to Scotland and Italy”. He also mentions that it was cool to learn about the history of England while studying abroad.
Studying abroad doesn’t necessarily prevent you from taking enough credits or the credits you need for graduation. According to Matheny, “Many students think that if you study abroad, you are tied down to only taking the classes the offer at the abroad location. That’s not the case, and it is fully possible to take online classes from SCSU while you’re studying abroad. I took both online classes from SCSU and classes that were offered at the Alnwick location”. Pham also mentions having taken a mixture of online classes from SCSU and classes that were offered in Alnwick.
There are also many ways to make studying abroad affordable. According to Matheny and Pham, there are many scholarships you can apply for when studying abroad. They also mention how studying in England really isn’t much more expensive than studying on campus at SCSU. It is also possible to put down that you’re studying abroad on the FAFSA, and you might be awarded more money. “There are many cost-effective measures you can take while studying abroad. If you’re studying in Europe and want to travel to more European countries, plane tickets are usually very cheap. You can also stay at hostels instead of hotels to make things cheaper”, says Pham. Matheny recommends scheduling a meeting with an advisor at the Center of International Studies to work out ways of making studying abroad affordable for you.
If you’re interested in studying abroad, you can check out the education abroad section on SCSU’s website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.