BY MELISSA BURNS
College students often hear from their elders that they should travel while they’re young; there’s little doubt this is an excellent piece of advice even if it is easier said than done. However, one way to achieve the dream of traveling as a student is by taking advantage of the hundreds of study abroad programs available worldwide. These programs are an amazing opportunity offered to undergrad and graduate students that allow them to increase their global awareness. Not only will these students get to experience a different culture, meet new people, expand their horizons and see the world, but they will also be furthering their academic development.
According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), the number of U.S students studying abroad has been slowly rising in recent years. A clear example of this trend you can find in the IIE’s Open Doors report, which states that the number of participants for the 2014/15 academic year saw a 2.9% increase from the previous year.
If you are an American college student and would like to reap the benefits of participating in a study abroad program, have a look at the list below featuring some of the most popular ones. Once you make your choice, you can grab your passport, acquire a traveler’s insurance plan and have a life-changing experience.
Popular Study Abroad Programs
- Latin University of Costa Rica. Provided by Sol Education Abroad, this study abroad program is an immersive Spanish learning experience in the city of Heredia, Costa Rica. Participants are registered as full-time students and are placed in a homestay with a local family so that they’re fully exposed to Costa Rican culture.
Sol Education also offers programs in Argentina, Mexico, and Spain. You can read more about these programs here.
- Bond University of Australia. Located in Gold Coast, Australia and provided by The Education Abroad Network (TEAN), this university is one of the few in the world that has a similar academic calendar to the U.S. Participants can choose from a vast array of courses and internships, while they enjoy the amazing beaches of Australia. The program also includes a 6-day Excursion in Cairns to explore the Great Barrier Reef.
TEAN also offers programs in New Zealand, Thailand, China, and Singapore. Head to their website for more information.
- American College Dublin. For an unforgettable experience in Ireland, American College Dublin (ACD) offers a study abroad program for U.S. students that includes housing, excursions, and courses on international business or performing arts. ACD is located in the heart of Dublin, where the students will have access to the rich history and culture of Ireland.
Read more about ACD’s program here.
- IES Abroad in Vienna. IES Abroad is an organization that offers multiple study abroad However, Vienna is by far their most popular destination. With options of programs ranging from Psychology to Music History and Performance, IES Abroad offers English and German-taught classes to its students. As well as the chance to experience a beautiful city and culture.
IES Abroad also has programs available in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Australia, China, and several other European countries. Read more on their website.
Most of the providers mentioned offer financial aid to students who meet their requirements. Others have special partnerships with certain universities, so be sure to check with your college administration office for information on these and others programs.
Making the Choice
As evidenced above, there are hundreds of study abroad programs available to choose from. The few mentioned are just four of the most popular programs according to the reviews of students in Abroad101. If none of these options appeal to you and you are still hesitant on which program best suits your needs, you should ask yourself what do you want to study? Where do you want to do it? And, when can you go?
Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented.