Studying abroad is easier than you may think! You may feel overwhelmed at first, given all of the possibilities available. Give yourself plenty of time and ask yourself some of basic questions below. The more time you spend planning your international experience, the more likely it will be a successful and memorable one!
What do I want to study?
Study abroad means foremost that you'll be studying abroad, so start thinking about what you want to get academically out of your experience. Do you want to take classes in your major? Pick up--or finish--a minor? Do you want to take lecture-based courses, research in a lab, or undertake fieldwork? Consider taking some of your K-State 8 requirements alongside major courses, or take a break from your major by only enrolling in general education courses. The possibilities are nearly endless!
Where do I want to study?
Once you have an idea of what you want to study, then think about location. You may tend to think of a specific location first, but be sure that you consider tailoring your study abroad experience to make it relevant to your academic and professional goals. Have some general regions in mind. Maybe you want to study grain science in Africa, or biology in Latin America. The broader your interest, the more options you'll have.
How long do I want to be abroad?
You may think of study abroad as a semester-long experience, but you have many choices even when it comes to length of time abroad. K-State offers programs as short as a week and as long as an academic year. Summer and semester programs are available as well. You can even study abroad more than once! In fact, once you return, you'll probably want to go back again!
Do I want to learn another language?
You can study abroad in English, even in non-English-speaking countries. By no means do you have to study another language. But we strongly recommend that you think about taking some language courses--or even standard courses in your major taught in another language. Study abroad, in fact, provides the absolute best opportunity to pick up, sharpen, and perfect language skills. You can enroll in programs in which you immerse yourself entirely in another language and culture, leading perhaps to a major or minor in a language; or you can just take a few courses, maybe just to get a flavor of another culture. It's up to you!
Do I want to travel independently or with a group?
Whether you consider yourself a seasoned globetrotter or a sheltered but curious traveler, think about with whom you want to study abroad, if anyone. We offer everything from highly structured programs that plan your itinerary down to the day, including side trips and cultural excursions; to independent experiences in which you have the responsibility to enroll in a university of your choice, travel on your own, and take full control over your experience.
Do I want to live with locals or Americans?
Especially for first-time travelers, studying with Americans provides a familiar social environment that can help ease culture shock and enhance your experience. If you want to immerse yourself fully in another culture and language, though, you may want to live and study with locals abroad. Most study abroad programs will allow you to interact not only with Americans and locals, but with students from all over the world, meaning that you'll almost certainly have a very global experience--no matter where you go!
How will this benefit me professionally in the future?
As attractive as international travel and study may appear, be sure that you think practically about how an experience will benefit you. Study abroad can enhance nearly any resume, but certain programs, locations, or topics of study can help you out more than others when you are on the job market. Think about adding an internship to your study abroad to gain professional skills and experience. Evaluate whether studying a certain language will help advance your prospects in your field. Make study abroad work for your future career.
Once you have some general answers to these questions, then you're ready to begin discovering the world! Follow the left-hand menu, which is ordered to reflect every step in the study abroad process. At any time, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact a Education Abroad Advisor at (785) 532-5990 or firstname.lastname@example.org.