New schools, new experiences

Students could have more trouble choosing between five continents, 21 countries and 32 cities than with the expense and difficulty of studying abroad at the University.

It is recommended that students contact the Education Abroad Program a year in advance to plan trips since there are so many options and majors to choose from.

“If students are just thinking about studying abroad they should come in and set up an appointment,” said Nicole Anderson, director of the program.

Some students come in with an idea of where they want to go and others only know what classes they want to take for their major, said Tammy Mazure, graduate assistant to the program.

The recommendation is in place partly for students who need to apply for passports, which can take an estimated 8-10 weeks to get, and visas, which can take between 6-12 weeks to get from the country a student is visiting.

Even though it’s recommended students plan a year in advance, if a student came in the office today and wanted to study abroad next semester, Mazure said they would try to make it happen.

“If a student is in good academic standing, it’s definitely possible,” she said.

After picking a country, students might be surprised to find studying abroad costs are comparable to regular college costs.

Tuition and fees are comparable to the University and the room and board is about the same, said Mazure.

Molly Maykut, a junior majoring in English education, said the dorms in Australia where she studied last fall were in similar condition to those on campus.

But most BGSU scholarships can be used while studying abroad and food is usually cheaper in other countries as well.

Additional costs students should plan for include an airline ticket, passport, spending money, travel money and possible immunizations.

Planning trips ahead also better ensures students are getting the class schedules they want and need to stay on track, Mazure said.

Anderson explained students who want to study in a certain country that does not accommodate their major will take elective classes, which shouldn’t put them behind with proper planning, and that most three or four credit hour courses transfer.

“It doesn’t matter what you study,” said Christina Stefanik, a grad student peer advisor to the program.

“Any study, any length, I would recommend it,” she said.

Stefanik studied in Austria this past school year and recommends it for students to learn about new things and to examine their own cultures.

Studying abroad also gives students a boost to their resumes, said fellow program peer advisor Chris Kay, who was in England this past spring for international studies.

Students are welcome to visit the Center for International Programs, located in McDonald North, Suite 61, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to set up an appointment with an advisor. Students can also contact Education Abroad by calling 419-372-0479 or by emailing [email protected]

Interested students can also visit the Education Abroad Fair on October 11 in 101 Olscamp Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to learn more about studying abroad, internships and student teaching.

More than 30 vendors will be present with lots of information and freebies.