By Naomi Santana
There are many students who dream about studying abroad, but have doubts and fears about it. If you are thinking about studying abroad but do not know where to start, CI’s International Programs is here to help!
CI offers a variety of programs with different lengths of time spent abroad. “Programs vary in cost depending on the cost of living of the host country, but it is important to remember that tuition is the same as it would be at CI for semester and year long programs,” said Courtney Gross, Study Abroad Advisor. Study abroad programs can be as long as one year or as short as 1-2 weeks. According to Gross, all forms of financial aid are available and the costs of programs can be cheaper than the costs of attendance at CI. There are currently 14 study abroad countries whose prices are lower than that of CI.
Students interested in studying abroad can study either for one year, one semester or short-term. “Short-term program opportunities include studying during the winter break or summer break or studying abroad through University 392,” said Gross. The University 392 course is arranged by faculty and the Center for International Affairs. The course’s destinations vary depending on the type of class.
There are some requirements to take into account when applying to a study abroad program. “Requirements depend on the program, but in general students should have a minimum GPA between 2.0 and 3.0,” said Gross. There are programs available to sophomores, juniors and seniors, but it varies by program. “Additionally, some programs require certain language skills prior to going abroad, especially for language immersion programs,” said Gross. Although some programs require certain language skills, other programs do not require this component since the courses abroad can be taught in English.
It is also important to take into consideration the deadlines for applying to study abroad programs. There are different priority deadlines. The deadline for the academic year, which is fall and spring, is Feb. 1. The deadline for the calendar year, which is spring and fall, is Sept. 1. For the fall semester, the deadline is March 1 and for the spring semester it is Sept. 10. The University 392 deadlines vary by course.
Students planning to study abroad are advised to plan soon and plan ahead. It is best for students to start planning the second semester of their freshmen year or the first semester of their sophomore year. “The earlier you can begin laying the groundwork for a study abroad experience, the more you set yourself up financially and academically for a successful experience,” said Gross. Students can receive course credit covered abroad, but it takes time to plan with their major or minor advisor ahead of time. Students are not alone with planning and that they can receive help from the study abroad office.
Gross says students can consider studying abroad for many reasons. The first reason is that they will get an experience of a lifetime. Second, through study abroad, students can get the opportunity to grow professionally, personally and academically. Students can also gain leadership skills, global competence, adaptability and problem solving, amongst other skills. “Not only do students who study abroad make international lifelong friendships, but students come back to CI with a new sense of independence and a better understanding of themselves,” said Gross.
Students interested in learning more about the study abroad programs can visit their webpage on the csuci.edu website or can stop by the Study Abroad office, which is located in room 2061 of Sage Hall .