Study Abroad Without Delaying Your Graduation Date
Studying abroad can be a tempting experience for the adventurous and imaginative college student. Of course, you'll want to consider a few things before taking off, so you can graduate on time.
Study Abroad Without Delaying Graduation
Studying abroad has become more and more popular for students in recent years. And of course, who doesn't want to travel? But it's so difficult to manage and graduate on time, so how can you do it? It's easier than you might think.
One of the advantages of college is that it can be your gateway to the world. Many schools have sister schools in different countries or support study abroad programs with scholarships or applied tuition. It can be a true joy to learn about a different culture and experience the sights of another country during your college career. The problem is that sometimes this traveling can get in the way of graduating on time. In this day and age, when getting all your requirements filled can be difficult, it can potentially seem daunting to study abroad - for fear of graduating late! Fear not, though, because there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you're out, with diploma in hand, after four years.
Choose Classes That Help Your Major
When looking for a place to study abroad, one of the major things to consider is what classes they teach there. Sure, Brazil may have that cool alternative medicine course, but does that help you graduate as a math major? Probably not. The idea for this tip is pretty simple: make sure you can get your work done. Studying abroad may mean you get to party and see new sights but it's still part of your college career and should be treated as a time to learn, not just kick back. Check to make sure that wherever you go has classes you can take that will allow you to move further towards graduation rather than keep you from it.
Study Someplace Where You Speak The Language
This also follows the vein of being sure that you can study as well as have a fun time. Now, if you've been studying Spanish or maybe if Spanish is your major, then studying in Central America isn't such a big deal. However, if you're an English or bio major, trying to study your particular topic in a language you don't have a good grasp on is not going to help your GPA. Consider places like Canada, England, Ireland or Australia instead, where you will be able to speak the same language as your teachers as well as your classmates. You can even consider studying elsewhere in the United States, perhaps in a more exotic location like Hawaii.
Don't Study Abroad Your Senior Year
Senior year, you're going to fall into one of two categories. You're either going to be that student who has everything together and is ready to graduate, or you're going to be scrambling to get the bare minimum done for your major. If you're in the first category, it may be tempting to consider going abroad for one semester. Even if you have everything together, this isn't the best idea. If anything goes wrong and you suddenly need a few extra units or need to take a one-week mandatory class in order to graduate, being stuck in another country is not what you need. To make sure you graduate on time, stay near your school during your final year so you can deal with any last minute issues that may pop up.
Request Independent Study
If you find a place where you really want to study abroad, but they don't have the classes you need, all is not lost. Many schools offer independent study programs where students can do a project and get school credit for it. If you need more units towards your major and want to study someplace that doesn't help you along the way, talk to your teachers or the head of your department and see if you can work something out. Many teachers will get quite creative with the projects they allow you to do, so don't expect to skate by easily. You'll still need to read books, do reports and write papers, and this time you'll need to have a product at the end to show people rather than just taking a test.
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