Top 5 Misconceptions about Study Abroad

5 Jul

5.  It’s Too Expensive

Many don’t realize that Purdue has partnerships with universities around the world where students swap tuition.  Choose an exchange program and your tuitions costs exactly the same as in West Lafayette.  London is the study abroad capital, but also one of the world’s most expensive cities.  The choice is yours.  There are opportunities for every budget.

4.  It’s Just a Trip or Vacation

Sure, having fun, even the time of your life, is practically guaranteed, but there is no doubt that academics are front and center.  Choice again comes into play.  You can challenge yourself a little, or a lot; programs vary.  Many GPAs are boosted due to studying abroad, but that is more likely due to a program/destination that matched a student’s interests than fluff classes. If you’re still not convinced, participation points don’t exist in may places outside America!

3.  It’ll Make You Graduate Late

Unless you tune-out everything any advisor ever says, you’ll be just fine.  Planning ahead is key, and being able to juggle a class or two helps, but just about everyone who’s really wanted to study abroad has made it happen.  Did you know you can even study abroad the term immediately following graduation?  Many do summer internship programs just prior to entering the job market.

2.  Its Just Not For Me

To those I say… Than who’s it for!?  Don’t you want to test yourself?  Don’t you want to gain new skills?  Don’t you want to have fun and take advantage of this time while you’re still able?  If only I had a nickel for every study-abroader who departed on their program never having been on a plane before! The best part of my job is visiting with students post-program and witnessing the evolution they’ve gone through. The ones who seem to be the less likely travelers are often the ones who reap the most benefits.  Everyone, I repeat, everyone can benefit from an international experience.

1.  I Don’t Want to Be Away That Long

You just don’t know until you go!  Purdue sends plenty of students abroad, but most are not away for over six weeks.  Many of those Spring Break or summer participants return wanting more.  Often, they’re back in our office ASAP selecting another program. Everyone misses their friends and family.  Some even covet Indiana winters.  But, very few regret having taken the leap; spending a semester or year studying abroad.

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