Thinking of studying in Spain, Senegal or South Korea? Before you pack your
bags and practice asking "Where's the restroom?," let the Web be your
passport to a world of resources on study abroad.
"The Internet has revolutionized study abroad for both administrators and
students, as well as their parents," said Lauren Stolper, director of the
Office of Fellowships Advising & Study Abroad at the California Institute of
Technology. "Students can find out about universities abroad and student
life, and even take virtual tours of prospective schools."
Before you start you research, your first step should be to determine your
goals and find out what your own school offers and allows.
"A student should be very aware of what their university's policies are in
regard to study abroad, e.g., Can you take financial aid with you? Is credit
guaranteed or only conditional upon evaluation by the university of your
work when you return?" Stolper said.
Follow these steps when exploring study abroad options:
Deciding on a program
There are several sites that catalog programs, and they're more
user-friendly than those clunky reference books at your local library.
Peterson's has transformed
its book on foreign study into an online database. Search by country, field
of study and sponsor. At Studyabroad.com, look
through more than 4,000 programs. You'll find program links, tips on getting
there and information on culture and health.
The Institute of International Education administers programs on behalf of many international
sponsors and offers extensive information on the various Fulbright programs. If you're lucky enough to qualify for a Fulbright or other
government-sponsored programs, find out more at the U.S. State Department site.
Finding financial aid
Once you've chosen your destination, the next step is to figure out how you'
ll pay for your program. According to
your school shouldn't deny you any federal aid as long as you are taking at least half a
course-load that will count toward your degree.