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Search TripSpot or Google |   Great Must-See sites   |   Read Articles and Lists | Find answers | City Guides  
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Study Abroad

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 FinAid.com, 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.

Rotary International offers more than 1,000 ambassadorial scholarships. For more on scholarships, visit the IES Abroad, AIFS Abroad or SIT Study Abroad. Or, for loan information visit The International Education Finance Corporation.

Getting ready to go

Worried you'll contract something more serious than a case of spring fever while studying abroad? Then check out Center for Disease Control Travel Information. For more on traveling abroad, including advisories, visit the U.S. Department of State. Be sure to check out its students abroad website for information specific to students interested in traveling abroad.

Now, plan your trip (and any side trips along the way) at STA Travel to get reduced rate airfare and student discount ID cards. And don't forget to get a passport!




   --- M. Magnarelli


 
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