Understanding the Study Abroad experience from registration through re-entry is important.
Tips for parents
Explorations/Study Abroad: Expanding Studies Beyond the Classroom
Participants gain proficiencies and perspectives that can enhance their college experience personally, professionally, academically, socially and culturally.
Picking a Program
At BW, the Explorations/Study Abroad Center has resources to help students in all phases of the process, from researching programs and completing paperwork to packing for the trip and getting acclimated to campus life once the experience has ended. The center also has a guide for parents.
To help your student clarify expectations and narrow options, he/she may want to consider the following questions:
- What benefits would I like to gain from this experience?
- Would I prefer staying in the U.S. or traveling abroad?
- Would I enjoy the structure and social aspects of group travel and study or prefer being on my own?
- What are my cost parameters and how will this affect my options?
- Should I participate junior or senior year?
- How long do I want this experience to last - weeks, months, a semester, a year?
- When would be the best time to participate - fall, winter, spring or summer?
- How might being away from BW affect my course load in subsequent semesters and my anticipated date of graduation?
- Would I like to work, intern, volunteer and/or take college courses as part of this experience?
Choosing Where to Study
When contemplating where to study off campus, there are many factors your student should consider:
- Course offerings (if college study will be included as part of the experience).
- Availability of services for students with special needs.
- Opportunities for travel beyond the original destination.
- Suitability for learning/perfecting a foreign language.
- Opportunity for cross-cultural experiences.
- Ability to obtain professional skills.
While overseas travel is a popular choice, there are domestic programs in Washington, D.C. and other sites that are well suited to several academic majors. For students who choose to study overseas, BW offers over 30 international programs each year.
Most programs are English language based, however some locations are ideal for individuals studying a foreign language and/or participating in one of BW's Language Across the Curriculum programs. BW offers programs in almost all academic majors and has opportunities throughout Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and Australia.
In deciding where to Study Abroad, students may want to consider the following:
- Do I want to study in a country whose language is unfamiliar to me?
- Do I want to take classes in English or in the native language?
- Will the money exchange be favorable or cost prohibitive for me?
- What type of housing will I be living in?
- Am I aware of the cultural, political, environmental and social aspects of my travel destination?
Studying off campus can be more affordable than students and parents may realize. Students who choose to study via a BW recommended program may be eligible for federal and institutional aid. For many recommended programs, the cost can be equivalent to BW tuition, room and board per semester.
The first step for a student is to meet with an Explorations/Study Abroad staff member. After the estimated cost of the program has been determined, a student should meet with a Financial Aid Office advisor, who will work with Explorations/Study Abroad staff to ensure financial aid will be applied accordingly. In some cases, additional BW aid may be available.
Other forms of financial assistance may be available. Public and private organizations, businesses and churches often award grants, loans and fellowships to students traveling abroad. Scholarships may be awarded on the basis of personal attributes (ethnic/religious background, parents' field of employment, place of residence, etc.), academic major, career path and/or study abroad destination.