Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who can study abroad?
A: Study abroad opportunities exist for undergraduate, graduate and New College students. Students in any major can benefit from studying abroad. Undecided majors may discover new interests while studying abroad that may help them choose a major and career path.
Q: Why should I study abroad?
A: In addition to the benefits of becoming familiar with another culture and improving your foreign language skills, study abroad can help you:
- Gain increased independence
- Develop new perspectives on your own culture and your role in the world
- Acquire new and/or improved communication skills
- Enrich your academic studies
- Increase your confidence
- Become more open-minded
- Develop a new academic or career direction
- Develop a heightened sense of global community
Q: When can I study abroad?
A: You can study abroad as early as the summer after your freshman year. Transfer students must have established a GPA at St. Edward's before studying abroad. Remember, the earlier you get started, the more study abroad experiences you can have while you are a St. Edward's student.
Q: Can I really study abroad more than once?
A: Definitely. Multiple study abroad experiences require planning to ensure that you can continue to make progress toward your degree, but many students have done this with the help of the Office of International Education.
Q: Where can I study abroad?
A: The possibilities are endless, although choosing a study abroad location requires much research and thought. The first step is to attend a Study Abroad 101 session with a study abroad returnee where you will learn about the many study abroad options available to St. Edward's students. There are long-term and short-term study abroad options. Students may study abroad for four or six weeks in the summer, a full semester or a whole academic year. Remember, the longer the program, the better your understanding of your host country's culture and language will be.
Q: What opportunities other than study abroad are available?
A: While study abroad offers students an excellent way to incorporate an international experience into their time at St. Edward's, students may also consider an internship abroad, completing a volunteer program abroad, working abroad after graduation or pursuing graduate studies abroad. More and more, study abroad programs are combining experiential learning with classroom learning, so there are many possibilities, and the Office of International Education can help you research each of them to determine the right program for you.
Q: Do I have to speak a foreign language to go abroad?
A: Not necessarily. Many programs are offered in English, even in non-English speaking countries. However, studying abroad presents the opportunity to enhance your language skills or learn a new language, while taking courses toward your degree. The Office of International Education encourages all students to have a little knowledge of the host country language out of respect for the culture of the country.
Q: Can I use financial aid to study abroad? Are there scholarships available?
A: The Office of International Education, in coordination with Student Financial Services, can help you choose a program that allows you to maximize your financial aid package. As with many of the aspects of studying abroad, advance planning broadens your program options and ensures that you will be able to use as much of your financial aid as possible.
Q: What kinds of programs are available and how do they differ?
A: Students at St. Edward's University can select from a variety of program types and options:
- Reciprocal Exchange Programs
- Study Abroad Program Providers
- St. Edward's Faculty-Led Programs
Each type of experience offers students different benefits, so it is important to determine which type of program is best for you.
Q: How do I know which program to go on?
A: The Office of International Education will help you to determine the best program given your academic goals, your language skills, your financial aid package and your preferences. Your advisor in the Office of International Education will talk to you about each of these aspects of study abroad and help you choose a program in an individualized advising appointment.