Study Abroad How-to: Students

The number of options to go abroad is staggering and can be overwhelming.

 

The Study Abroad Office at Wilkes University is here to help! 

 

To get started with your study abroad adventure, consider a few factors that will help narrow your choices. 

1. What are your curricular constraints?
Some majors have curricula that make it easy to study abroad, such as those in the humanities. Other majors require students to take certain courses at Wilkes University. Work with your advisor to make a plan such that a semester could be taken abroad. For most majors, the junior year is ideal. If all else fails, a summer or winter (J-term) abroad would do the trick.
2. Why do you want to study abroad? 
Do you want to focus on academics and get some cultural immersion? Or do you want to the full immersion experience and earn credits? These choices can affect the provider choice, location, and how many credits you want to take. 
3.  What are your resources?  
Student exchanges are at the cost of Wilkes tuition plus room and board and travel expenses. Study abroad providers vary their fees from a few thousand to nearly $20,000 a semester depending on location and services. Understand your total costs and how much support you will get from financial aid, family, and scholarships
4. Meet with your advisor? 
Compare the list of courses you are able to take abroad with the courses that your program allows you to transfer in. Do this as early as possible. Will studying abroad interfere with shadowing experience or required internships? Can these be done abroad? 
5. Meet with the study abroad director
The job of the study abroad director is to help with your selection and make recommendations. The director will also lead you to all the forms and help make connections with providers. 

You found your program and classes, what now?

1. Get the email of the professors that are teaching your courses to the study abroad director
To make sure classes will transfer as expected, course syllabi need to be approved by the department chair. Send the professors' emails to the study abroad director so she/he can request syllabi. If the professors' names are not available, please provide a contact of the study abroad provider. 
2. Check visa requirements 
Most countries no longer require student visas for semester-long experiences and other countries require visas for any length of stay. Spain issues visas for three months only and extensions to cover the entire semester must be sought immediately after arrival. Laws change often so check with provider.
3. Get your passport or make sure the expiration date covers your stay - including any extended travel
4. Read up on the culture and languages to make sure your transition is as smooth as possible