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Study Abroad Presentation Transcript

Hi! Welcome to the Center for Global Engagement’s virtual introduction to Education Abroad. Maybe you’ve dreamed your whole life of going abroad, or maybe this is the first time you’ve thought about it. Either way, today we’re going to provide more information to help you understand your options at UNG and make your education abroad dreams a reality!

So what is Education Abroad?

Education abroad is an educational experience for credit or professional development in a country other than your own. You could take classes that earn credit toward your UNG degree, intern for an international company, attend a conference or complete a practicum—all while having an incredible learning experience in the process.

It’s important to note, though, that an education abroad program is NOT a vacation. There’s a reason it’s called education abroad!

During your time in another country, you’ll probably get to do some traveling and see some amazing things, it’s true. But you’ll also be studying for exams, navigating a foreign grocery store and post office, and working out how many times a week you can go to that amazing restaurant down the street and stay within budget. It’s very different from going to another country just to visit and see the sights!

Who can participate in education abroad?

First, you have to be 18 years or older—no exceptions to this one, I’m afraid!

Next, for semester and year-long programs, students can only participate after completing 30 credit hours at UNG. By completing at least two semesters of college before going abroad, students are better prepared to face the additional challenges of going to class in another country.

International Internships require a minimum 48 completed hours, which allows students to gain an academic foundation in their major prior to delving into career interests.

Finally, a student must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university.

Cadets must also be in good standing with the ROTC program.

Something that we definitely want to emphasize is that ANY MAJOR can study abroad! Now more than ever there are a wide range of programs offered in subject areas from STEM to nursing to computer science. There are also programs of varying lengths. If a semester abroad won’t fit into your academic plan, maybe a short-term program of 2-8 weeks over the summer is a better fit.

UNG currently has three majors that require an education abroad experience as part of their curriculum – International Affairs, Strategic and Security Studies, and East Asian Studies.

Now that we’ve convinced you to pursue education abroad, let’s talk about some of your options!

There are several different types of education abroad programs offered at UNG ranging from Study Abroad to International Internships to Cadet Programs.

A study abroad program allows you to take classes abroad for credit toward your major.

There are several variations of study abroad programs. There are faculty-led programs, which are led by a professor from UNG who teaches the course or courses students take while abroad and is there to support them along the way.

There are direct enrollment and exchange programs, which allow you to be just like a local student at a foreign university.

Finally, there are third-party programs, which are arranged by organizations like ISEP, CIEE and ISA. These organizations provide guidance before you leave and have staff members on site to support you.

The next type of program is an International Internship. International Internships are work experiences abroad, usually for college credit. Students can make their resumes stand out by demonstrating hands-on experience in a cross-cultural work environment.

Then there are Cadet Conferences and Exchanges. Cadets have some really unique opportunities to go abroad, such as Cadet Exchanges—where a cadet can study at military academies around the world; and Cadet Conferences, which are professional development opportunities designed especially for cadets.

There’s a program to fit every student, but it’s important to consider all your options before deciding which one is right for you. Your CGE Advisor can help you with this!

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a program, and it can be tricky to know what to expect. There is no one-size-fits-all answer.

It’s a good idea to think about your goals, and consider these questions:

Where do you want to go? Are you more interested in a program that allows you to see several different places, or are you looking to be immersed in a different culture and live like a local?

How long do you see yourself being abroad? Programs can be anywhere from two weeks to an entire academic year. A program between 2-8 weeks is considered a short-term program and is generally over the summer, whereas a semester or academic year abroad is considered a long-term program.

What courses do you need to take while abroad, and when would an education abroad experience best fit into the timeline for your degree? You may be able to take courses specific to your major, complete an internship that’s part of your degree program, or you could fulfil some of your core course requirements.

What’s included in the program? Are there planned excursions, or are you encouraged to plan your own weekend travel? Check to see if accommodations are included, and what types of housing and meal plans are available.

How much is the program? Will it fit your budget? Look at what’s covered by the program cost, and the cost of additional expenses such as your flight there, meals, books, a phone plan, etc.

Would you be going on the program with a group of friends, or on your own? Think about whether it’s important to you to have the support of people you know, or whether your priority is stepping outside your comfort zone and meeting new people.

Is one of your goals to learn or improve language skills? How different is the culture from your own? Perhaps you’re looking for a similar culture to better connect with the people there, or maybe you’d rather challenge yourself to adapt to a completely different way of life.

A lot to think about, which is why it’s never too early to start planning!

Why should you go abroad? This PowerPoint slide isn’t big enough to fit all the reasons!

Among the many reasons to study abroad, some of the biggest include working toward your future, gaining new skills, and developing new perspectives.

How does education abroad help you work toward your future, you may ask? You can continue working toward your degree by earning academic credit; you can boost your resume by demonstrating in one bullet point that you’re adaptable, flexible and have experience in cross-cultural environments; you can sharpen communication and language skills! Going abroad can be an excellent way to learn a language, but regardless of the language you’re speaking, interacting with people from other cultures will help you communicate more clearly and effectively! And whether you’re looking for a job or applying to graduate school, education abroad sets you apart from other college graduates.

There are also plenty of skills to gain while abroad! Cultural awareness and empathy allow you to put yourself in another person’s shoes, which is important not only in the workplace but in daily life. By taking on the challenges of navigating life in another country, you’ll be able to adapt more easily to changes that come your way, and you’ll be a better problem solver, having put these skills to the test many times while abroad! And self-confidence—this is a big one. There’s no doubt that taking on an education abroad experience makes you feel like you can handle anything else that comes your way!

Finally, education abroad helps you develop new perspectives by challenging your comfort zone. Learning how to use a metro system, ask for directions in a foreign language, shop in a grocery store where you can’t read the labels, plan a weekend trip—these are just a few examples of the ways you’ll push yourself while abroad. Overcoming these challenges helps you grow as a person, and gives you the confidence to take on the world!

Education abroad introduces you to new experiences and new people, and offers you the opportunity to explore the world in a way that can be difficult to do after college.

It will absolutely broaden your understanding of the world, but you’ll be surprised to find that at the end, you’ll understand your own country better, too.

On a more personal level, education abroad helps you to realize your best self. It will make clear who you are, but more importantly, who you want to become.

So maybe a better question is, why SHOULDN’T you go abroad?

One thing that prevents many students from considering education abroad is finances. What financial assistance is available for education abroad?

First, we recommend planning ahead. UNG has some amazing resources at your fingertips—the Student Money Management Center can help you set a budget and work toward your education abroad goals.

Some great news is that if you go on one of our approved programs, you should still be able to use your financial aid, such as the Pell grant or Hope/Zell Miller scholarships. Your Financial Aid Advisor will help you determine exactly how your financial aid will work for your education abroad program.

In addition, the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships, or NCS, at UNG is a phenomenal resource. NCS has a team of fellowship advisors to work with UNG students to find national scholarships and support them through the application process. In fact, UNG is ranked nationally as a top producer for many study abroad scholarships, such as Gilman.

There are also a lot of creative ways to raise money. Students in the past have created a gofundme, or been helped out by their community. You could hold a yard sale or a bake sale, or maybe even utilize social media!

Bottom line: If you have your heart set on education abroad, there’s usually a way to make it happen! Just be sure to take advantage of all your resources.

So we’ve got you thinking about going abroad (or maybe you’ve been set on it from the beginning!): Where do you start?

The first thing to do is visit our website: ung.edu/cge. You can search through programs, explore your options, and start to get a sense of what you might be interested in.

Plan to attend an Education Abroad Fair in the fall – we host them in late September. This is a fantastic opportunity to speak with faculty, students, and providers about the programs available.

We also have other events throughout the year, including Information Sessions, which are a good chance to learn more.

Definitely give us a follow on social media to learn about what other UNG students are doing and stay up to date with all of our CGE events.

There’s a lot involved in planning for education abroad. But here’s some good news! Your CGE Advisors are here to guide you throughout the process!

You can easily set up an appointment with a CGE Advisor at cgeadvising.ung.edu

We’re here to help, and we’re always happy to talk with you.

Still have questions? Please email us at global@ung.edu, or set up an appointment with a CGE advisor! 

Don’t forget to check out our events throughout the year!

We look forward to working with you to reach your education abroad goals!                                                                

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