Posted September 15, 2014

Top 5 misconceptions about studying abroad

Ryan S. Brandenberg
Study Abroad Week, a weeklong event dedicated to study abroad opportunities at Temple, runs Sept. 15 through Sept. 19.

Sept. 15 through Sept. 19 is Study Abroad Week, a weeklong event dedicated to study abroad opportunities at Temple.

Information sessions and special activities will be held throughout the week, including free coffee and breakfast at the Bell Tower each day. Students are also invited to participate in the #WhereintheWorld Can Temple Take You? social media scavenger hunt and enter a raffle for a chance to win a variety of prizes, including the grand prize—a flight voucher toward a study abroad experience.

In honor of Study Abroad Week, the Temple Today staff compiled this list of the top 5 misconceptions about studying abroad.

1. I can’t afford it. For Temple programs, students pay their regular Temple tuition for the semester; for all study abroad programs, students remain eligible for financial aid. Students can also apply for the numerous scholarships that are offered specifically for studying abroad. “There is money available for study abroad programs if students take the time and apply to the scholarships,” said Suzanne Willever, manager of outreach and communication for Temple's Education Abroad and Overseas Campuses. The Education Abroad office offers financing and scholarship workshops throughout the semester to help students realize how they can make study abroad a financial reality.

2. I won’t graduate on time. Typically, students take a full course load, or 15 to 17 credits, while studying abroad for the semester, which allows them to stay on track for graduation. Although many students go abroad during their junior year, another semester might work better for some. With proper academic planning, students in any major can study abroad and graduate on time.

3. I don’t speak a second language. Willever assures students that not speaking the language of the host country is no reason to worry. “There are many locations to study abroad that don’t require a student to speak a foreign language. Students can also take a language class on-site, which is the best way to learn a language quickly,” she said.

4. Planning for a semester abroad is too complicated. "There is certainly a lot of planning that goes into studying in a different country, so it is crucial to plan early," said Willever. The Education Abroad and Overseas Campuses staff are available to provide assistance every step of the way. From housing to scholarship applications, experienced professionals are prepared to answer any questions.

5. I can’t go because Temple University doesn’t have a program for the country I want to visit. Temple students can study in programs offered by the university in over 20 countries or participate in programs offered by Temple’s external program partners around the globe. “If we don’t have a Temple program that fits students' needs, we help them find programs that are a good fit,” Willever said.

—Siobhan Redding