My sister is 5 years older than me and was in college during my high school years. She influenced me in a lot of ways, but a major one was the wanderlust. She caught the travel bug and therefore I did too! Once I realized study abroad was an option for me, I buckled down to making it happen. If you’re considering study abroad, I of course say do it! And if you need some insight into how to make it happen, here’s what you need to know.
What it really takes to study abroad and how to make it happen
Step 1: Research
I started by doing some research on places I wanted to go (hello Pinterest) and looked up my schools study abroad office. I also asked one of my close friends who studied abroad for her advice!
Step 2: Meet with your academic advisor
I set up a meeting with my business advisor to talk about if it was possible for me to study abroad credit-wise and how easy it would be to transfer the credits back to CSU. I learned that because I had taken almost all my core curriculum and had all my free electives, I had a lot of wiggle room!
Step 3: More research
My business advisor could only tell me so much about transfer credits without having a specific program to check out, so I decided to start doing some real research into places I do/don’t want to live, what my main goals are for studying abroad, and what factors are most important to me (ie price, business classes, etc)
Step 4: Meet with a study abroad advisor
After doing my research, I realized I wanted to study in Europe. I decided this because I’ve been to Europe before and loved it and I wanted the option to travel to a bunch of countries, which you couldn’t get really if you studied in Ireland or Australia or something less central. I set up a meeting the Europe study abroad advisor to ask what programs there are for me and my major. She asked what my priorities were and I said that price was my main concern, and business class was a close second. I didn’t want to be paying a bunch more to study because I wanted the option to travel (and I was paying for it out of my college savings so I needed to think long term). She showed me four different programs that were the cheapest and best fit academically. One was Prague, which a lot of business students at CSU choose, another was in Germany, and two were in Italy. She wrote down all the prices for each and roughly what classes could transfer back.
Step 5: Choose your first choice program
I chose to study in Italy because honestly I’m a very picky eater and Italian food is my favorite! I researched two cities that were going to meet my academic needs (Turin and Verona) and decided that Turin or Torino was more of what I was looking for. USAC actually offers programs in four Italy cities and they even provide a great blog post if you’re having trouble deciding which Italy program is right for you.
Step 6: Check out the classes and transfer options
Since I chose Turin, I looked up the program and checked out what classes were offered. I decided on a few classes and emailed my business advisor to see how transferable they would be. She said roughly what they could transfer back as and helped me fill out the transfer credit form. This form needed to be given to the Registrar office and the head of the Business program for final approval on what classes would actually transfer as. Once I got this back and saw what classes I could take, all I had to do was apply!
The process was definitely lengthy but so worth it. And my advisors were always eager to answer my questions! I can’t say that this will be the process that every student has to go through, it will definitely vary based on your university, but your academic advisor and the team at USAC can help get you through the process.
My best advice is to just do it! Meet with your advisors and create a plan, it’s actually so achievable to study abroad without 1) paying an arm and a leg and 2) putting yourself behind in school!
I hope this helps you get a grasp on how you can study abroad!!
Lexi Dageenakis studied abroad in Torino, Italy in Fall 2018. You can read more about her time abroad on her blog, be that girl.