If you’re looking into education abroad, there’s a good chance that you have a lot of questions. What does EA even mean? Who can study abroad? How do credits work? A lot of your questions can be answered on the FAQ page on the UK EA website that can be found here or in our EA 101 video that can be watched here. However, as an Education Abroad Peer Ambassador, I get many questions that go beyond the general inquiries. If you have more specific questions, a quick stop by the Education Abroad Resource Center in 315 Bradley Hall would get them answered. For the sake of this blog post, I asked my friend who has never participated in Education Abroad to look through the FAQ page and send me any questions that he had that aren’t necessarily covered in those answers. Just like I do every week in the Resource Center, I have answered them to the best of my ability, and I hope they can be a good resource to you!
- Where would I live if I study abroad? Do I need to find an apartment? For the most part, housing will be included as part of the program you choose to participate in. This depends on the specific program, and information about each of the programs’ housing arrangements can be found on the EA website. Most of the programs will have the option of either living with a host family in a homestay, a university residence hall, or an apartment. Most of these housing options can be arranged through the program provider and/or the university where you will be staying. Many programs also have the option for students to arrange independent housing if they choose, which is something that you would find on your own. This is not a very popular option, and most students choose to arrange housing through the program sponsor or university.
- If I want to study abroad again, do I need to do the same process as the first time? Yes! You still need to fill out the necessary application(s) for the program you want to participate in and make sure you have all of the required materials turned in by the deadlines. Students must still attend the required Pre-Departure and Re-Entry sessions, even if they have already attended them in the past. The process is the same, but will hopefully be a little easier the second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc.) time around!
- Is education abroad just international? Or can I stay in the United States? Education Abroad itself is solely international, but there is a great resource on campus that focuses on exchange programs within the United States. The National Student Exchange (NSE) is a program that works with many U.S. universities to allow students to “study away” for a semester or academic year. This is a great stepping-stone for students who are unsure about studying abroad and want to test out the waters at another university in the United States. More information on NSE can be found here.
- Are there specific courses that we are required to take? Or is it a free-for-all? The courses that you take while studying abroad depend on the specific program you choose and your personal needs/interests. The only required course that you have to take is ISP 599. Every UK student who is studying abroad will be enrolled in this 1 credit hour course, which has components before, during, and after the experience. The other courses that you choose to take will be organized before you leave and will hopefully be able to transfer over as UK credits. Some programs, like UK Sponsored, some UK Partner, and some UK Consortia, have pre-determined courses that all students must take. Other programs, mostly UK Exchange and UK Direct programs, will allow you to choose from a wide variety of courses that are offered at the university at which you will be studying, just like a semester at UK.
These are just a few of the many questions that students have regarding Education Abroad. If you have more questions, please stop in and ask!
Photo courtesy of cnn.com.
Adam Kiser is a sophomore at the University of Kentucky studying Animal Science. Adam participated in the ISA Valencia program in summer 2015.