Study Abroad Misconceptions
“I Can't Study Abroad Because...”
Below are some common misconceptions that prevent students from studying abroad.
“It’s too expensive.”
A semester or a year abroad costs about the same as a semester at UR. If the student receives financial aid, it will transfer to a Rochester-sponsored study abroad program. Counselors in the Financial Aid Office and their study abroad counselor will help them plan. There are many special merit and need-based scholarships for which students may be eligible, such as Gilman, IIPP, and those awarded by UR-affiliated programs.
“The courses or credits don’t transfer.”
Study abroad advisers will only recommend programs where the courses do transfer. Most students are able to earn credit for majors or minors by consulting the department’s undergraduate adviser.
“My parents will never go for it; no one in my family has ever studied abroad before.”
That was true for many faculty and staff who went abroad, too. Tell students to come to an information meeting, get the facts, and share them. Also let them know that advisers are always available to talk to parents about their concerns.
“I’m a science (or engineering) major so there’s no way I can study abroad.”
Pick up a copy of our “Study Abroad Opportunities for Science and Engineering Students” flyer for a list of programs. Suggest that the student talk to their faculty adviser and Dean Lisa Norwood. There are many locations for them to choose from. Planning during the first or second year is the key.
“I’m a double major and my advisers say I don’t have time to go abroad.”
Suggest that the student bring course descriptions and other information when meeting with their adviser? Let them know that the study abroad office will help them work with their adviser.
“I don’t speak another language.”
Study abroad can change that. Or there are many programs where courses are taught in English.
“I have learning disabilities.”
Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning counselors and study abroad advisers will work with students to identify courses of study to suit their interests, talents and academic needs.
“I’m planning Take 5/med school/grad school/law school. I can’t fit it all in.”
Students who have clearly defined interests such as graduate or professional schools can plan with counselors in the Center for Study Abroad, the Center for Academic Support, and the Career Center. Feeling short on time? Take Five can allow students to integrate study abroad into their plans. The Center for Study Abroad is here to brainstorm with them.
“I’m concerned about what employers or graduate schools will think if I study abroad.”
The Career Center urges students who study abroad to highlight it on resumes. Employers and graduate schools—yes, even medical schools—look for independent people who are flexible and can adjust to new situations. Study abroad alumni can tell you that interviewers always want to know more about their international experience.