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Faculty & Advisors

Study Abroad Misconceptions

Below are some common misconceptions that prevent students from studying abroad.

“I can’t study abroad because…”

“It’s too expensive.”

A semester or a year abroad costs about the same as a semester at Rochester. If the student receives financial aid, it will transfer to a Rochester-sponsored study abroad program.

Counselors in the Financial Aid Office and study abroad advisors can help students plan. There are also study abroad merit-based and need-based scholarships that students can apply to.

“The courses or credits don’t transfer.”

Study abroad advisors 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 advisor.

“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 advisors 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 advisor and The Hajim School's assistant dean for undergraduate studies. 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 advisors say I don’t have time to go abroad.”

Suggest that the student bring course descriptions and other information when meeting with their advisor. Let them know that the Center for Education Abroad will help them work with their advisor.

“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.”

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning’s counselors and study abroad advisors will work with students to identify courses of study to suit their interests, talents, and academic needs.

“I’m planning Take Five/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 Education Abroad, Center for Academic Support, and Career Center. Feeling short on time? Take Five can allow students to integrate study abroad into their plans. The Center for Education 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.