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Study Abroad FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

We have put together the most common frequently asked questions that students have about studying abroad:

Why should I study abroad?

Studying abroad is a life changing and rewarding experience. For a complete list please review our Top Ten Reasons to Study Abroad article. Some important reasons for studying abroad are as follows:

  • Learning a new language
  • Experience another culture first-hand
  • Improve your job prospects
  • Learn to appreciate other cultures
  • Gain a unique and new appreciation of one's native home country
  • Meet interesting people from around the world

Will a study abroad experience affect or improve my job prospects after I graduate?

Transnational companies are increasingly looking for people who have international
experience. Having a familiarity with a different culture and language speaks volumes about your ability to be adaptable and will greatly increase your employability.

A June 2007 study conducted by Global HR News showed 8 out of 10 executives surveyed believed a study abroad experience was a key factor for placements within their companies. Some of the key findings showed as follows:

  • "Cultural awareness/sensitivity/tolerance" and an "international perspective" topped the list of the attributes valued by HR executives among prospective employees with study abroad experience.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of HR executives surveyed said that a study abroad experience within a culturally diverse student environment distinguishes a job candidate from others studying only with students from their own country.
  • Eight in 10 (80%) HR executives believed that an international education experience is important in distinguishing a candidate for overseas job placement.
Data source: Global HR News Survey

Who can participate in study abroad?

Virtually anyone can participate in a study abroad program, though most programs are designed for undergraduate students who have completed at least 1 year of coursework. Most programs require a minimum GPA of a 2.75, while more
competitive programs require a 3.0 GPA.

Further qualifications for acceptance include good academic standing, letters of recommendation, and a personal study statement. Language requirements will vary per program depending upon the destination country and the student's focus of study. Additional qualifications may exist depending on the program to which you apply.

For a statistical breakdown of study abroad see out Study Abroad Student Characteristics & Demographics reference page.

For how long should I study abroad?

You can study abroad for as short a time as 2 - 8 weeks during a summer, take a full academic semester during spring or fall, or study for a full year or even longer.
Some programs are a short time lasting just a few weeks. For a statistical breakdown of how long most student's study read our article on typical Study Abroad Student Duration.