Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience that expands students’ knowledge about their major, other cultures and allows them to learn more about themselves. Here are a few tips and tricks for studying abroad that will help students make the best out of their experience.
Deciding the place to study abroad can be challenging because of the variety of options. Maddie Lentino, a senior elementary education major, studied abroad in New Zealand during the spring of 2019. “When you’re picking where to go, choose a location that will allow you to travel to destinations within the country,” said Lentino. Traveling to various locations around the country will help increase cultural engagement, allowing students to see all the it has to offer.
In addition, studying abroad will show students how big the world is outside of Owings Mills, Md. Lentino suggested bringing a journal to record these experiences. She added that this is a great opportunity to reflect on and reminisce about the trip.
The study abroad program requires students to prepare for certain situations, such as culture shock. Culture shock is the experience of someone who shifts from a familiar to an unfamiliar way of life and values. Lauryn Davis, a junior business communication major, studied in Ecuador for two weeks during the 2019 Winterim term. Davis encouraged students to attend a crash course for their country of choice to learn “etiquette, cultural norms and a little bit of the country’s history.” Davis also said the study abroad experience is more beneficial when students are familiar with the language. This way, students can feel a part of their culture and not like a tourist. She also suggested bringing a dictionary for the language that is spoken in the country was a great way to translate when cell phone service was not available.
In addition to becoming acclimated to the country’s culture, Lentino and Davis also spoke about budgeting and saving for these trips. Students who choose to expand their education abroad must pay for meals, clothes and extras out of pocket; however, Stevenson University is willing to give various amounts of student aid to put towards the study abroad program.
The study abroad website offers a list of resources and a step-by-step guide to apply for the program which can be found here, or contact the International & Off-Campus Study at 443-394-9509 for more information.