The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is home to the international programs center that has several study abroad advisors to help guide students through the study abroad process, so they never feel alone or too confused.
First, students should visit UNCG’s study abroad site, which offers a list of programs for your major. These programs have been curated to help students choose countries that offer courses within their major, however, they have the option of choosing their destination with the opportunity to focus on general education courses.
Once students have a host country, the International Program Center requires that students choose three additional host schools that the students are interested in.
Common questions are: “what if I’ve never been outside of the country?” “What are some of the things I should be expecting during my time abroad?”
Cultural shock is very real. It can be something very small, like the difference in portion sizes or large, like realizing the course material is completely different and offers a new perspective to students’ majors. If someone plans to travel abroad, they are going to experience some form of culture shock. However, it is smart to do research on any host country, whether that means studying a foreign language or learning the cultural etiquette of the country.
Most of the programs allow students to go through an exchange, which means you are able to use UNCG’s tuition to pay for your international studies.
Although there is often an exchange option, some schools abroad may not offer housing. Students should make sure they are able to afford the cost of living while in their host country, which means saving money from part time jobs and making sure they set aside refund checks to fund an international experience.
According to Tatianna Wilkins, a UNCG student studying in Peru, the transition is not too bad. “I pay rent, so it’s like the usual host family and you would still cook for yourself. However, if you are looking to immerse yourself in the language I believe this is the best choice! It’s $350 per month, including a washer, kitchen and room to yourself – also, twice a week a woman will clean the house.” Wilkins said.
Hostels are one of many options for students looking to study abroad. They offer a chance to truly immerse yourself in the culture. Also, all prospective study abroad students are required to attend a study abroad orientation. The orientation is a helpful resource created by IPC because it guides students through the process and provides them with tons of information on the steps they should be taking.
Not only are the advisors there to help but they invite international students to share their experience while at UNCG, as well as UNCG students that have studied in countries others may be interested in. Talking with these students gives prospective travelers the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your time abroad. Everyone is extremely helpful in the process of getting students to their host country, so there is never a need to worry.
If you are interested in studying abroad, contact an advisor in the IPC office.