The Obstacles to Studying Abroad

Gabrielle Lowery
Staff Writer

PC: Gabrielle Lowery

Let’s be real, most students on campus see the study abroad flyers and ground posts or have been to a campus event where advisors from the international program’s center were looking to sign students up. However, once you’ve signed up for a study abroad program that’s only the beginning of the somewhat tedious process.

Studying abroad is new and exciting but it also requires commitment, which can mean you running around campus to get signatures, emailing professors for letters of recommendation and attending events to acquire more information. 

Next month I will be traveling to Peru and I am still in the process of securing documents for my journey abroad. 

In the beginning stages of preparing to study abroad, IPC requires the completion of a study abroad application, which consists of three sections: application questionnaires, signature documents and material submissions.

The application questionnaires are the section that allows IPC to get to know students, meaning where and why they may want to study abroad. This section can be a bit time consuming, but it aids in the grants and awards students could receive for their journey abroad. 

I enjoyed completing this section because I was able to write my statement of purpose, which I was able to recycle when applying for additional scholarships to fund my trip.

Secondly, the signature documents section is one of the easier sections, consisting of documents that require digital signatures to indicate your agreement and understanding. 

While many people often skim or simply don’t read most documents that require a signature, I recommend that students take the time to read these documents and even save them somewhere as reference.

Finally, the material submissions section is where you have to do a bit of running around and emailing old or current professors. 

I spent weeks setting up and meeting with advisors and professors to determine the courses I wanted to take, obtaining signatures and recommendations and getting my passport. 

If you know you want to study abroad, I seriously recommend getting a passport or signing up for an appointment as soon as possible. Also, make sure to be aware of the documents necessary for obtaining one. 

I mentioned I’m still in the process of collecting documents, which is just my visa. Most students planning to study abroad are going to need a visa, which is an authorization from the territory you wish to travel allowing you to remain or enter for a certain amount of time. 

Although there are obstacles to the study abroad process, I believe it makes the journey even more worthwhile. It shows the determination you have to step outside of your comfort zone and enter new terrain. 

I only have a few more weeks until my departure and I know all the work I had to do beforehand was extremely necessary and will benefit me as soon as I step foot into Peru.

If you’re interested in studying abroad, you can find out more information online or call 333-334-5404.



Categories: Features

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