Published: Nov. 13, 2017

More than likely, the mention of study abroad conjures up images of Instagram-worthy candids from a land far away and new and exciting native dishes. At the same time, it might induce panicked flashes of giant tuition bills and degree audits gone unfulfilled long after your originally-anticipated graduation date.

Student feeding a kangaroo in Cairns, Australia (Photo by Madison Sankovitz)

Student feeding a kangaroo in Cairns, Australia (Photo by Madison Sankovitz)

So how does going abroad even work? And is it really worth it?

Just like many of the opportunities available on campus, education abroad can be a foggy concept shrouded behind a layer of myths. But, contrary to popular belief, anyone can study abroad. And luckily for you, CU Boulder Education Abroad has your back. 

Worried about finances?

Never fear—any financial aid you’re already receiving pops right on over to a semester abroad. Bonus: Some of our semester abroad options are comparable to an in-state semester at CU (got to love those Boulder rent prices).

Abroad-specific scholarships abound as well, be it for the country you’re studying in, your major at CU, or even simply just by virtue of becoming a Global Buff. Apply for as many as you can to make your experience as wallet-friendly as possible.

Need to graduate on time?

A common misconception is that spending a semester or year abroad is a death sentence to your degree audit, especially for STEM majors. But, if you understand it takes a bit more planning to get your semester abroad going, you can stay on track with your graduation plan.

Or if planning isn’t really your thing, consider doing a summer program instead. You can earn some extra credits over the summer, and you won’t have to rearrange all the classes on that handy-dandy spreadsheet of yours. 

We have over 10,000 courses already pre-approved for every major, minor and certificate available at CU Boulder, and we’re constantly approving more—so there’s no reason you can’t get credit for both your TAM major and ENVS minor abroad and throw that graduation cap exactly when you originally hoped to.

Be global

Still, you may be wondering why you should even bother. Sure, a semester in Italy sounds like a lot of fun, but is fun enough of a reason to put in all the work to go abroad?

There’s more to education abroad than having an adventure. Putting a study abroad experience on your résumé can show you’re adaptable, internationally-minded and keen on understanding different cultures and perspectives. Add an international internship to your abroad program, and now you’re really looking like a rock star to prospective employers. 

Students who go abroad return with a renewed sense of independence, a feeling of courage and an understanding they can accomplish more than they ever thought possible. After all, if you can make it in a new country, adapt to a different culture and live with locals that maybe don’t even speak your language . . . what can’t you do?

Get started

Want to learn more? Visit Education Abroad’s website for information on how to get started, and check out all the programs—there are hundreds of them, in over 65 countries! Then connect with an Education Abroad advisor to talk about which program might be best for you, and get going with an application.

Summer and fall 2018 application deadlines range from now through March 1. Get started now, and this time next year you could be studying Spanish in Argentina, participating in an archaeological dig in Greece or even feeding a kangaroo in Australia.