Education Abroad offers a lot of programs. Like, a bunch. And that fact alone can make the first step in going abroad one of the toughest.
Maybe you want to intern with a local media organization, maybe you need CHEM 3000, or maybe you’re interested in African dance and not sure where to even start? Don’t panic! Education Abroad is here for you. Read on for a helpful guide to picking a program to match a skill-set as broad as your own.
Regardless of your interests, your first step will be Abroad 101. A 15-ish minute video, which you can access by logging in here with your CU IdentiKey and password, Abroad 101 breaks down different program types, the process of applying, cost and more. It's the best way to get a quick overview of Ed Abroad, and it’ll help as you navigate the hundreds of options on our website.
Cool? Cool. Let’s move on to the fun stuff.
Laying out your priorities
Language is one of the first ways you can tailor your experience abroad to your interests. On one end of the spectrum are programs in English-speaking locations such as the U.K., Australia and New Zealand; and, more broadly, we offer options in English in more than 50 countries, including South Africa, Italy, China and many, many more.
Alternately, if language is a priority for you while abroad, there are tons of options to take classes in the local language. If you want to start learning a new language and hit the ground running, check out the language intensive options. As you’re getting started, consider the ways foreign language study can work with your degree and personal goals, then use the decisions you make to narrow your options.
Once you have even a vague sense of your language goals, consider your areas of study at CU and the types of credit you need while abroad. Are you looking to explore your major from a new angle while abroad? Or how about a range of content—you know, a little core, maybe a side of engineering humanities, elective credits for dessert? Remember, your classes can be one of the first ways you dig into the culture of your host country.
You’ll definitely want to meet with your academic advisor to map out your credit needs, but in the meantime, try this: Pick a core/gen ed class you could take while abroad and do a search for it on the program search page. Knock out your social sciences by studying Sustainable Food Production in Italy. Explore global diversity in Argentina or arts and humanities by taking Monsters, Ghosts & the Making of Modern Japan. These are just a few examples; Ed Abroad currently offers more than 15,000 courses approved for direct equivalencies at CU Boulder!
We should probably talk money for a minute. We’d recommend you start this part of the process by looking at a couple of the options that interest you on the cost comparison tool on our website, paying special attention to the comparative cost of attending CU.
Remember: These are your total estimated costs, so the numbers include things such as airfare and housing. You’ll notice that a surprising amount of programs are quite similar in overall cost. Your existing CU financial aid applies to education abroad, and even more scholarships are available!
Finally, consider some of the other opportunities available while you’re abroad. By this, we don’t just mean trips included in the program fee or internships—though, seriously, do an internship. We’re talking more generally about your own personal hopes and goals and the ways you can leverage your education abroad experience to its full potential.
Interested in public health? Consider study in a developing nation and maybe combining your classes with service learning. Love the outdoors? From Chile to South Africa to New Zealand, we can help you find your mountain. If electronic music is your jam, Berlin might be the city for you; but, then again, you could check out Latin America's thriving punk scene or dig into traditional Chinese folk music.
You have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new location, and your existing passions can help direct that immersion.
One last thought. Remember that at one point or another, everyone in our office has gone through the same process you are going through now. We get it. The world is a big place, and we think it’s pretty cool, too. Don’t hesitate to ask how we eventually made our decisions. There are a lot of different paths to take, and we're here to ease the process as much as we can.