Common Concerns of Studying Abroad

When making my decision of whether or not to study abroad, there were a number of common concerns that I took into consideration. These included the following:

It is too expensive.
It will delay my graduation date.
It will cause me to miss my family, friends, and ISU activities.

The cost of study abroad was something I was pretty worried about due to the fact that it is generally more expensive than Iowa State’s in-state tuition. Thankfully, the study abroad office was very helpful and reassured me that there was really nothing to be concerned about. I learned that any financial aid used at Iowa State could be applied to my program fee. In addition, the study abroad office and the financial aid office offer tons of additional scholarships that can cover personal expenses.

I was also worried that studying abroad would delay my graduation date. Since I wasn’t planning to participate in a program that was specifically set up for my major, I was worried that the classes I would be taking wouldn’t count for my major and would delay my graduation date. Luckily, I knew I had wanted to study abroad since I was a freshman, and therefore saved a good majority of my general education electives. Because of this, I am able to double major, study abroad, and graduate in four years. All it takes is a little planning!

Missing family, friends, and ISU events is a concern that almost every study planning to study abroad experiences. This was definitely one of my biggest concerns regarding study abroad. Although I would really miss my family and friends, I realized that I would have the opportunity to make new friends while I am abroad. In addition, today’s technology allows for easy and frequent communication. Between email, Skype, Facebook, and various texting applications, I know the ability to talk to my friends and family is at my fingertips.

Studying abroad always comes with concerns and worries, but all it takes is a little research to realize that there is nothing to worry about. Talking to the study abroad office and friends who have studied abroad in the past will help you realize that studying abroad is an opportunity that you do not want to pass up!

– Carly Bro

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