11 Myths of Study Abroad
#1: Too expensive
Reality: The University of Southern Indiana provides a variety of Study Abroad Programs. Some are more expensive than others. However, USI does offer a program called International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), an organization committed to affordable international programs through direct exchange. Through this program students pay the same USI tuition, fees, and room and board that they are used to paying every semester. USI also offers a variety of scholarships specifically for students who study abroad.
#2: A waste of time and money
Reality: Some students (or their parents) believe that studying abroad is not really studying. The reality is quite different. In other countries the teaching methods can be different from what you are used to, but that does not make studying less valuable. In addition to the formal instruction you receive, very important part of learning takes place outside the classroom. You will gain experience you could never get at your home university. The entire experience abroad will change your life as well as employment potential. In fact, international companies are mostly looking for employees with the ability to communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds.
#3: Financial aid does NOT transfer
Reality: Most forms of financial aid and scholarships will apply towards programs approved by USI, because students are billed through USI.
#4: Have to speak a second language
Reality: While some programs do have a language requirement, many programs are taught exclusively in English. Some of these programs are located in countries where English is an official language (ex: Australia, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Kingdom) and some are hosted in countries where English is a secondary language (ex: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, and Turkey).
#5: My courses abroad will NOT transfer at USI
Reality: You will receive USI credit for all coursework successfully completed during your study abroad program. Sometimes study abroad can put you ahead of schedule.
#6: It is NOT possible to complete major requirements while abroad
Reality: USI provides a variety of programs that offer a wide range of major courses. USI has sent students abroad from every college on campus. Students should meet with their USI academic advisors prior to studying abroad to determine how their study abroad courses will transfer. Courses may count toward their major, electives, or Core Curriculum requirements.
#7: Studying abroad will delay graduation
Reality: Many students study abroad and graduate in four years. Students earn credit toward graduation requirements for many courses taken abroad. By frequently consulting and meeting with academic advisors, students can even study abroad for an entire academic year without affecting their graduation date. In fact, some students study abroad two or three times and still graduate on time.
#8: It would be better to go abroad after graduation
Reality: It is difficult to find time after graduation to study or travel in another country. College is a unique time that allows for a summer, semester, or year studying abroad. After graduating, most people find that the demands of work, family, and other responsibilities prevent them from spending significant time abroad.
#9: It's safer to stay in the U.S
Reality: Most risks faced by students around the world are similar to those in the U.S. The University of Southern Indiana closely monitors our programs and current worldwide news and events. All programs and cities are thoroughly researched before students are permitted to apply.
#10: Doesn’t help your career
Reality: Employers look to hire well-rounded employees who are able to demonstrate the ability to adapt well to new situations and thrive in multi-cultural environments. Businesses are increasingly growing into international companies and utilizing skills gained from a study abroad experience gives potential employees an edge that others lack.
#11: It's difficult to get accepted
Reality: Most of the students who meet the minimum qualifications and complete the application process are accepted to study abroad. The University of Southern Indiana is looking to increase the number of students studying abroad, and will work closely with students to find the program that best meets their needs and qualifications. USI provides individual meetings as students decide on a programs, as well as group orientation sessions to help prepare students for their study abroad experience.