Study Abroad is one of the most exciting aspects of the college experience. Of the students who study abroad, the majority choose to study Fall semester of their Junior year. However, much of the planning for study abroad takes place Sophomore year. But first-years, it’s never too early! Here are some of my tips for preparing to study abroad:
- Think about where you want to study. Peruse the Study Abroad Resource Library in Guild and the list of approved programs. I find it helpful to keep in mind location, language, and whether credits will transfer or if the courses offered are particularly apt for your major.
- Talk to your deans and teachers. My academic dean, my major advisor, and my teachers have answered my many questions and helped me navigate study abroad programs.
- Attend Bryn Mawr Study Abroad Information Sessions sophomore year. (These are mandatory!) And Pre-departure Information Sessions. (These are also mandatory!)
- Once you have selected a program, get a head-start on your application. There may be several supplemental essays. You will be required to submit recommendations from your teachers. Make sure to ask them in advance.
- Representatives from many of the programs will come to Bryn Mawr throughout the year to give information sessions. Even if the program may not be your number one choice, attend the information sessions anyway. You may learn something about the program that you didn’t know. Come with a list of questions ready!
- Have any lingering questions (or doubts)? Find out whether other Mawrters have participated in the program you are interested in and ask them about it!
- There is always summer! If you are worried about fulfilling all your credits and cannot commit to a semester abroad, consider summer programs. For those interested in pursuing French, there is a fantastic yet intense program under the auspices of Bryn Mawr in the ancient city of Avignon, France.
One of the most important elements of study abroad is experiencing a new culture and way of life. As a French major, I look forward to the debates and discussions in French class at BMC, but nothing compares to going to a high school play in Avignon with your French host sister, or sitting next to a fisherman from Marseille at a bistro in Paris. Therefore, take advantage of study abroad and Bon Voyage!
Check out Banter Blogger Paola and her adventures in India, South Africa, and Brazil!