Investigating study abroad centers at colleges and universities

Want to enrich your education and better prepare yourself for the workforce? Consider looking into the study abroad centers at the colleges and universities you’re interested in.

Students with plans to attend post-secondary education can take visits to colleges and universities to learn more about a particular school. These kinds of visits can help to answer questions about the school such as “Do I really want to attend this college/university?” They also allow students to learn the requirements for admission, find out about financial aid, visit with students and faculty and observe campus life and the environment. Other great things to check out when making a college visit is the campus service learning center and career center. Exploring these resources will help youth learn how the college will help them become civically engaged and prepared for the workforce.

When considering how to make the most of your college experience, have you also thought about participating in a study abroad program? When a student participates in a study abroad program, they study or take classes in other countries for a period of time, often a semester or year. This experience exposes students to the culture, lifestyles and learning environment of another country. These skills and experiences will be useful to students entering the workforce in a global economy. Participating in different educational activities will also help students learn and build skills for their career and a study abroad program will assist in these areas.

If a study abroad experience sounds interesting to you, make an attempt to visit the study abroad center during your next college visit. These offices may be called different things; for example Michigan State University has the Office of Study Abroad. During a visit, consider asking questions like:

  • How can I get involved in a study abroad experience?
  • What countries can I visit as a participant in this program?
  • What does studying abroad consist of?
  • Are research opportunities and internships part of the study abroad experience?
  • How will participating in a study abroad program help me in college and prepare me for my career?

Students interested in study abroad can also participate in international educational activities to help prepare them for the experience before they enroll in college. Michigan State University Extension’s 4-H Youth Development programs has many international exchange programs that will help begin the process of learning from an international educational experience.

Some of the benefits of participating in study abroad and international exchange opportunities are the opportunity to travel the world, learn from other cultures, develop and sharpen skills and build an international network. As a student going to college, or preparing to go to college, take advantage of all opportunities that are available to help you learn and prepare for your career.

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