Below are some frequently asked questions about studying abroad while at Friends University.
What is study abroad?
Studying abroad is the act of pursuing educational and cultural opportunities in a different country. Students take classes at an institution abroad that transfer back as credits at Friends University. They can be applied as major, minor, or elective credits.
Why should I study abroad?
Students plan international experiences for a variety of reasons, but all come back with amazing stories, memorable experiences, and better academic and professional prospects.
- Strengthen your major or minor: You’ll be exposed to international perspectives on your chosen major that deepen your understanding beyond the boundaries of the Friends University campus.
- Build language skills: The best way to learn a new language is to be in an immersive environment fully experiencing a culture’s food, literature, ideas, sights, sounds, and language. Whether you’re a beginner wanting to learn the basics or at an advanced level wanting to gain some real world language experience, you can find classes to suit your needs.
- Gain a competitive edge on the job market or graduate school applications: Employers tend to give hiring preference to graduates who have completed an international experience. Study abroad shows a company that prospective employees have mature attitudes and open minds. Study abroad can set you apart from other candidates since you’ll provide a unique perspective to the academic program or discipline.
- Learn about other cultures, discover your heritage, make friends, become more tolerant toward people different from yourself, learn how to deal with the new and unexpected, develop confidence and independence.
- Inspire a career, develop a global resume, make yourself more marketable, volunteer.
How do I study abroad?
Friends University is proud to have the following study abroad affiliations:
Best Semester: With our affiliate membership in the Council for Christian Colleges and universities (CCCU), Friends students can study both internationally and domestically with the BestSemester program. Interested in studying in Ecuador? In Costa Rica? Explore your study abroad options at www.bestsemester.com.
CISabroad is committed to providing high quality, affordable study abroad programs in over 20 countries! CISabroad supports students at each step of the process—before, during, and after your study abroad experience you’ll be supported by a CISabroad staff member.
Built into each program is the La Vida Local culture series. You’ll see where the locals eat, shop, and hang out, and you’ll come to understand the culture in your host country.
There are hundreds of options for classes that can count toward your degree.
Each study abroad or internship program includes: pre-departure orientation and support, airport pickup, on-site orientation, on-site support from the CISabroad Site Director, La Vida Local program, excursion options, comprehensive medical and accident insurance, quality academics or an intensive internship, guaranteed housing, re-entry orientation and support, a university transcript, and career and professional resources.
How do I choose a program?
Before you start looking at programs, there are some questions to ask yourself:
- When do I want to go abroad? The earlier you start planning for study abroad, the easier it becomes since you can organize your classes and finances in advance. Think about your major. Is there a semester that would work best, or maybe a summer? Do you play a sport that limits your availability?
- What do I want to study while I’m abroad? When you study abroad, your credit will transfer, but you need to think about the types of classes you want to take. Are you planning to take courses in your major or minor? Do you want to focus on your general education credits? Do you want to take lecture based courses? This is a question that you can work with your faculty advisor to answer.
- Where To study abroad? You might have a location in mind already! However, don’t forget that certain locations will offer more of a specialized academic area than others. You can easily search through the programs on the provider’s website to determine which locations fit your academic interests.
- How long do I want my program to be? Study abroad doesn’t have to be for a semester. Any student can study abroad, even if you play a sport or can’t be gone for a semester! There are summer options that range from three to eight weeks. You can find shorter volunteer and intern abroad options as well. You also have the opportunity to participate in a Friends faculty led study abroad program. These are shorter, usually one to four weeks long, and are taught by Friends faculty.
- Do I want to learn a language? All classes, unless they are language specific, will be taught in English, so you can study abroad in any country, even if it’s a non-English speaking country. You don’t have to have any classes in that language, however knowing the basics definitely helps you communicate with the locals! If you have already taken several language courses, you might consider taking a class for your major in that language for the challenge! Study abroad is a great time to pick up and perfect language skills.
- Do I want to travel independently or with a group? Would you feel more comfortable going abroad if you went with a group for a short period of time? Friends faculty led programs are the perfect programs for that. You go abroad with a Friends faculty member and other Friends students and have a chance to really view your course material from a new perspective. You can also choose to go through a program provider. Each provider has its own support network both abroad and here in the U.S., so even though you won’t have other Friends students there, you’ll have plenty of support while you’re abroad. You can easily do some independent travelling this way! Some programs even offer excursions where you can travel as a group.
Before You Apply:
Before applying to a study abroad program, schedule meetings with Financial Aid and your faculty advisor.
The Financial Aid Office can help you determine how much financial aid you are eligible for in the coming terms so you have a better idea of how to plan your finances for your study abroad experience.
You faculty advisor can help you determine what classes would be best for you to take while abroad and plan out the rest of your time here to ensure you complete your degree requirements on time.
Do you have a passport? You’ll need one before you leave. It must be valid for 6 months your return date!
Ready to Apply:
To apply for a study abroad program, you have a two-part process.
- First, see Dr. Preston Todd for Friends University application materials including your course credit transfer forms.
- Second, apply with your study abroad provider! You can find the application on the provider’s website. Follow all instructions as they are given and provide all of the necessary materials.
Be sure to apply for CISabroad scholarships! These grants and scholarships can be used to help offset program costs and travel expenses.
Check out the IIEPassport Study Abroad Funding scholarship database. This is an easy to use study abroad scholarship search engine.
Also be sure to check out other national scholarships:
- Boren Award
- Gilman Award
- Fund for Education Abroad