Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Study Abroad: Paper Work Galore

Bonjour!

Alright! So, you've been thinking about what study abroad means to you and you've even decided to take it a step further and go through with the application process. Awesome, I am extremely proud.!! Some things to think about when going through the application process are the deadlines, the various services that need to be accessed in order to submit all of the components required for your study abroad program, who is able to tell you what, and lastly, how to find resources that will be able to financially support your trip. First and foremost, the study abroad counselor is your BEST FRIEND!! Yes, your BEST FRIEND. I can't even begin to tell you guys how many times I have been to the study abroad counselors' office. I go there to ask her about deadlines, ways to improve my application and whether I am filling out a certain part on the application correctly. I mean guys, I went to this lady for ANY and EVERYTHING and I didn't even feel ashamed. Ok, I did feel a bit bad though!

Secondly, PLEASE keep on top of deadlines. Deadlines for the application, deadlines for recommendation letters, deadlines for scholarships, deadlines for everything. Make sure you ask professors and whomsoever you choose to write your recommendation letters ahead of time. One has to take into consideration the other priorities that that person has and they have to be given enough time to write a superb letter.

Thirdly, there are numerous ways to fund your study abroad trip. Usually, your study abroad counselor would provide you with a list of internal and external scholarships. Definitely apply, whether it be for $5,000 or $500. Any little bit helps. There are some amazing scholarships, such as Gilman International Scholarship, Gates Millenium scholarship, etc. If you have time, fill out as many scholarships as possible but also remember to keep checking the scholarship databases that your home institution provides as well.

Lastly, find out ahead of time if your study abroad location requires a visa. Depending on the country and its various rules, it might require a few things and that might take some time. When I planned to study abroad in Spain, my university offered those services, but now that I am going to Belgium, I have to do those things alone. I also had to do a full FBI background check (takes 8 weeks :/ ) for this program. Remember also that it takes some time to go through the visa process, so start applying in a timely manner.

If you guys have any questions or need any clarifications, leave a comment below and I'll try to help.

Quick Update: I have been accepted into my study abroad program and I only have 8 weeks til I am in Europe!!

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