Want to Study Abroad? Here’s What You Need to Know

May 22, 2023
College student studying abroad

Clemson study abroad programs are a valuable opportunity to make college experience unforgettable and accelerate your professional goals. Case in point: research from the Institute of Educational Sciences reveals that 52 percent of graduated students confirm studying abroad was a factor in landing their first job. Additionally, 40 percent agree it helped them make a strong impression in interviews and 36 percent feel it’s elevated their career trajectory.

Studying abroad is a chance to immerse yourself in another culture and stretch your worldview. You’ll return with more than just a few course credits—you’ll come back with new friendships, perspectives, and ideas (which makes it pretty well-worth your time).

How to Choose the Right Study Abroad Location

No two countries are alike. Each has its unique climate, ethnic identity, customs, traditions, religions, dialects, cuisine and social norms. It’s important to choose a location that aligns with your specific objectives for the study abroad experience. All corners of the world have something beneficial to offer—it’s just a matter of selecting an ideal fit for you. Remember, the location you pick is where you will live for a summer, a semester or even an entire year, so weigh the decision carefully. Use these questions to pick the right Clemson study-abroad location:  

  • What do you want to learn about? Are you drawn to Chinese history, South African politics, Italian music and art, French architecture or Ecuadorian ecology? Narrow the search based on your educational interests. 
  • What are your career aspirations? Do you plan to enter the tech field? Japan, India and Germany are good options to consider. Are you interested in the healthcare industry? Taiwan and Switzerland are known for medical innovation.
  • What is your main set of priorities? Do you prefer a more urban or rural environment? Would you rather speak a language you already know or learn a new one? Evaluate how willing you are to step outside of your comfort zone.

How to Prepare for the Study Abroad Experience

Once you determine where you’ll be heading, it’s time to move on to logistics. Clemson study abroad programs are now open for summer and fall 2023. Be sure to apply and schedule a time to meet with the faculty advisor of your chosen destination as soon as you’ve received an acceptance letter.

After those initial details are taken care of, you can start putting the wheels of your trip in motion. This is the best part—but it could also be stressful if you don’t have a clear plan, so here’s how to set yourself up for success:

  • Start searching for financial support. It’s not cheap to travel to another country, let alone live there for months. Structure a budget for airfare, rent, utilities, food, tuition, supplies, transit, excursions, and souvenirs. Study abroad scholarships can offset the overall cost—use this resource to apply.
  • Secure housing accommodations. Your home for the duration of this study abroad program shouldn’t be a last-minute decision. Whether you’ll be living in a university dorm, with a local host family, or somewhere else off-campus, it’s crucial to make the arrangements in advance.  
  • Plan for the weather. Research the average temperature of your chosen location for the particular season you will be there. Heading to the tropics of Costa Rica in June will require you to pack much differently than braving the windchill of northern Canada in October.
  • Switch to an international phone plan. Mobile phone data and high-speed internet access are musts when you’re overseas. You’ll need these services to use GPS navigation, call or text home, do academic coursework, and post on social media. 
  • Contact your bank. Before boarding the plane, share those travel plans with your bank. This process ensures the bank won’t decline any transactions and keep your debit card active while you are abroad.
  • Prepare emergency contacts. Life is unpredictable, so you never know when a crisis might occur. There’s no reason to let fear keep you on the sidelines, but it’s important to make a list of who to contact in an emergency while you are abroad.
  • Obtain all course materials. You may need specific textbooks and other materials for your Clemson study abroad classes. Depending on the location, you may also need travel adapter plugs to use your computer and submit assignments.

Get Ready to Maximize the Benefits of Studying Abroad 

If you are interested in a Clemson study abroad program this year, consider this your roadmap to getting there. Whether you’re taking a wildlife conservation course in Kenya, a Spanish immersion course in Argentina, an information technology course in China or a performing arts course in England, it could be the opportunity of a lifetime!