The Clog’s guide to how to plan for studying abroad

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Ah, every young college student’s dream — the beautiful scenery, delicious food and rich cultural atmosphere. Some of us have wanted to study abroad since the days of “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” while others may have simply seen the vibrant traveling posters plastered around campus. Regardless of why you’re interested in studying abroad, all that matters is that you want to learn more!

Welcome to the Clog’s guide for planning your study abroad adventure! We’re here to help you organize your thoughts and round off the perfect college experience! Here are some resources to take advantage of:

Visit the Berkeley Study Abroad website

This home page should be your go-to! The Study Abroad page is teeming with programs in every corner of the world and it has everything you need to know! It can be easy to fall down the rabbit hole of destinations and opportunities, but you might just be surprised by what you can find.

Learn about financial aid and scholarships 

If you’re daydreaming about traveling internationally for school, you definitely do not want to be limited by tuition costs. Luckily, there are several opportunities to apply for financial aid and scholarships. Check out listings and consult with the study abroad advisors in both the Financial Aid and Scholarships and Study Abroad offices for additional opportunities that cater to your specific needs. You can also search for scholarships online! This article from U.S. News and World Report also has some private funding opportunities, as does this list from GoAbroad.com.

Visit the advising office

When you find yourself overwhelmed by questions that aren’t on the FAQ page, don’t worry! Advisers are here to help you navigate the exciting (and sometimes confusing) process of studying abroad. You can drop-in to be seen by a peer advisor, or meet with a financial advisor who can let you know about scholarships/aid opportunities that may not be listed online! There’s even advisers for each individual country you may be interested in visiting. Even if you feel like you don’t need to know more any more about studying abroad, meeting with an advisor can still be a great way get some tips and tricks that won’t be found online!

Read some student profiles

What better way to learn about the study abroad experience than from your very own peers? Study abroad programs enlist the help of program alumni to provide feedback and relay their experiences to the future generation of Bears Abroad, like you!

Consult your major advisor

The major advising page is a great way to discern background information about what kinds of programs you may be eligible to receive course credit for. This site will also list major advisors for study abroad programs, so you can make sure you are getting the help you deserve!

3 tips from us:

  1. Whether you’re determined to go abroad, on-the-fence or even just thinking about it, make sure that you meet with an adviser early. Ask them to help guide you through ambiguous topics such as eligibility requirements, planning ahead, financial information/assistance, program deadlines and even strategically planning for when to come back for your next advising appointment.
  2. If you are interested in the University of California Education Abroad physics program, or really any program for that matter, get in contact with the graduate schools you are interested in before signing up, to make sure it is accepted. Especially if you are an intended premed student, contacting medical schools prior to enrolling in this program is very important.
  3. Talk to friends who have been in the program. Understand what their likes and dislikes about the program were. You can also consult online forums, such as Reddit, to get the inside scoop on your program of choice. Make sure to take the extreme reviews (harsh critics and adoring fans alike) with a grain of salt, because everyone experiences things a little differently. This is a great forum to ask questions and learn more about how other people felt while studying abroad.

We hope that these resources provide clear avenues for you to start learning about studying abroad, bon voyage!

Contact Pariswi Tewari at [email protected].