10 things advisors should know about Study Abroad:
1. Students do not have to know another language to study abroad. Even in many non-English speaking countries, universities teach classes in English.
2. Students do not have to delay graduation. If a student starts planning a year or so in advance, he/she can often find a combination of general education courses and courses which will count for his/her major during a semester abroad. Or students can participate in summer or short term study abroad opportunities.
3. There are programs that offer courses in almost every major, (including Construction Engineering and Automotive Technology) please ask the student to contact the Study Abroad Coordinator to discuss options. Faculty interested in learning more about study abroad options for particular majors are also welcome to contact the Study Abroad Coordinator: Megan Corrigan firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. There are 4 different types of programs, ranging from a few weeks to an academic year:
a. Faculty led programs, where the student enrolls and gets PSU credit. PSU students may also enroll in faculty led programs at other US universities including KU and K-State. These tend to be 2-4 weeks in length and during the summer.
b. PSU in Paraguay, where the student travels independently, enrolls at PSU and takes courses with a PSU professor in English in Paraguay, and completes Gen Ed requirements.
c. Exchanges, where a student pays PSU tuition, but enrolls and takes classes at a university in Finland, Korea, Malta, Thailand or one of 10 other countries.
d. Programs run by providers who make study abroad their business- like Semester at Sea, ISA, Australearn - through these providers, students can study in countries not covered by faculty led or exchange programs - England, Ireland, Australia, etc.
5. Students should meet with the Study Abroad Coordinator as soon as they know they are interested.
6. All students need to apply for approval from the faculty Study Abroad Committee. They will need 2 letters of recommendation for that, one of which should be from you. The Committee has $45,000 of travel stipends to award to students annually.
a. Deadlines are October 1st for Spring programs and March 1st for Fall and Summer programs.
7. Study Abroad may earn students credit towards their major, but sometimes they are interested in it for personal enrichment. Either way, if they are not enrolling at PSU, there is a Course Credit Transfer Agreement that they must fill out.
a. This form requires several signatures, including yours.
b. The student should list the classes he/she plans to take abroad, plus a few back-ups.
c. The student needs to approach department chairs where a similar course at PSU might be taught with syllabi for the classes and ask the chair of that department to initial that the courses will transfer in (or not) and count as general education courses, towards their major, or electives (or not).
d. Then they need your signature, plus the signature of your department chair.
8. FAFSA Financial Assistance goes with the student as long as they take a fulltime load of credits (6 in summer, 12 in fall and spring.)
9. There are generous government scholarships available for US students who are under-represented in study abroad - this includes Science, Technology, Engineering and Math majors, this includes ethnic minorities and students with disabilities. Scholarships are more readily available to students wanting to study abroad outside of Australia and Western Europe.
10. Let the student know about PSU's Study Abroad website: http://www.pittstate.edu/office/study_abroad/home/
And about the Study Abroad Expo, which will be held each fall (contact the International Programs Office date and location). Let the student know that he/she is welcome to Whitesitt 118 for more information about Study Abroad opportunities on campus.
PSU is in the process of affiliating with specific programs and providers, who will then offer our students discounts. If you are aware of a study abroad opportunity that would be a good fit for students in your department and with whom you think an affiliation might make sense, please pass the information on to the Study Abroad Coordinator.
Also, if you are interested in leading a faculty-led study abroad program, there are resources on campus to help you with that - you can apply for funding from the Internationalization Council to travel to the proposed destination, make contacts, and start the planning process. The Study Abroad Coordinator can help you find an organization that will customize a program for you, help you promote your program, and help with the mechanics of student applications, waivers, and international insurance. Past study abroad faculty leaders can talk to you about what to expect. The Health Center can meet with your students to talk about immunizations. 90% of PSU students who study abroad go on faculty-led programs, and students are always asking about other faculty led options.