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9 Study Abroad Myths

Should I study abroad? Will studying abroad impact my graduation date? What will it be like living in another country?

Choosing to study abroad is a big decision - and lots of questions can come up during that process. Whether you're making the decision to study abroad in Spring 2015, or you're just waiting for your plane to take off, here are a few common study abroad myths, courtesy of Josh, Patrick, and Shane. What do these guys know? All three pulled from their own study abroad experience as CEA study abroad alums, CEA Alumni Ambassadors, and just being guys.

What are 3 study abroad myths you can debunk for other students considering study abroad?

Josh Lagunez

CEA Alumni Ambassador and recent graduate from the University of North Texas. Josh studied abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica during the Fall 2013 semester.

1. Study abroad is just for rich kids. It can be affordable through financial opportunities with your school and with CEA.

2. It's a vacation. You'll see some beautiful places and have tons of fun, but you are also there to learn and develop skills.

3. Other countries don't like Americans. Are there some countries that have issues with Americans? Of course. But there are also so many warm people who love that you have come to learn about their culture.

Patrick Gradus

CEA Associate Alumni Ambassador and recent graduate from St. Norbert College. Patrick studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, during the Fall 2013 semester.

1. You don't have to take classes seriously. There are going to be classes that require your attention.

2. Preconceptions about your host country are true: Locals are case by case basis, do not generalize.

3. It's a free-for-all: There are consequences to your choices. Remember you are still a guest in a foreign city - behave yourself. People can tell you're an American pretty quickly, so be nice.

Shane Heckman

CEA Alumni Ambassador and recent graduate from Penn State University. Shane studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain, during Summer 2012.

1. Studying abroad is too expensive: While studying abroad isn't cheap, it's definitely not as expensive as some people make it out to be. Not only that, but sometimes your school will allow financial aid to transfer for a study abroad program. That's like getting paid to go to another country for a few weeks. Programs like CEA offer incentives at times, like reduced airfare or travel vouchers, and even provide sample budgets on the website to reference before you go. Once you're over there, you can spend as much or as little as you want - it's really up to you.

2. Studying abroad will delay my graduation or set me back: Also not true, as I actually used study abroad to get ahead. Because I went in the summer, it was like me taking two summer classes and one of them even substituted as a required class for my Spanish minor. I was at the point where not only did I study abroad during a summer, but I also had an internship and was away from my university for the following spring - and I still graduated on time, without ever taking summer classes. If you talk with your school adviser, you can easily map out your classes and see when you can fit in studying abroad.

3. The application process is too difficult: CEA actually assigns everyone a Site Specialist to work directly with you to do everything you need. There are minimal documents to fill out and my application process was completed and I was accepted in less than 3 weeks.

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