You’re hoping to live and learn overseas – but who do you talk to so you can start turning your dreams of studying abroad into reality? The good news is that you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. There are plenty of people and resources available to guide you through the process. Studying abroad is a thrilling adventure that opens doors to new experiences, friends and perspectives. But before you pack your bags, it’s essential to reach out to certain key players to help you make informed decisions.
Here’s who you should talk to first about studying abroad:
1. Family, Friends and Support Network
It’s important to talk to your loved ones early about your plan to study abroad. Take time to explain why you’re interested in studying abroad and how you think it could further your academic and career goals. Remember to listen to your family or support system when they share their worries or questions. By giving them a chance to voice their concerns, you can ease their minds and show them how you’ll benefit from your experience abroad.
We understand that discussing your plans to study abroad can be challenging. For more tips on how to start the conversation with your support network, check out our guide.
2. Study Abroad Office or Advisor
One of the first people you should talk to about your plans is a study abroad advisor at your home university or institution. Study abroad advisors are experts when it comes to international education. They can help you choose a program based on your interests and your school’s policies.
There may be different people or offices that can help you with your study abroad plans, depending on your school. Some schools have a study abroad office with a team of advisors who can help you choose a program and navigate the application process. Others might rely on a designated faculty member or administrator. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to reach out to your home university early in the process and find the resources that are available to you.
3. Academic Advisor
Your academic advisor at your home university can help you choose the courses you take abroad so you stay on track for graduation. They can give you information on how credits you earn abroad will transfer to your school. In most cases, you’ll need to have your classes abroad approved by your advisor as part of your application process.
4. Financial Aid Office
It’s a good idea to talk to the financial aid office at your school to see if any assistance you may receive can be applied to your study abroad program. Many study abroad providers, like AIFS Abroad, accept U.S. financial aid and outside grants or scholarships. However, it’s always up to your home institution and scholarship provider to determine how funds can be applied to your time abroad.
Did you know? AIFS Abroad offers scholarships and grants for our semester, summer and January term programs.
5. Program Provider
Study abroad providers are independent organizations that facilitate or administer study abroad programs. Services and program types can vary depending on the provider. Many schools have partnerships with study abroad providers – in fact, AIFS Abroad is affiliated with more than 400 colleges and universities across the United States!
With a trusted provider like AIFS Abroad, you’ll have support every step of the way. Our experienced team is there to guide you throughout your study abroad experience, starting from the moment you begin planning. You’ll also have on-the-ground support during your program. All AIFS Abroad programs have professional, full-time staff onsite to help you with any questions or issues while you’re abroad.
Start talking to the right people about your study abroad plans.
The AIFS Abroad team is here to guide you through every element of your study abroad journey. From submitting your application materials to applying for a visa if needed, we’ve got you covered.