College may seem like an eternity, but before you know it, you’re wearing your cap and gown thinking, “wait… it’s over? I forgot to study abroad!” If that sounds familiar, you’re probably wondering, “well, can I study abroad the summer after graduation?”
Yes! In some instances, you can study abroad — and even intern abroad! — after graduation, but it depends on a few things, including:
1. The Provider and Your Home Institution
Some study abroad or internship program providers offer options that allow you to tack on extra credits to your diploma, as long as you go abroad directly after you graduate! If your graduation is in May, for example, it may be possible to do a summer study abroad program that will still allow you to accrue credits towards your degree. Ultimately, it’s up to your home institution to approve this, and it depends on whether you can find a provider that meets your needs. Be sure to talk with your school’s study abroad office and/or your Academic Advisor for details.
There may also be opportunities for you to intern abroad the summer after you graduate, either for-credit as described above or just for the benefit of international work experience. It’s a great way to boost your resume before you start job hunting or pursuing an advanced degree! Since this type of experience doesn’t have to be for-credit, odds are there will be more program options available. You don’t want to sleep on this opportunity!
2. The Host Country’s Laws
In some countries, the U.S. included, student visas are only granted if a student is currently enrolled in university. Some countries are a little more relaxed and will extend a student visa for various reasons.
If you plan to do an internship program abroad the summer after graduation as opposed to studying abroad, a visa may be required — but the program provider you choose (like AIFS Abroad!) can often assist you with securing it if needed. They can also help you determine which destinations abroad will be most accommodating to recent grads.
It’s also vital to note that the country where you’re hoping to study or intern abroad the summer after you graduate may also have certain age restrictions that are important to research.
3. The Host Institution
There’s one more factor that can determine if you’re able to study abroad the summer after graduation, and that’s the school in the host city you’d be staying in. Some schools overseas may require that you be currently enrolled at your home university to participate in courses at their institution during the summer. Plus, housing can also be a factor — they may have limited dorm space, for example, and therefore require giving rooms to students currently working towards a full-time degree.
Ultimately, the program provider you’re considering going through will be able to advise whether the host institution you’re interested in abroad will be able to accommodate you — so ask! If you’re looking at direct enrollment opportunities, the host institution abroad will be able to help, as well.
Don’t forget about financial planning.
If you’re planning to study or intern abroad the summer after you graduate, one thing you won’t want to overlook is financial planning. If you’re a recent graduate and not currently enrolled in school, that means you wouldn’t be eligible for a FAFSA package, which program providers (like AIFS Abroad!) may accept as long as your home institution gives their approval that the funds can be applied to a global education experience. It’s pertinent that you ensure you’re financially capable of committing to a summer program after graduation. Don’t forget to research external scholarships opportunities or find creative ways to fund your program.
Okay, grad — let’s do this!
Yes, even if you’ve already walked across the stage to shake the Dean’s hand, it may still possible for you to embark on an unforgettable adventure studying or interning abroad the summer after graduation. At AIFS Abroad, we can accommodate some recent grads on a handful of our study abroad and international internship programs. Get in touch with our team to learn more!