Which Study Abroad Program is Right for You?

Short Term Programs

If your need to explore runs deeper than your pocket, perhaps a short term experience is best for you. What’s more of a dip-of-the-toe than a full-on plunge, a short term study abroad program allows for students to become global citizens at a lower cost. According to Sharon Li, director at CGE, most short term excursions occur in the summer and last around six to eight weeks. Costs vary depending on location.

Pros:
Shorter time abroad means less courses to pay for and less money spent.
According to Li, sometimes donors cover mission programs or specific service learning trips for students. “It’s not a certain thing, but it’s been happening most years, and we hope it continues to happen.”
Study in the summer if your major courses are only offered in fall or spring semesters.

Cons:
Financial aid does not transfer for short term trips, not even USF-sponsored ones.

There are two types of short term excursions: USF-sponsored programs and external programs.

USF-Sponsored Programs
The interdisciplinary trip: Students take both    academic and culture classes.
The study tour: Students travel to a location specific to a class they have taken the semester before.
• The immersion trip: Students don’t take courses, but instead focus on service learning (usually done through Arrupe Immersion Programs or the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good).

External Programs
•  A study abroad through another institution  such as Boston University programs or outside education programs

Intersession
If summer is time to work and not play, perhaps you’d prefer an even shorter short term program. “Intersession and spring break are becoming more popular study abroad times for majors who can’t afford to leave,” said Li. If you’re looking to spend January outside of the country, you have several options: USF sponsored immersions for service learning, external programs, and the occasional faculty-led study tour.

Pros:
ª   Quick trips means even less cost.
•   Good for nursing students and other students
with a demanding curriculum.

Cons:
ª   Less options.
ª   Faculty led trips are usually a last minute.

Long Term Programs
If you’re in it for the long haul, you have the option of a semester long program or a full academic year abroad. Again, there are the choices of USF sponsored trips and external programs. “If you’re taking a USF sponsored trip, it translates as if you’re here—so courses, financial aid, and units transfer easily,” said Li.

Pros:
•   All financial aid does transfer to USF sponsored trips (except for work-study).
•   Room and board abroad are usually equal or less to USF tuition.
•   You don’t have to pay for MUNI fees or technological fees, which saves you about $250.

Cons:
•   Generally more costly as a whole because it is a longer time.

Last 5 posts by Kathleen De Lara

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