This post is part of a monthly college planning series for members of the high school class of 2012 and their parents.
It’s been a rough few months for American students studying abroad. The political situations in the Middle East and the crisis in Japan have cut short numerous study abroad programs and cancelled others.
Despite the uncertainty, study abroad is extremely popular, and the opportunity of a lifetime for many students. According to the Institute for International Education, more that 250,000 American students study abroad each year, and the number continues to grow.
Almost every college offers study abroad opportunities, and at some schools, the number of students staying on campus is dwarfed by the number who spend at least one semester elsewhere. Living and learning in a foreign country takes the independence a student gains in college to a new level, provides an opportunity for immersion in new culture, perhaps enhances language acquisition, and broadens a student’s view of the world and himself.
Despite what feels like ever growing risk to study abroad, colleges have strong support networks established, which aid their students in travelling, living, studying and transferring credits, (and even evacuating, if necessary) around the world.
As you look forward to your college experience, consider planning to include a study abroad experience in your undergraduate years.