While the desire to study abroad may be in the back of many minds of Millersville students, the application process it entails can be intimidating. Although there are many steps to this process, with careful planning, it is very possible to remain organized and to have a good experience.
Found on the MU Study Abroad Program’s webpage is basic information you need to know about the program. The study abroad programs that MU offers includes studying in Australia, Chile, China, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Spain, and the United Kingdom. If none of these places interest you, the option to study abroad with another university or non-MU program is still available; however, these programs require the student to become more involved in the process.
Internship, student teaching, and professor-led programs are also available for students not interested in the typical study abroad program. While most students choose to stay for a semester and study at a university, there are other options for students who want to have the study abroad experience but only want to stay for a short amount of time. MU Professor-Led Courses abroad are for a shorter period of time, are less expensive and usually count towards three credits depending on the program. This kind of program evokes a more “field-trip” feel because it offers structured trips to certain places while also allowing free time for students to explore the area.
How long you wish to study abroad is flexible; you can study for a week with some programs, a semester, a year or even just a summer. To determine what place is best for you, Program Coordinator for the Office of Global Education and Partnership Olivia Peters recommends that students seek out the MU study abroad webpage and come by the Office of Global Education to receive more information.
“It is important to think about everything when choosing where to study abroad. Our programs are not designed to fit majors. There is so much more to studying abroad than just academics,” said Peters.
Once you have decided where you want to go, you will need to schedule an initial interests visit with the Office of Global Education, where your program coordinator will lay out the details of your program that will cover specifics such as costs and policiess. Students will also attend a study abroad 101 meeting where they should come with questions and be prepared to learn the process of applying.
When selecting what classes you will be taking, students are able to take a variety of courses that can count towards their major, minor, or just general electives. The Office of Global Education and Partnerships will guide students to classes which are available at the university where they will be studying abroad. However, students will need to meet with their academic advisor to determine which classes will coincide with the university they will be studying at.
The cost of studying abroad differs according to the program in which you are involved. Academic fees include MU tuition, a general and technology fee, a participation fee and a non-refundable application fee. Separate money must be also be set aside for personal fees which include paying for a passport, visa, food, travel and souvenirs. Although the amount of fees may be overwhelming, MU offers study abroad scholarships as well as financial aid, which is available for those who are eligible and can be discussed with the financial aid office. There is also an estimated cost sheet available for every program to help assist students in determining financial costs.
The actual online application process includes several steps in an ABC format. The A section includes the main application form for your chosen program, the B section includes individual health and policy forms, and the C section includes a space for two letters of recommendation.
For Millersville international studies major Janelle Haupt, although the application process required planning, it was not a difficult process. “I thought the application process was relatively easy, but you definitely have to be careful and double check everything just to make sure it is perfect,” said Haupt.
After applying, students will find out about two weeks after the deadline whether or not they have been selected to participate in the program.
If you are interested in getting more information about the current programs available, be sure to check out the Study/Intern Abroad open houses on March 27 and April 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Cumberland House. Studying abroad is a great opportunity for new experiences and self-growth, and the application process should not be a reason to dissuade anyone from going.