Hello current and prospective CLA students! It’s a common goal among university students nationwide to want to fit some travelling into their college experience. Even with so many eager students, only 3% of the OSU student body ends up studying abroad, on average per year. I, myself began looking into study abroad options only 3 short months ago, and was just accepted to study abroad in Chillán, Chile this upcoming Fall! I’m here to tell you that although the process may seem daunting, Oregon State’s campus is full of support and resources to help simplify it every step of the way!
Step 1: Internship or Study Abroad?
Oregon State offers over 200 approved study abroad programs, in variety of locations all over the globe. Another, more hidden opportunity is IE3 Global Internships. OSU allows students to intern in businesses around the world in order to prepare them for the global job market. Each program, whether it be a study abroad experience or an internship, has different benefits. That’s why finding the right program for you can be the trickiest part! Which leads me to Step 2…
Step 2: Attend a First Steps Meeting
The office of International Programs holds First Steps Meetings Monday through Friday, at noon and 4 pm in Heckart Lodge to get newcomers started on the right track. Attending one meeting is required in order to make an appointment with a Study Abroad advisor. You’ll sit down with students who have returned from studying abroad to discuss the basics of program options, financial options and how to apply. When I attended my First Steps Meetings, I found talking to someone in person made the process seem a lot more manageable. The students who facilitate the meetings know a lot about the process and the options available to students- they’re there to get you ready and excited about going abroad!
Step 3: Make Your Advising Appointments
This step is where some people start to lose steam. In the International Programs office, they require you to pick a location/region because advisors cover specific regions to better serve students. But there’s no pressure! You can meet with as many advisors from as many different regions as you’d like. Not only will your advising appointment help you to be more confident in your destination choice, but advisors are practically brimming over with information about the various programs available in each country. They’ll discuss your interests here at OSU’s home campus, and how who you are can be incorporated into finding the right program for you. To make an appointment, call the International Programs office at (541) 737-3006. Once you’ve done that, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your general academic advisor as well. Advisors in the CLA office can help you to examine your coursework and look at how studying abroad or interning abroad can fit into your degree. To contact the CLA Advising Office, call (541) 737-0561.
Step 4: Program Preparation
Once you’ve picked your program or internship, the remainder of your preparation is program specific! There are forms (financial, academic and health) that need to be filled out, and the application for whichever program you choose may require essays, transcripts, recommendations etc. Usually, each program will have it’s own individual checklist that helps students navigate this last leg of applying.
There are a myriad of programs available- including one that’s right for you! Don’t hesitate to talk to your academic advisor about the prospect of studying abroad, even if it’s a ways down the road in your time here at OSU. Get curious and get started!