Making the leap: how to get connected to study abroad

For students looking to expand their college experience to other campuses, Baylor Study Abroad provides group semester, exchange, affiliate and faculty-led programs across the globe. Now is the season to attend information meetings and begin applications.

Lexi English, coordinator of semester abroad programs, said students interested in study abroad should first talk to their academic adviser and get their passports early. Available class credit is a large aspect of the decision on a program. One smart tactic is to plan to take general education classes and electives while studying abroad.

“We want to get you in an area that you’re interested in, so you can get the experience you’re looking for,” English said, “But then we’re going to look at your degree audit, just to make sure that the courses you need are offered where you want to go.”

Cost is often a huge concern for students. The good news is financial aid and scholarships that apply to the regular academic year will also apply to fall and spring semesters abroad. Two options are the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program and the Glennis McCrary Goodrich International Scholarship.

“The study abroad scholarships that go through our department, like the Goodrich scholarship, are due close to the deadline to the application for your own program,” said Brenham senior Anna Dahlquist, the study abroad peer adviser.

Baylor offers three semester-long, group study programs: Baylor in London at the Foundation for International Education, Baylor in Maastricht and Baylor in St. Andrews. Dahlquist said Baylor in London is only offered in the fall semester.

Though it’s only a short time, English said students return more confident and willing to encourage other students to try study abroad.

“We want you to read great literature, see great art, experience various cultures so that you can do something really fantastic with your life,” said Dr. Alden Smith, co-director of the Baylor in Italy summer program. “We try to get students to think about the big questions in life, like why they came to Baylor, and not just career goals but personal goals. It’s a formative experience.”

Every program is different. Dahlquist said students often find one program that sparks their interest above the others. For some it may be European castles, for others it may be cross-cultural business projects.

“Students walk away with an experience from the East and saying, ‘I did something real. I made an impact on a company’,” Bradley Norris, director of Baylor i5 in China, said. “Every one of these projects is a million dollar plus project. We’ve got students helping companies make decisions on million dollar ideas.”

“Anytime there’s someone who’s like ‘I really don’t know about studying abroad’. I say, ‘let’s get coffee, let’s talk about it’. Because I promise, sitting in an office talking about the classes you’re going to take is much more threatening than sitting with someone who’s been there and can answer the questions on what you’re actually afraid of,” Dahlquist said

Students must have completed 30 hours at Baylor and have a clear judicial record or consent by the Center for International Education in order to be considered for study abroad. Minimum GPAs vary by program.

For more information, visit the Center for Global Engagement on the 2nd floor of the Poage Library or check out Information meetings are also a good way to meet study abroad “alumni” and meet the program directors.

Information Meetings Coming Up:

Sept. 24, 4:00 pm in Tidwell 211 | Baylor in Argentina (Summer 2016)

Sept. 24, 4:00 pm in Old Main 274 | Baylor in Germany (Summer 2016)

Sept. 24, 5:00 pm in Tidwell 202 | Baylor in Maastricht (Summer 2016)

Sept. 28, 4:00 pm in Poage Library 201B | Baylor in Maastricht (semester-long)

Sept. 29, 5:00 pm in MMSci GL 15 |Baylor Ed. In Costa Rica (Summer 2016)

Sept. 30, 4:00 pm in Poage Library 201B | Baylor in St Andrews (semester-long)

Oct. 5, 3:30 pm in McClinton Auditorium | Baylor in Great Britain (Summer 2016)

Oct. 13, 5:30 pm in Foster 226 | Social Entrepreneurship in Africa (May 2016)

Oct. 14, 4:00 pm in Carroll Science 101 | Baylor in Oxford (Summer 2016)

Oct. 14, 4:00 pm in Old Main 274 | Baylor in Germany (Summer 2016)

Oct. 27, 6:00 pm in MMSci GL 15 |Baylor Ed. In Costa Rica (Summer 2016)

Nov. 19, 4:00 pm in Carroll Science 101 | Baylor in Oxford (Summer 2016)

list of scholarships: