So, K freshman/sophomore, or other ambitious college kids, what you should know beforehand, while thinking about the study abroad process and getting ready to go:
- Not all of the study-abroad programs are covered by K’s financial Aid system. This might put a damper on your dream to go to Denmark and some other places.
- For Fall/Winter/Spring Quarter of Sophomore year: Find out which types of your classes will be covered while abroad. A lot of the social science requirement classes can be fulfilled while abroad. So if you’re science major, wait until then to take them, unless you’re really want to try out a social science or two here @ K, to see if you want to switch majors.
- There are a few hidden fees, at least, a lot of other students and I felt that the CIP wasn’t very explicit about it:
- Transportation from your residence to the Airport that you’re flying out of. I’m flying out of Chicago for my trip. In the CIP handbook, you usually fly out of a big international airport like NYC [JFK] or LA [LAX] and the CIP only covers the plane ticket from the large aiport. to your study abroad destination. You have to cover the cost and book the flight from your hometown/location to the airport that you’re flying out of.
- Medical Shots: You can get them at the school travel clinic, the cost depends on where you go for study abroad, mine were $335.
- Passport Photos: Go to Meijers and get them, they’re still $20-30. Otherwise, I’ve heard they can be $40-50. Also, be sure to get extras. For Senegal, you need to get visas if you’re traveling to other countries during your winter break and the time after your program ends.
- You’ll have to choose (relatively early, around January of Sophomore year, I recall) if you’ll stay 2 weeks in your study abroad location after study abroad experience is done. Some kids travel around for that 2 weeks in the place that they go to. It’s really up to you. I’m staying the 2 extra weeks. You can change your decision afterwards if you want, but it will cost you $100-150 with the airline.
- You aren’t going to see your parents/family/friends for 3,6, or 9 months. It’s unheard of to go ‘home’ (to the USA) to see your family while you’re studying abroad. In some cases, families do come to visit you while abroad (if they can afford it). My parents were surprised that kids didn’t go home while abroad to see their families during holiday breaks (maybe just because they didn’t go to college and didn’t know).
- During Holiday breaks, some students stay with their homestay families, some will travel with other classmates.
- Don’t take difficult classes [no more than one hard one] the quarter that you come back from abroad. You’ll be busy adjusting to life at K and such.
I thought this knowledge would have help a bit; although this isn’t everything. As cheap as it sounds, part of the study abroad experience is improving your ability to maintain yourself while not knowing what’s going on around you and to figure out how to problem solve, adapt to situations which you cannot prepare yourself for.
I’ll be leaving Cleveland in less than 2 weeks for Study Abroad. I’m starting to feel unprepared and excited.