A Crash Course on Studying Away

Throughout the college application process, the study away opportunities each university offered to students was always something I found to be at the top of my check list when evaluating if a school would be a good fit for me. Luckily, Furman has INCREDIBLE study away opportunities which made me fall in love with this place even more.

I chose to write about study away this week because I just found out I was selected to study abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland (!!!!!) for the Fall 2020 semester. WHAT A DREAM!! I’m feeling all sorts of emotions: excitement, nervousness, happiness, and even a bit of fear. I adore Furman and all of the wonderful things it’s given me, and although I am so beyond stoked to spend the fall of my Junior year living the Scottish dream, I will surely miss my life here in GVL for those four months. Whether you’re sure you’d like to study away or even if you’re barely thinking about it, here are some of the different options you can choose from:

  1. Furman Faculty Lead Programs: This kind of trip is exactly how it sounds. Furman faculty members design a trip with specific courses to either take place domestically or overseas. My trip is a faculty lead program, and I am super excited to have some semblance of home by taking a class with a Furman professor while also branching out and taking classes at a local university. My favorite part of the Edinburgh program is that it has a built in internship abroad! Whether your internship is in Parliament or even at a school or hospital, the options are endless and I feel like this foreign internship experience is an amazing way to grow. 

2. Affiliate Programs: Affiliate programs are super popular among Furman students! These programs are directly through Furman but rather are larger organizations, not led by Furman faculty, and you’ll be studying with students from all over. Furman has many different options for affiliate study away options– among the most popular are DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia, TEAN (Australia & New Zealand), and CIMBA in Northern Italy. All of these programs are great options, and I like affiliate programs because the application process is the same as a faculty led trip: you fill out the same online application and then have an interview with our on campus affiliate coordinator. Many people look to these trips to take classes that Furman doesn’t offer! 

3. Non-Furman Study Away: Although this is less common of an option, some students do choose to participate in a Non Furman program. Studying away at Furman is a pretty competitive process, and I like that whether you get into a Furman program or not, you can always resort to an outside option. Additionally, you won’t be all alone in the process of sorting through your options! The study away advisors are incredibly helpful and will walk you through the process of finding the right study away for you. Some of my friends didn’t really connect with any of the options offered, so they decided to branch out and spent their semester at sea and travelled all around the world!

4.  MayX: May Experiences, or MayX, are most definitely the most popular study away options among students. These programs all take place after LDOC (last day of class) in the spring and are typically around three weeks. There are MayX options that take place in America and options that go abroad, but it’s really up to you to see where you feel like you’ll thrive the most. Taking advantage of a MayX could be good if your major doesn’t really allow for a whole semester abroad, if you aren’t sure you want to spend a full fall or spring abroad, or if you’re just really interested in the class being offered on the MayX! These experiences are all faculty lead, and are all based around a class. For example, my roomie who is an Education major is going on a MayX to Finland to learn about their education system. I think Furman does an awesome job exposing all of the students to amazing opportunities abroad such as this!

Ultimately, studying abroad is NOT a necessity to having a fulfilling college experience. Although in high school I was sure about studying abroad, I almost didn’t submit my application this year because I knew I would be perfectly content staying on campus and soaking up all of the great things Furms has to offer. I hope that this was helpful to you as you begin to decide if studying away is the best option for you!

I’m always here to chat too! If you have any questions or concerns about Furman please reach out to me! My insta is @alexandra_rick ! And as always, Roll Dins!

Have a happy week!

Alex

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