We’ve all heard the classic story of a college girl who goes abroad to “find herself” and have an experience that completely “changes her life.” Studying abroad was one of the biggest things I was looking forward to during my college experience. At every college visit, I made sure to ask about their study abroad opportunities. Furman’s really stood out to me as they presented their study away opportunities as a part of the Furman Advantage. This was one of the many things that caught my interest even more. I am excited to also share with you guys that I am traveling abroad in the Spring to Stockholm, Sweden through an affiliate program, so this topic has been very relevant as I prepare!
For those looking for the traditional study abroad experience, Furman offers semester faculty-led classes, affiliate partner, or exchange program. Some destinations include Athens, Italy, Galapagos, and Vienna. I chose to study abroad for a semester Stockholm, Sweden because they offered several psychology classes that I was interested in taking and personally because it has always been on my bucket list!
Not everyone is interested in spending a whole semester abroad, whether it be too much time away from home, needing to pursue more opportunities here on Furman’s campus, or a multitude of other reasons. MayX study aways are perfect for these situations because they are only three weeks in the month of May once classes are over. Students are able to earn three credits as well. They have a variety of different topics that go to places around the world, within the United States, and they even have some classes that stay on campus. Some topics include Happiness in Copenhagen, Opera Overload in New York City, and Explorations of Mathematics and Science in Walt Disney World.
Students are encouraged to apply for programs through an online application with the Rinker Center for Study Away and International Education. Once they apply, they often have an interview with either a faculty director of the program or the program coordinator.
I personally applied for I think either four or five programs that I was interested in participating in. The application may seem lengthy as it is mostly short-answer based, but it was really just to learn more about why you’re interested, what you would gain from the experience, and why you would be a great choice. Once we received our responses, we have to confirm which program we want to accept and which we want to reject.
From then, it is a process of turning in the required travel documents, choosing classes, booking flights, and so on! I am at the point where I have turned in my documents, registered for classes, and am looking at flights to book! I just recently received an email from the study away office with a list of other Furman students who are doing the same project. I was beyond myself when I read it and found out it was just my roommate and I! We laughed so much because we expected other students to be going as well. However, that just means we will have to make plenty of new friends while we are abroad!
I imagined that the price of studying abroad would be too out of reach, impossible even for me to afford. I was surprised to find out that the price of semester study-away programs is equivalent the price of tuition, room, and board, just like if you were on campus. The price even includes course credits and room and board while abroad. Additionally, financial aid can be applied just the same way as if you were on campus. There are also even special study away scholarships through the Rinker Center or an affiliate school.
Furman makes studying abroad a feasible opportunity if that is something you are looking for! 500+ Furman students study away each year and 1/3 of Furman faculty members lead a study away program each year. I’ll be honest and say being gone a whole four months intimidates me more than I would like to admit. Studying abroad, however, has been something I have wanted to pursue since I was a little kid. I figured it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to go abroad while in college with my best friend! I can’t wait to keep writing and update you guys as I go through the process of studying abroad.