How to begin the study abroad process
At some point during their college careers, many UC Davis students opt to leave town and experience a different culture. From spending a quarter eating pizza in Rome to watching the springtime cherry blossoms bloom in Japan, students from all years and a variety of majors choose to study abroad. Located off the edge of campus on the intersection of Third and A streets, the UC Davis Study Abroad center is the first stop for beginning the application process. For those of you that are considering an international experience, here are five steps to kick off your search:
- Create a Study Abroad Profile
To create a Study Abroad profile, visit http://studyabroad.ucdavis.edu. From there, students can sign in with their UC Davis Kerberos login and fill out their information and interested programs.
“The Study Abroad Profile allows students to choose study abroad programs they’re interested in,” said UC Davis Study Abroad communications and marketing manager Blake Cooper. “[They can] connect with program coordinators by being placed on an email list to receive email updates about upcoming information sessions and other program information.”
- Choose programs of interest.
“If you are on a tight academic plan, check out our UC Davis Summer Abroad, Internships Abroad or Seminars Abroad programs for study abroad experiences two to eight weeks long,” said fourth-year environmental science and management major Emily Read. “[Study abroad] offer programs with a wide range of themes from microbiology to art history.”
There are many factors students should take into consideration when deciding which program is right for them, including fees, program excursions, academics and instructor information.
“You’re exposed to a completely different culture,” said fourth-year communications major Michael Small. “Especially if you go to a radically different country, like China. You’re not used to it, it’s just so different than what you are are used to. It has a lot of shock value. You kind of learn to deal with stuff. You learn to grow on your own and get lost and experience things.”
Students are advised by the UC Davis Study Abroad program to make note of application dates and when fees are due when looking at a program of interest.
- Talk to your college advisor and major advisor.
To ensure credit for courses taken internationally and fulfill requirements, all students are recommended to meet with an academic adviser to discuss potential study abroad plans.
“UC Davis Study Abroad courses can be used to fulfill major, minor and General Education requirements to gain internship experience or as a capstone to your undergraduate experience,” said program services assistant Nicole Uhlinger at UC Davis Study Abroad. “On some UC Davis Quarter Abroad programs you can complete a years’ worth of language in one quarter!”
- Look for ways to pay for studying abroad.
Students can talk to the financial aid office to learn about ways of funding their UC Davis Study Abroad program.
“A lot of people have this mind set that studying abroad is so expensive,” Small said. “Not very many people actually check to see how much it even costs. A lot of times, if you have financial aid, it will cover it or they will give you more money to study abroad.”
- Apply to your program of interest!
The application requires a health clearance, which can be obtained from the Student Health and Wellness Center, and a passport copy.
“The ARC Business Center is a great resource for purchasing passports and passport renewal,” Reed said.
According to the UC Davis Study Abroad office, students are advised to apply early because programs are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once you have completed all steps of the application, students must pay a $300 non-refundable deposit before submitting it.
Additionally, be sure to check eligibility requirements for each program online.
Photos by Anna de Benedictis.