Students, advisors recommend starting early, seeking help via advising centers
A significant amount of planning is required for studying abroad, and given that enrollment for faculty-led and immersion programs taking place in the fall of 2020 opens up this month, students interested in going abroad should start their planning now.
Dana Armstrong, a program coordinator and intake advisor for the Global Learning Hub, encourages students to come by the International Center on campus so that her team can help curious students find what they are looking for.
“International competence and global learning, in general, is becoming more important as our world gets more globalized,” Armstrong said. “Employers look for competitive applicants. To get more competitive in the workplace, soft skills learned through international travel, like the ability to communicate with people of different cultures and backgrounds, are helpful.”
Two types of programs that students can take part in include faculty-led programs and immersion programs. According to UC Davis’ study abroad website, the Global Learning Hub, faculty-led programs include courses from the general UC Davis catalog, are taken with other UC Davis students and are taught by a member of the UC Davis faculty. These programs are not merit-based and often require mandatory prerequisites.
This year, there are seven programs open for Fall Quarter 2020, 20 internship programs and 40 summer abroad programs — the details of which can be found on the Global Learning Hub’s website. Getting an early start is oftentimes essential, as these programs are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students must meet a medical clearance requirement and a passport check before they can secure a spot in the program through the payment of a non-refundable $300 fee.
Immersion programs work a little differently and require more dialogue, planning and involvement on the student’s end. With over 400 different locations available, this type of program allows students to craft their own custom experience abroad. Students apply through the UC Education Abroad Program website (UCEAP) to enroll in classes offered at a host university of their choice. Units gained through the program are UC-convertible, however, the Global Learning Hub urges students to meet with their major advisors to see if the units gained will contribute to their degree.
Second-year Japanese and microbiology double major Jacob Byersa attended the International Christian University in Japan for six weeks in the summer of 2019 via UCEAP. His biggest tip for students looking to go abroad is to avoid procrastination.
“As soon as you know you want to go abroad, talk to the abroad office to figure out what program […] you want to apply for,” Byersa said. “Write down all the deadlines you’re given in a prominent place, and try to get everything done as quickly as possible. Figure out if you need or want financial aid, and follow up on all the opportunities you’re eligible for.”
Fourth-year economics major Arielle Zoken attended King’s College in London over Fall Quarter 2019 through UCEAP. She said studying abroad pushed her out of her comfort zone, allowed her to meet new people and exposed her to a country she knew little about. She says the process was straightforward after she had a consultation at the Global Learning Hub.
“I gathered the various documents I needed — signatures, medical records, etc. — ranked the top three universities I wanted to apply to and heard back in May from King’s that I was accepted,” Zoken said.
Deadlines for immersion programs are as early as mid-January and faculty-led program deadlines are in April.
Written by: Isabella Beristain — firstname.lastname@example.org