Study abroad and national exchange programs have countless educational, professional and personal benefits. Besides being able to have new experiences in different cultures, nearly every major offered at Boise State has classes offered abroad, which provide global perspectives on subjects and classes within a student’s major. There can also be more opportunities for exploring new topics or interests that can’t be found in Boise.
The Global Learning Opportunities (GLO) office at Boise State is the center for information, advising and guidance on study abroad programs. From their website, students can find information on study abroad locations, programs, scholarships and necessary travel documents. They also offer informational sessions held over Zoom for students thinking about or planning trips abroad.
“We have really worked hard to eliminate all of the barriers towards going abroad,” said Eden Taylor, the senior program coordinator at the university’s Global Learning Opportunities office.
Taylor, who works with all outgoing students, shared that common barriers to studying abroad include financial concerns, inflexible majors and time constraints. However, most of these potential obstacles can be discussed with advisers within the GLO office.
Exchange programs offer a more affordable option. Program locations include the U.S. and Canada, in addition to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam.
Students looking for affordability but are set on studying in foreign countries can also take advantage of study abroad scholarships.
For students who are concerned about graduating on time or fulfilling major requirements away from campus, Boise State’s course finder allows students to search every class offered in study abroad programs in addition to the location of the program, the semesters the class is offered and how credits are transferred.
“We typically recommend that students contact our office six to nine months before they intend to go abroad,” Taylor said.
According to Taylor, this allows students and advisors to plan out their classes and how the program will affect their major, but she also recommends that students from more “restrictive” majors contact the Global Learning Opportunities office earlier to ensure they have all the information ahead of time.
Demi Harris, a media arts and communication major who graduated in May 2021, spent over a year abroad in Florence, Italy, attending the Florence University of the Arts, and advises anyone thinking about studying abroad to “definitely, definitely do it.”
“When you go abroad, you change so much as an individual even more, and I think that that can really help further you not only in the education process, but in the growth process,” Harris said.
Harris also recommended that students research the university they would attend first and know what they hope to get out of a study abroad before they begin applying to programs.
“I did a lot of research on universities before I went, and I’m so glad that I did because the university I ended up choosing was a fantastic one,” Harris said.
Students interested in learning more about study abroad programs can use the GLO website and register for a Study Abroad 101 Zoom session to ask questions and meet other interested students.