Myth: Going abroad is way too expensive – there’s no way I could ever afford it.
Fact: There are many financing options available to anyone interested in studying, interning, or volunteering abroad. You might qualify for a grant, which is money you don’t have to pay back. You can also apply for some of the many international scholarships available, and there are always federal and private loans you can use to fund your trip abroad. With so many financing options, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to afford going abroad.
Myth: Studying abroad is just like studying at home – why bother?
Fact: Studying abroad is an entirely different experience than taking classes in your home country. Studying abroad affords you with hands-on opportunities to learn about foreign languages, cultures, history, literature, and more. Rather than reading about the history of Rome in a textbook, for example, you can actually go to Rome and see the history for yourself.
Myth: I won’t be able to get along in a foreign country if I only know how to speak English.
Fact: People all over the world know English, so your chances of encountering local people who know at least some English are pretty high. Also, studying abroad will help you learn a foreign language – if you are immersed in a new language and are forced to communicate with local natives, there’s no doubt you will soon develop your foreign language skills.
Myth: Volunteer and intern abroad trips are way too big of a time commitment – I just can’t be gone from home for a year!
Fact: The length of volunteer, intern, and study abroad programs vary. Some are only a few weeks long, while others are a few months, an entire semester, or even a year or longer. No matter the time commitment you can make, there’s a program out there that’s right for you.
Myth: Study abroad programs are better than volunteer abroad programs because they get you school credit.
Fact: Although school credit is a benefit of study abroad programs, both study abroad and volunteer abroad programs have pros and cons for every person. For graduated students or other individuals who don’t need school credit, an international volunteer program or internship may be a better fit. For current students who want to earn school credit while abroad, a study abroad program may be a better fit. It all depends on your individual circumstances, needs, and goals.