Studying abroad is an important part of your education here at Goucher. Despite the fact that everyone does it, studying abroad often comes with a lot of questions. From “Where should I study abroad?” to “How do I choose a program?” and “Where do I even start?” it can be an overwhelming process. However, I spoke with Office of International Studies Director Jennifer White to answer some questions about the study abroad application process that should help you get started!
Q: When should students start the Study Abroad process?
It’s never too early to start! We encourage students to come as early as their first year on campus to find out about the many programs and opportunities for a meaningful study abroad experience here at Goucher!
Q: If I were thinking about studying abroad, what should my first step be? Next?
The Office of International Studies has designed introductory workshops known as Study Abroad 101 for semester and short term programs. We encourage students to come to one of those workshops as their first step. Each is offered twice per week throughout the semester.
The next step would be to come to region- and program-specific workshops called Study Abroad 102, where students can learn about the programs offered in more detail.
Q: If I’m having trouble deciding on a study abroad program, who should I see for help?
We encourage students to meet with an OIS advisor for their program(s) of interest as soon as possible after attending the 101 workshops. Students can also stop by during drop in hours Monday to Thursday 2-4 pm for a quick overview/discussion with our advising staff!
Q: Are there any important policies or things students should know about (credit policies, grades, financial aid & scholarships, etc.)?
Beginning with this year’s entering class, students need to complete their study abroad requirement prior to their senior year. This policy has been implemented to facilitate student reflection in the classroom and in extracurricular activities upon the students return to Goucher.
For financial aid, Goucher’s approved semester programs allow students to apply/utilize their institutional financial aid awards for their semester abroad. There are also a wide range of external scholarships that students can apply for as well as Goucher scholarships administered by the Office of International Studies. Students do need to be in good academic and good judicial standing.
It’s useful to know that the [study abroad] requirement is fulfilled by an international experience at least 3 weeks long and carrying at least 3 units in credit. For short term programs this can be an international internship, a Goucher faculty-led Intensive Course Abroad, or a short term program external to Goucher.
Semester and ICA program grades transfer into the Goucher GPA! It’s a great idea to consult with your faculty advisors on how study abroad fits in with your academic plans.
Q: Any advice or suggestions for students starting the study abroad application process?
Try to imagine yourself after your study abroad experience and think through, “what are the most important aspects and goals for my time abroad?” It really helps to come to OIS with an idea of what you want your study abroad experience to be about so that our staff can help match our available programs with your goals!
For more information regarding study abroad, visit the Goucher Study Abroad website at https://www.goucher.edu/learn/study-abroad/
All students who plan to study abroad are required to attend a Study Abroad 101 session in OIS. Each session lasts about 30 minutes and covers topics such as how to explore program options, applying for a study abroad program, how to obtain academic credit, and financial matters. For semester programs, sessions are on Tuesdays at 4pm or Thursdays at 11:30 am. For short term programs, such as Summer or Winter ICA’s, sessions are Mondays at 1:30 pm and Thursdays at 4pm.
If you want to talk with someone in OIS email IntlStudies@goucher.edu to make an appointment or stop by during walk-in hours Monday through Thursday from 2pm—4pm.