The Guardian’s Guide to Studying Abroad

The Guardians Guide to Studying Abroad

The prospect of traveling to a foreign country in lieu of being stuck on campus year-round — and earning course credit while you’re at it — may seem like an enticing, yet far-fetched opportunity. If the thought of forking up all that money to cover the steep expenses of the trip or the idea of spending all that time applying to different programs is disheartening, you may want to reconsider your options. Each year, numerous students study abroad in various countries, most notably the U.K., France, Italy, Spain and China. Though the cost of these global excursions range anywhere from $8,000 for a summer program to $30,000 for a full year abroad, financial aid and scholarships can help fund your trip. To give students a head start, the Guardian has gathered some practical information from the UCSD Programs Abroad Office.

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London

By Katheryn Wang, Staff Writer

The nice thing about studying in London is that you’ve already nailed the language requirement. All you have to do now is worry about making the best of your experience abroad and learning the local slang.

By simply traveling on foot, students can explore many unique attractions in this vast city — everything from national landmarks, such as the Buckingham Palace, to quaint cafes. Of course, with the fast-paced life, it’s necessary to find a good balance so that you won’t fall behind in your studies.

Students can visit London via EAP or through the five-week long global seminar for MMW 15,  “History and Culture in London.” Participating schools include London School of Economics, Sotheby’s Institute of Art and UC Center London. The GPA requirement for EAP spans anywhere from 2.0 to 3.3, and the programs offered tend to focus on art, economics and politics. The MMW 15 global seminar allows students to visit historical landmarks, such as the City of Cambridge, and attractions like The British Museum. This year, Professor Babak Rahimi, an associate professor of communication, culture and religion in the department of literature, is leading the seminar. The first information session will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 5 p.m. in the International Center Oceanids Pavilion.

Ireland

By Sydney Reck, Contributing Writer

For many people, leprechauns and alcohol are all that come to mind when considering Ireland. While one of these definitely has a strong presence in Irish culture, the academic opportunities that exist there are even more notable.

Most UCSD students study in Ireland through EAP, which offers four options. First is an Irish immersion program, where students can study in Dublin, Cork or Galway — an especially relevant pick for students interested in literature, as they can learn about the heavy influence of Irish writers on world literature. For the politician and businessman, two internships in the Irish Parliament and the Quinn School of Business allow students to apply their knowledge in an international work setting, respectively. Finally, a summer program in Dublin specifically emphasizes science and engineering, so the science majors can also experience Ireland’s verdant beauty while earning 12 UC quarter units.

And of course, you can kick back with a world-class Guinness and Jameson every now and then, too.

India

By Sydney Reck, Contributing Writer

Colors, sounds, spices and people. You could be exploring the Ajanta Caves, which harbors history as old as 200 B.C., or visiting the Konark Sun Temple and learning about India’s own Sun god, Surya.

With UCSD’s extensive selection of programs, there are a variety of ways you can study in India. International Studies Abroad and the American Institute for Foreign Study both offer chances to study Indian language and culture in Hyderabad. Also, EAP boasts three separate programs in Hyderabad, Pune and the country’s capital  — one of the oldest cities in the world — New Delhi. Hyderabad, known as the City of Pearls, is home to centuries-old bazaars as well as modern research institutions. In Pune, students have the opportunity to do research or complete an internship following a seminar on social and historical India.

In a country that integrates both the ancient and the modern world, a study abroad experience in India is a gem of an opportunity.

Spain

By Katheryn Wang, Staff Writer

One interesting fact about Spain is its daily nap period, known as “siesta” in Spanish, during which everyone is allowed to return home for a short nap. So for those students who experience waves of overwhelming drowsiness after lunch, Spain is the place for you.

This summer, UCSD students can study in Spain via the five-week global seminar, “Crusaders and Conquistadors in Spain,” led by Professor Paul Goldstein, associate professor in the department of anthropology. It will focus on the complex history of Medieval Spain around the 1490s.

The seminar will take place in the oldest historical site in Spain, Toledo — also know as the City of Three Cultures due to the coexistence of Christianity, Islam and Judaism within its walls. Outside of the the four hours of class each week, students can peruse the bustling streets filled with family-owned shops selling different food or trinkets. In addition, students can choose to explore the various areas of Spain outside Toledo, like the famous Madrid, with the extensive bus system.

The seminar offers two upper-division courses for a small class of 15 to 25 students to allow students to better connect with their peers and the professor. Information sessions will be held on Oct. 14 at 5 p.m. in the International Center Oceanids Pavilion and on Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. in the International Center Lounge.

Japan

By Katheryn Wang, Staff Writer

For those looking for a perfect blend of fast-paced city life and the peace of rich, traditional culture, Japan is the place for you.

The convenient part is that you don’t have to know Japanese to go to Japan. Most of the things there are printed in English as well as in Japanese, and its citizens have a basic command of the English language. In addition to having one of the most reliable train transportation systems in the world, Japan is known for its active nightlife. Students will find anything from ordinary clubs to “Bunny Cafes,” where customers can enjoy tea while petting rabbits.

Students looking to study abroad in Japan using financial aid are encouraged to go through EAP. Participating schools include University of Tokyo, Osaka University, Keio University and more. There are no language requirements for Japan through EAP, but students are encouraged to study basic Japanese before they head off across the Pacific Ocean.

Australia

By Chanelle Wang, Contributing Writer

Welcome to the “land Down Under,” where you can take a morning class about the principles of computer programming languages and explore the Great Barrier Reef in the afternoon. Study abroad in Australia through EAP or OAP in the coming year, and you’ll have the chance to do just that.

Through EAP, you’ll have the opportunity to study and receive UC credit at many of Australia’s renowned institutions, including the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney, in subjects ranging from business administration to religious studies. OAP offers just as many opportunities, and you’ll be able to earn transfer UCSD credit at top-notch Aussie universities, such as the University of New South Wales, Australian National University and the University of Western Australia, where courses offered vary from computer science to archeology.

Who knows, maybe you’ll even pick up the accent and come back 10 times cooler.

Programs

EAP – Education Abroad Program

  • Offers full-year and short-term programs
  • Possible destinations include 35 countries and approximately 100 universities
  • All nine UC campuses participate in EAP
  • All UCSD, state and federal financial aid can go toward EAP
  • Outside, EAP and Programs Abroad Scholarships are available (refer to pao.ucsd.edu)
  •  Most popular study abroad program at UCSD (half of the students who study abroad choose EAP)

OAP – Opportunities Abroad Program

  • Provides the broadest range of travel opportunities in comparison to OAP and GS (students can apply to study practically anywhere!)
  • Offers transfer credit only
  • Only state and federal aid can go toward OAP
  • Outside, program provider and Programs Abroad Scholarships are available (refer to pao.ucsd.edu)

GS – UCSD Global Seminars

  • Five-week long summer program led by UCSD professors
  • Small class sizes (between 15 and 25 students)
  • Students earn UCSD credit through enrollment in a bundle of two courses for a total of eight units (all courses are taught in English)
  • All UCSD, state and federal financial aid can go toward GS, and there are 25 $2,000 scholarships that students in the OASIS or TRIO program can apply for.
  • About a quarter of students who study abroad choose GS

Steps

  1. Watch the “First Steps” video at icenter.ucsd.edu, or attend one of the “First Steps” information sessions hosted by the Programs Abroad Office.
  2. Explore program options. This will help you to determine which program seems most fitting for you in relation to where you want to study, the course credit you need, your college curriculum and what you can afford.
  3. Start making plans to finance your trip. Look into the different scholarships and grants that you can apply for. Check online at pao.ucsd.edu for a list of scholarship opportunities and deadlines.
  4. Meet with a Programs Abroad Adviser for a more in-depth evaluation of your options. The adviser will listen to your needs and recommend the best options.

Tips

  1. Start researching study abroad opportunities early on in order to give yourself plenty of time to plan for your trip. Usually students need to begin planning six to nine months in advance before going abroad.
  2. Keep track of all the deadlines throughout the application process. Deadlines vary by program and course of study.
  3. Apply for as many scholarships as you can. $500,000 in scholarships are provided for students to study abroad each year.
  4. Give yourself enough time to ask for letters of recommendation. If you’re having trouble securing a letter from a professor, it’s alright to ask a TA.

First Steps Information Sessions

Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. (Dining Room)

Special Feature: Hong Kong & Singapore

Thursday, Oct. 24 at 12:45 p.m. (Oceanids Pavilion)

Special Feature: Programs “Off the Beaten Path”

Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. (Oceanids Pavilion)

Special Feature: Global Seminars

Thursday, Oct. 31 at 12:45 p.m. (Dining Room)

Special Feature: Economics and Business

Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. (Oceanids Pavilion)

Thursday, Nov. 7 at 12:45 p.m. (Oceanids Pavilion)

Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. (IC Lounge)

Special Feature: Korea

Thursday, Nov. 14 at 12:45 p.m. (Oceanids Pavilion)

Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. (Oceanids Pavilion)

Special Feature: Human Development

Thursday, Nov. 21 at 12:45 p.m. (Oceanids Pavilion)

Special Feature: English-Speaking Programs

Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. (Oceanids Pavilion)

Thursday, Dec. 5 at 12:45 p.m. (Oceanids Pavilion)

Financial Aid & Scholarships Information Sessions

Financing Your Experience Abroad Session

Friday, Nov. 15 | 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

International Center Pavilion

Gilman Scholarships Information Session 

(includes Scholarship Essay Writing tutorial)

Tuesday, Nov. 19 | 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

International Center Lounge

Boren Scholarships Application Workshop

Tuesday, Nov. 19 | 5:40 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

International Center Lounge

Programs Abroad Expo Fair

Monday, Oct. 28
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. | Price Center Ballroom West
Over 70 exhibitors will be present.
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