Is Study Abroad for Me?
Many students believe that study abroad is not for them, mainly due to one or more of the most common myths. As long as you have an open mind and a desire to add an international perspective to your degree, it is fairly safe to say that study abroad is for you.
We want to send as many students abroad as would like to go and the truth is, no matter what your major, financial aid status, citizenship status or need for accommodations abroad, we can help you find a program that fits your needs. However, you should ask yourself these questions to determine if you’re comfortable going abroad:
- Can I try new things?
- Am I afraid to be away from home?
- Am I a risk taker?
- Can I adapt to a new culture?
- Am I comfortable with eating foreign cuisine?
Most programs will require a GPA of 3.0 cumulative or higher to qualify for study abroad, although College of Architecture students require a GPA of 2.5 or higher. You should also be in good academic and community standing and have completed at least one semester at IIT at the time of application. If you do do not meet these requirements, please let us know so that we can work out a plan. Permission is required from your department/college and the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Eligibility requirements for Faculty-Led Programs are also determined by the organizing faculty member.
Carefully consider the following:
- What are the physical environments like in your host country?
- Is learning mainly from lecture, readings, independent research, etc.?
- How are the assignments different?
- What housing options exist?
- Do you need to do your own cooking? How about laundry?
- Is transportation available and accessible?
Just as cultures differ, so do disability accommodations and perceptions. IIT’s Center for Disability Resources and the Study Abroad Office are here to assist you before and during your trip abroad. The key for any study abroad participant is flexibility, and you are encouraged to contact Mobility International and use our resources section for assistance in finding programs and overseas support services. It is important to communicate your needs and consider alternative ways to meet them.
Such experiences are usually less structured than undergraduate study abroad. There may be no classes or organized excursions, and you may need to arrange your own housing. The positive points of international experiences like these are that they can allow you to be abroad longer than many traditional study abroad programs; they can help you to be more integrated into the local culture; they can introduce you to colleagues with whom you can develop long-term working relationships; and they offer considerable independence, which is usually attractive to graduate students.
There are several special options for funding these types of programs, including the Fulbright Grant, NSEP awards, and graduate student association grants.