If I Attend College Online Can I Spend Time Studying Abroad?

Regardless of whether you attend a traditional brick-and-mortar university or take classes through an online college, studying abroad is a possibility for everyone. There are endless amounts of study abroad programs offered by both universities as well as other institutions that give students across the world the opportunity to travel to far and exciting destinations like China, Japan, Jordan, Ghana and India. Here is a quick overview of how to arrange a study abroad trip if you attend an online college or university.

Reach out to Study Abroad Program Coordinator

Regardless of the institution, most reputable colleges and universities, including online programs, will have a study abroad program coordinator who works with students to help arrange study abroad, student exchange and other programs that are conducted overseas. This individual usually has a built-up network of contacts, relationships and resources that can be leveraged by students to help them study abroad. They will help locate financial aid in the form of scholarships, fellowships and grants. Some of these fellowships include ones given by the US State Department, the Fulbright Fellowship and others that encourage US citizens to travel abroad and learn foreign languages. The great thing about going through a study abroad program through your university is that they usually have exchange agreements with partner universities abroad. This helps reduce the cost of tuition and makes it easier to find housing while away from home.

Internships Abroad

Another option that many students should consider is looking for and securing internships with global corporations in different countries. Depending on your field, this can be very beneficial to get international experience and will give you the opportunity of a lifetime to work in a different country. The benefit behind this is that if you are attending a college online, it is still possible to attend school while working. Usually companies that offer internships abroad are found in fields like accounting, international business, marketing, engineering and other fields that are in high demand. These internships can be highly competitive so expect to do excellent in your classes and maintain a GPA of at least a 3.5 to be considered for these prize internships.

Volunteer Abroad

Another option that many people consider is looking for volunteering positions abroad. Although there is the possibility that you will incur the expenses of travel and living all on your own with limited financial assistance, this is another great way to get study abroad while attending an online college. This option is usually popular with those who are going into international development, foreign service and other forms of non-profit work. The US State Department’s Agency for International Development (USAID) offers a non-paid volunteer and internship opportunities every year in a variety of countries in places like Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. This is a great way to not only get US foreign policy experience, but to also learn languages that are considered “critical foreign languages” such as Arabic, Farsi, Chinese, Hindii, Swahilii and Pashto.

Don’t be afraid to take the risk of traveling abroad. Don’t believe that attending an online college or university presents a limitation when it comes to traveling abroad. In reality, attending school online is more flexible when it comes to traveling to different countries. Do your due diligence, seek as many resources as possible and work relentlessly hard to secure some sort of internship, volunteer or paid opportunity.