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What should I look for in internship programs, and "study abroad"?

maxer6maxer6 Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
I'm not really sure how that all works. I know one means you travel, the other means you do work having to do with your major.

Replies to: What should I look for in internship programs, and "study abroad"?

  • jkeil911jkeil911 Registered User Posts: 6,009 Senior Member
    Internships you can do during the school year or during the summer. You do this to gain experience in a certain field in order to help determine the extent of your interest in the field and sometimes to make some money. Employers like to find applicants with experience with the skillsets and technologies of their industry. It makes the employee learning curve and cost less steep. For a summer internship, you might also consider a city or region of the country where you might like to live, or you find something near home so you can still hang with your old or college friends during the summer. It's a really good idea to do this before graduating.

    Study abroad is another matter. Usually you pay (extra) to travel overseas in order to study in another country during a semester, a year, or a summer. You want to gain experience living in that country, understanding its people and its concerns, improving your language skills if the country's language is not English--or even if it is. SA has the advantage of education while outside of the bubble of your major (quite often), your college, your friends (usually), and your language. It is very popular but a usually unnecessary experience for the college years. You can get much the same experience after you graduate, and often SA courses are courses you've already filled in your AP or gen ed courses (esp if you don't go overseas til you're a junior). This can push back your graduation date or make you scramble over the summer to make up courses in your major you couldn't take overseas.

    Not all of this is written in stone. For instance, a well-planned college experience that includes SA can allow you to graduate in 4 years without any summer courses.
  • amtcamtc Registered User Posts: 2,864 Senior Member
    Don't know where jkeil911 is getting his/her information from but it's way off. Most of the time study abroad costs no more than your regular semester cost, even financial aid is usually transferred. Of course depending on where your regular college is and where you are studying abroad you probably will have greater transportation costs. The 4 month saturation in another country is not something you will have an opportunity to do after graduation unless you take that time off after graduation. There are a few majors where you would need to carefully plan your class schedule from Freshman year on but I know kids who have planned it out and graduated in 4 years even with studying abroad. Most kids have no problem studying abroad for a semester and still graduating in four years. Many schools offer programs that enhance your major - theatre, art, education, etc. or you can opt to explore other areas that you won't major in but are still very interested in learning about.

    Those are the cut and dried facts. As far as the "human improvement" from studying abroad, what you learn about the world and yourself is tremendous. You are put in situations that you would be hard pressed to be in while in the US. Most kids travel to other countries during their time off while abroad. My younger daughter's program, which is a large and very creative program, has two separate weeks where they travel elsewhere with one of their classes and then two separate weeks where they are free to travel on their own. It also allows you to remove yourself from the drama and bubble of your 4 year school. A change of pace after two years is a good refresher.

    Every college and study abroad program is different but most schools offer a great selection of study abroad programs either directly through their school or in affiliation with other schools. I don't think semester abroad should be high on your list, but it should be a part of your consideration when choosing a school.
  • jkeil911jkeil911 Registered User Posts: 6,009 Senior Member
    @amtc, I'll stand by what I said. I don't see where you disagree with me much, which is a good thing for your sake, of course :P
  • harvestmoonharvestmoon Registered User Posts: 954 Member
    Sometimes you can also get internships and have it count as credit. For my major, our capstone course usually consists of us having some sort of internship and then meeting in class once a week to talk about it and draft our final paper and portfolio of the experience. It's a great way to apply some of the skills you've picked up in school and also to explore the job field.

    As for studying abroad, it's definitely something you should consider if it fits. By this I mean that it's a great idea to go abroad if you study a foreign language and so can be immersed in that language, but also, you should carefully consider the costs. Don't go like 20k into debt because you're a bio major who really wanted to study coral reefs in Australia or something. Measure out the benefits and the costs and definitely talk to professors/advisors/other students about it. Oftentimes students who previously went on the trips will be more brutally honest and helpful than the advisors who are desperate to send people abroad.
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