The Study Abroad Process
Choosing a Program
With a wealth of study abroad information glaring at you, choosing a program can seem like an insurmountable task. The best way to narrow down a search is to break up your interests and preferences into bite-sized pieces, such as area of interest, duration of stay, desired academic courses, and finances. Ask yourself the following questions and then search accordingly.
1. Where do I want to go?
By honing in on a geographic area, one can more easily navigate education abroad websites. Choosing a country will condense your search even further. If you cannot comfortably focus your mind's eye on one country, then choose a region and start from there.
2. How long do I wish to stay?
Remember, the longer the stay, the richer the experience. A full year overseas is uncommon, but we at Queens College fully support a student's decision to experience this diadem of study abroad opportunities. A year's time is ideal for understanding the culture, language, and customs of your home abroad. If you truly want to go away for a year and are having difficulty, please contact us. We will do our very best to help you realize your dream.
The ideal would be for all Queens College students to spend a year abroad; sadly, with fiscal and academic restraints looming, that is not the reality. Therefore, we encourage all students to go abroad and study for the length of time they are able. Whether it be for a short term (summer or winter program), semester (fall or spring), or for an entire academic year, our goal is to encourage students to leave Queens County, the state of New York, and the United States, and explore.
Each student has three choices when deciding the length of stay to go abroad: short term (summer or winter program), semester (fall or spring), or an entire academic year.
Short term programs are typically three weeks long, held during semester breaks, winter and summer. They offer anywhere from 3 to 6 credits or one or two courses. Most students come back from these programs with an appetite for further travel.
Semester programs are four to five months in length and offer 12 to 16 credits of coursework. Most students do additional traveling within the region of study, either before their program begins or after it is finished. Many programs offer the option of living with a host family, an opportunity that is unavailable in most short-term programs.
Academic year programs are nine months in length and offer 24 to 32 credits of coursework. Most students do additional traveling in the region of study between their fall and spring semesters or after their program is completed. This is an excellent length of stay for any student wishing to pursue higher education or a career tied to a specialized region which requires fluency in a language. Year-long programs can produce strong language skills. Like the semester programs, academic year programs also offer the option of living with a host family.
3. What do I want to study while abroad?
The key to a successful study abroad experience is planning ahead! This is true in regards to location as well as the courses one will take while abroad. Often students and parents are under the impression that studying abroad can delay a student's graduation. But the truth is that with proper planning, the courses taken abroad can fit into a student's academic career just like those taken on the Queens College campus. Courses taken abroad can be used to substitute for general core requirements as well as major and minor requirements. In addition, students are exposed to a different academic structure and way of life, making studying abroad a rewarding experience, both personally and academically.
4. What is my budget?
When creating a budget, keep in mind that by traveling to South Asia, Africa, South America, Central Asia, and Latin America, you will have more soft money to spend leisurely. East Asia and Europe can be expensive. Selecting a location where the exchange rate is favorable could mean a lengthier stay and greater participation in new activities.
Education Abroad Office
Kiely Hall, Room 183
Queens College, CUNY
65-30 Kissena Blvd.
Flushing, New York 11367-1597
Email: Education Abroad