1. Where can I study abroad? Boise State University manages several exchange and study abroad programs. In addition, you can choose from any type of program offered either by another U.S. university, a study abroad organization or program provider, or you may direct-enroll at a university abroad. The program you choose must offer studies at an accredited university. The International Learning Opportunities (ILO) staff will assist you in determining whether programs are accredited.
2. How long can I study abroad? There are programs of various duration: summer, semester, and academic year. You can choose which program length is appropriate for you. We recommend, especially if you are studying a foreign language, to consider studying abroad for an entire academic year. This will offer the greatest potential for you to fully immerse yourself in your host culture and become proficient in the language you are studying.
3. Do I have to study another language? No! There are many programs in countries where English is the official language (Australia, New Zealand, UK, etc.) and there are programs in countries where you can take classes in English, but the official language may not be English. We strongly encourage you to consider learning a language and studying this language while abroad, however, we also understand that this may not be practical for you or may not fit into your curriculum at Boise State University. If you are interested in learning another language, there are a great variety of language and culture study programs around the world.
4. Can I afford to study abroad? There is a wide range of program costs, so be sure you read program cost descriptions carefully and understand what is and what is not included in the costs listed for a specific program. The most affordable are Boise State exchange programs, because you pay your regular fees at Boise State to study abroad (housing, meals, etc. are paid at the university abroad). The second most affordable are Boise State study abroad programs, because we have negotiated the lowest costs for our students.
Federal financial aid can be used for study abroad programs by all students who qualify for such aid. Most academic scholarships apply as well. There are a number of scholarships specifically for study abroad. ILO staff will advise you with respect to financial aid in general and specific scholarships that would be appropriate for you.
Keep in mind that the real question with respect to financial matters is: Can I afford NOT to study abroad? Higher education graduates today must have international competence to be effective members of society and competitive in the job market in our increasingly global economy.
5. Do I have to have a certain GPA to be eligible? For most programs, a 2.5 GPA is the minimum requirement. Many programs require you to at least have sophomore standing or higher. If your GPA is lower than a 2.5 or you are a freshman who wants to study abroad, make an appointment with a staff member in ILO.
6. How soon should I start applying for a study abroad program? Typically, students apply the semester before they wish to study abroad. However, you should begin to research your options as early as possible, even if you are not sure yet when and where you want to study abroad. The more you plan ahead, the easier it will be for you to integrate your study abroad program into your degree program at Boise State and to fulfill requirements for you major. This means that studying abroad will NOT delay your graduation from Boise State!
7. When is the best time to study abroad? You may study abroad as a second-semester freshman or as a sophomore, junior, or senior. There is never a bad time to study abroad! However, consider that as a sophomore/junior you have more flexibility in the classes you can take abroad and apply to your degree program at Boise State than you would as a senior. Also, as a second-semester freshman, you may still be adjusting to life at Boise State and studying abroad involves a great deal of cultural adjustment, so the two combined may be too stressful. It all depends on your level of independence, maturity, sense of adventure, degree program and possibly other factors. If you are not sure when you should study abroad, discuss this issue with an ILO staff member.
8. How can I get more information? Come to the International Learning Opportunities Office located in the Simplot/Micron Building Room 101. Or call 426-2630 to schedule an appointment.
We hope to see you soon to check out all the exciting programs for you to explore the world!