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Studying Abroad: Know Your Options

By Mariah Davis: For The Clock
On October 27, 2015

Studying Abroad: Know Your Options

Mariah Davis

For The Clock

Studying abroad can be an enriching experience for any student. They get the opportunity to travel and live in a different country, all the while still earning credits towards their degree. PSU students have many opportunities to study abroad, all over the world. The Global Engagement Office, located in the garden level of Mary Lyon, deals with study abroad programs, student exchanges, and short-term trips.

“A student who is interested in studying abroad should stop by our office to start the process,” said Deb Regan, the director of the Global Engagement Office. “We have advisors here who can help students explore options, compare programs, review costs, and complete the application process.” The most popular destinations for PSU students are Australia, England, Ireland, Italy and Spain.

There are some requirements to study abroad at PSU, “students must have a minimum, cumulative GPA of 2.5, although some programs have higher GPA requirements, completed a minimum of 12 credits at PSU, and be in good financial and judicial standing,” said Regan.

There’s a lot to think about when choosing where to study abroad. Not only should students think about where they would like to live, and study, but they may want to try to find a school that matches with their major. “Students should plan ahead and meet with their academic advisor to fully understand how a semester away will fit with their degree progress here,” said Regan.

Shannon Skinner, a Junior and Criminal Justice major with a Spanish minor, traveled to Ireland. “I traveled abroad so I could be dropped into another culture, and see how I could handle it and I did well. I had the time of my life. I made friends from all around the world who I still keep in contact with,” said Skinner.

PSU offers both study abroad programs and student exchanges. “An exchange program is different from other study abroad program options in that students pay their usual tuition and fees to PSU and their accommodations and meals to the host school,” said Regan. “We currently have 12 exchange agreements with universities in England, Ireland, Spain, Chile, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Sweden, Malaysia, Canada, and France.”

Studying abroad may seem out of reach to many students; however, there are programs that can help students pay for it. “Students who are eligible for financial aid, can apply all of that to their study abroad program. Though a student isn’t physically here, they are still considered a full time PSU student. There are also scholarships available. You can visit our website for more information,” said Regan.

The GEO office assist students in completing transfer credit approval forms before they leave. If interested in studying abroad or student exchange, the GEO office also has walk in advising hours every Tuesday and Wednesday from 1:30-4:00, students can also schedule appointments. It is best to plan a study abroad trip sooner rather than later! 

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