Studying Abroad Isn’t as Far Away As It Seems

By Destinee Norman

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Let me start with little story about me:

So my girlfriend and I were getting into the elevator at my apartment after a long discussion over how we are going to budget our food money for the next month since my hours at my job got cut from last semester. I just finished this long monologue on how much I hated my apartment for making me feel like I wasn’t “fancy” or good” enough because, as I said, I have no money. Before we got to the third floor, the elevator opened and there walked in a couple of our friends we haven’t seen in a while with the usual Starbucks and Chipotle (I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t exactly the same). Of course, what do they talk about? How they are planning their winter trips to travel around Europe and possibly stop in New York on the way back home.

Now there is nothing wrong with this of course, but there must be a few of you out there that have felt the same way I felt in that moment. The feeling of, not only hopelessness, but jealousy and guilt for feeling jealous in the first place.

However, this was before I realized how much UT is willing to do to get its students to go abroad.

Study abroad is something that everyone hears of; whether at orientation, at home, or friends talking about their travels in an elevator. However, some people write it off without ever thinking that this could be an actual thing they could do. Well it is!

Study abroad actually covers all of the cost for people with financial need. After weeks of roaming through the international office’s website, I have come across many gems that have helped me in my own planning for study abroad.

1. They have a literal program finder for study abroad.

These program finders can help you narrow your search from the crazy amount of opportunities UT has for you to just a few within your major, program, or travel dates. However, I recommend talking with a study abroad advisor to help narrow down any hard choices as well.

2. They have full study abroad cost sheets to help you in your budgeting:

These were especially helpful for me who needed to know how much money I would have to anticipate going to my student debt. Usually the student has to pay the program deposit fee, any passport fees, and  the application fee beforehand. However, each program is different in its own way.

3. They have a MyCreditAbroad search to help find what classes you can actually take to not get behind in your degree.

This one is super useful for me at the moment finding my way through my study abroad program this summer! Especially if you plan to do an exchange program, this could help tremendously on finding out which programs can get you what credit. Talking with your academic advisor will also help in finding the right courses for you over time spent abroad.

So far my own experience with study abroad has been more than accommodating. The only issue sometimes is having to pay some fees up front; which can be a hassle. However, if study abroad is something you want to do then do it since college only lasts so long. Make the most of it.

Definitely check out their website and see what it has to offer. All of the advisors are there not just to advise but promote you in all that you do. I promise you won’t regret it.

Bon Voyage!