Why Study Abroad
When you study abroad, you are joining a passionate community of students, faculty, and staff from all over the world that have sought to explore new cultures, encounter fresh ideas, and create memorable experiences.
Our study abroad opportunities are designed to work with your Illinois experience. The benefits of study abroad are numerous—whether you are interested in expanding your academic research experience by studying marine ecology in the Galápagos Islands, growing your professional skills by taking on an internship at a cheese factory in Rome, or developing lifelong friendships in Korea—there is an opportunity for every student. Our office is here to help you throughout the process, starting with breaking down the most common study abroad myths and providing you with the tools to launch your program search.
Benefits of Studying Abroad
Earn Credit Toward Your Degree
Studying abroad allows you to take unique classes that can often be applied to your degree requirements at Illinois. You can take courses in a variety of disciplines from different cultural perspectives. Classroom instruction is often enhanced by experiential opportunities, such as academic excursions, internships, service learning, labs, and engagement with the local community.
Advance Your Professional Goals
Studying abroad doesn't just "look good" on a resume. In today's competitive job market, it is essential to gain global competency. In fact, many jobs require the ability to work across cultures. Studying abroad allows you to grow professionally by gaining critical thinking and problem solving skills; characteristics that employers want to see from new hires.
Enrich Your Global Perspective
Studying abroad can be one of the most impactful experiences of your college career. It's an experience that can personally influence you in many ways. In addition to the academic and professional benefits, studying abroad will expose you to rich cultures that can broaden, deepen, and challenge your perspectives.
Top Study Abroad Myths
Studying abroad is too expensive.
Reality: Between Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (IAGE) and the College Study Abroad Offices—Illinois offers more than 300 study abroad programs that range in cost. Some programs are comparable to studying at Illinois and some are less. There are also a variety of ways to financially support your study abroad experience, including grants, scholarships, financial aid, and loans. Planning ahead is key.
You have to speak a second language in order to study abroad.
Reality: While some programs have a language requirement, many programs offer instruction in English. To find programs taught in a specific language, specify a “Language of Instruction” when searching for programs.
Studying abroad will delay graduation.
Reality: Many students study abroad and graduate in four years. By frequently consulting and meeting with your academic advisor, you can find a way to make study abroad fit within your academic schedule. In fact, some students study abroad two or three times and still graduate on time.
No one else can tell a study abroad story better than our students. Visit our Student Stories blog to read personal accounts from students.
Now, it’s time to start planning! Learn more about your first steps.