Debunking the Top 7 Study Abroad Myths

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College Study Abroad

College Study Abroad

Mention your plan to study abroad and you’re bound to hear nonsense from naysayers. Here’s the true story about study abroad.

1) MYTH: You need to speak a foreign language to study abroad.

THE REALITY: We have 200+ programs and 90% of our courses and programs are taught in English! While learning a language abroad is strongly encouraged, you don’t need it to successfully learn in the classroom. Don’t be discouraged about studying abroad in a country where you don’t know the language – it makes for a grand opportunity to learn! And, if you want to perfect your foreign language skills, CIEE offers intensive language programs to take your skills up at least two levels in one semester or summer.

2) MYTH: It’s so expensive! How will you ever afford it?

THE REALITY: Program costs vary depending on term and location, so once you do a bit of research, you’ll find affordable options, including January and summer programs. Plus, CIEE offers more than 1,000 scholarships every term – totaling more than $8 million every year. Our program fees include everything - tuition, housing, on-site airport pick-up, field trips and cultural activities, 24/7 on-site professional staff, and automatic iNext insurance. Check out our scholarships & grants page – you could be eligible for free airfare, plus thousands in grants!

3) MYTH: Study abroad will delay your graduation date.

THE REALITY: That’s just plain wrong. Our programs offer coursework across all disciplines, including business; communications and journalism; global and community health; international relations and political science; language, literature, and culture; STEM, sustainability, and society; and visual and performing arts. You can complete major requirements or choose electives – all while staying on track for graduation and adding international education to your resume!

4) MYTH: Study abroad won’t help me get a job after graduation. 

THE REALITY: Absolutely not! In fact, study abroad experience ENHANCES your resume and employment potential, especially in today’s global job market. Employers and graduate schools are looking for students with intercultural communication, problem solving, and adaptability skills. Your time abroad will make a BIG difference to your future.

5) MYTH: Traveling after college is the same thing.

THE REALITY: Sure, it’s a similar idea, but study abroad is focused on academics and learning, whether through classes, internships, or co-curricular activities. This is your chance to interact with local students and hone into your language skills while living and learning in a new culture. With study abroad, you aren’t just traveling, though that is a perk - you’re challenging yourself personally and academically and building new skills that will help you in the future.

6) MYTH: Study abroad isn’t safe for students. 

THE REALITY: To put it simply, if we didn’t think a location was safe, we wouldn’t run a program there. Student health and safety is our top priority and each of our 60+ sites is regularly assessed to make certain our programs can be safely and successfully run. Also, our professional on-site staff are immersed in the community and trained to support the wellbeing of all students. 

7) MYTH: Study abroad is only for juniors.

THE REALITY: This may be a statistic but in no way is this a rule. Everyone has a different schedule, so freshmen, sophomores, juniors, AND seniors can all study abroad whenever works best for them. Plus, with January and summer programs, students can actually study abroad multiple times during college! 



Don’t let these misconceptions stand between you and an epic semester abroad! If you have any additional concerns, shoot us an email at inquire@ciee.org – we’ll set you straight and help you get on your way!

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