Study Abroad: What to Know Before you Go!

study abroad

For most people, studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When else will you get a chance to experience life in a new country and have a school handle all of your traveling and living arrangements—while also earning college credit??

Leaving the country for an extended duration for the first time can be nerve-wracking and you may feel intimidated by the whole concept. To help ease that anxiety and familiarize you with the different study abroad options, we have asked the academic advisors at Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) to share their wisdom on the topic!

Why is Study Abroad so important?

You’ll never know how diverse the world is unless you explore it, and you’ll never be influenced by another culture unless you really touch it. Studying abroad helps you to gain a deeper appreciation for people and learn how to trust people. Experiencing other cultures and learning from temporarily living in an area helps you grow as a person and teaches you how to cultivate relationships. You are able to immerse yourself in the history you’ve learned about in textbooks and classrooms. These programs provide substantial, academic-based, immersive experiences abroad.

Leave your comfort zone and Study Abroad!

Most universities offer some type of study abroad program, though the locations, requirements, duration, and expenses may differ at each. There are also some outside organizations (such as CIEE, AIFS, IES, USAC, and more!) that provide opportunities if the college you attend does not have a program. A few types of Study Abroad options that your university may offer are Faculty-Led Programs and Exchange Programs. AUM offers both of these options to their students and here is what those programs look like!

Which Program is Right for You?

Exchange Programs:

Exchange Programs allow students to spend a summer or semester immersed in another culture as they live and study at one of the exchange institutions. The universities also welcome students from their exchange partners for a semester or full academic year. Exchange Programs typically run during the summer, spring and fall semester exchanges and a summer exchange program is usually around 4 weeks.

Faculty-Led Programs:

Not ready to spend an entire semester in another country, but you’re still curious about a Study Abroad opportunity? Faculty-Led Programs might just be the solution for you! These programs are typically held during the summer and you’ll spend anywhere between a week and a month on a guided tour of a different international location under the supervision of a faculty member.

Faculty-Led Programs change from year-to-year depending on the faculty in charge and the destination. Through these programs, students are able to take an educational tour abroad as part of a course to study the language, culture, history, arts and sciences, and economical and political systems of other nations.

Must-Do’s recommended by previous Study Abroad students at AUM:

  • Meet with your Academic Advisor early to discuss your Study Abroad Plans. It is never too early to start planning and planning ahead is best!
  • Make sure you know how your credit is transferring back and how Study Abroad can affect your degree plan.
  • Make sure you apply for a passport early, so you do not have to expedite your passport application at the last minute.

AUM Exchange Program Partners:

  • The University of Ulsan (UOU) in Ulsan, South Korea
  • Hubei University of Economics in Hubei, China
  • The University of Shiga Prefecture (USP) in Shiga, Japan
  • University of Lincoln in Lincoln, England

Past Faculty-Led Program Locations at AUM:

  • South Africa
  • China
  • Japan
  • Belize
  • Madagascar
  • England
  • Spain
  • And more!

If you think you can’t afford to study abroad, ask an advisor about the available scholarships!

While requirements will differ based on the school and program, to be accepted into the AUM Study Abroad Programs, students must:

  1. Have a minimum institutional cumulative GPA of 2.75  for undergraduate students, and 3.0 for graduate and professional students.
  2. Be age 19 before the start date of the program.
  3. Have no pending judicial actions and be in good academic standing. *Students with pending judicial actions will not be eligible for AUM Study Abroad program enrollment.
  4. Complete all forms and an application and return them to your study abroad advisor by the specific date.

For any additional information on Study Abroad at AUM, please visit

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