Adapted from a post written by former program assistant Kaylie Vezina 14F
Interested in studying abroad while at Hampshire? Wondering how and when to start thinking about it? On Tuesday, November 3 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in FPH 101, Katie Irwin and Morgan Kapinos from the Global Education Office (GEO) set out to answer this question for a group of interested students. Wondering what you missed? Read on for great information!
After some brief introductions, Katie and Morgan introduced a Powerpoint to take students through the top ten steps in preparing for a semester away, which allowed students to ask questions and begin thinking about how a global experience might fit into their Division II or Division III goals. Participants were then introduced to the GEO website, including pages on how to prepare and great resources for finding exchange and field study opportunities. Katie and Morgan also made sure to highlight some short-term opportunities coming up in the coming year.
The Top Ten Steps in Preparing a Semester Away!
- Step 1: Plan Early. Start Planning Now. The earlier you start planning the more options you will find, and the more time you’ll have to discuss your interests with your advisor/committee and have them help you with resources and ideas for your search. By planning early and communicating with your faculty, you’ll be better able to incorporate study abroad into your academic program. What’s more — some programs and study abroad scholarships have deadlines a year in advance, so it’s smart to know what you want to do as far ahead of time as possible. If you don’t already have one or yours is soon to expire, this is also a great time to apply for or renew your passport!
- Step 2: Know the “Why.” Ask yourself why you want to study abroad, and then ask yourself what your career goals are and how studying abroad will help you complete these goals. What do you want to do when you are abroad? Are you interested in language learning, having an internship, service learning/community engagement, taking classes, having an independent study, etc.? These guiding questions will help you to make important decisions about your global experience.
- Step 3: Know the “What.” In what type of program would you like to enroll? There are many options to consider, like directly enrolling in a university abroad, going abroad through a field-based or classroom-based program provider, or designing your own independent project abroad. Some other factors to consider when knowing the “what” are living arrangements, level of cultural immersion, travel, and level of independence.
- Step 4: Understand Hampshire’s Eligibility Requirements. In order to study abroad, a student must:
- At least be filed for Division II (note: Division III students are only eligible to be away during their first semester of Division III)
- Be in good academic and disciplinary standing
- Meet with CASA
- Step 5: Understand Your Options at Hampshire: GEO hosts Navigating Study Abroad sessions every Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Airport Lounge, which is a great way to get started. GEO also has Peer Advisors with whom you can meet to learn more. Both resources will help you to better understand the differences between Hampshire Exchange and Field Study.
- Step 6: Understand the Finances: Contact the Financial Aid Office to learn more about how your financial aid might transfer for a semester abroad. Find and apply to Hampshire sources of funding and scholarships. Find and apply to outside sources of funding and scholarships. Go to Student Financial Services, and see what they can do to help.
- Step 7: Research Your Options: Wondering where to start? Check out GEO’s website. Review the searchable databases they have available, and meet with a GEO Program Advisor to learn more. Don’t forget to check out scholarship options as well!
- Step 8: Fulfull Pre-requisites: Educate yourself on the pre-requisites of the program you are interested in. If it requires learning a language—start learning now! Make plans to take the pre-requisite(s) needed for your program to ensure you have them completed before you depart.
- Step 9: Get Others on Board: Preparing for study abroad without support from those around you can be overwhelming. Talk to your committee, CASA, GEO, and to your family and friends as you continue in your planning. Make sure they know what you want to do and why you want to do it, so that they can help you to achieve your goals.
- Step 10: APPLY!: If you’re applying to Hampshire Exchange, you’ll need to submit your application to GEO. If you’re applying for a Field Study, you’ll apply directly to the program. Also, make sure you keep these deadlines in mind:
- Hampshire Exchange – early October/early November for spring, early March/early April for fall.
- Field Study – Varies by program, but do note the College’s Enrollment Notification Deadline for each semester.
Whether you’re just starting to consider the possibility of studying abroad or are already making plans, the Global Education Office (GEO) is your best resource. The GEO office is located on the ground floor of the Merrill Student Life Center, opposite the CLA, and staff and peer advisors are eager to help. Check out their website for more information, or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.