What is Study Abroad?
Are you interested in learning about study abroad? Explore our resources to learn more about this exciting opportunity to go abroad! If you have additional questions, take a moment to book a virtual appointment with a member of our study abroad staff!
Studying abroad as an undergraduate or graduate student is a unique experience to explore and study in another country while earning academic course credit towards your degree requirements. Whether you choose to spend a few weeks (short-term), a summer, semester, or a year studying abroad, this is a great opportunity to obtain course credit and experiential learning opportunities in another country—think internships, service learning placements, field trips, and more—that are designed to immerse you into the local culture. While studying abroad, the country is your classroom.
Clayton State offers short-term, faculty-led programming that will not interfere with the academic semester. The trip dates take place during the Spring Break (March) and the Maymester (May) which happens to be the summer break between the Spring and Summer semester. Our programs allow students to select a program based on your area of study. Other details, like your airfare, housing/accommodations, ground transportation, field/site-visit trips, and on-site support are built into the program. The Clayton State Study Abroad Office and Clayton State faculty leading programs abroad, prepare students with several pre-departure orientations to make sure students are well prepared before traveling overseas and working with students to complete pre-departure documentation.
Students should begin applying for a program from anywhere to a year / year and a half (for long-term programs) or one-to-two semesters before the programs departure dates. However, this can vary depending on the student and their budget concerns.
Learn more about what is included in each study abroad program by visiting our program pages listed on the Study Abroad Home Page.
NAFSA, The National Association of International Educators has compiled a list of resources where researchers have measured the impact of study abroad and other international learning experiences. These experiences have found that they have a positive impact on academic, educational, and professional outcome measures. A few areas to highlight how study abroad makes a positive impact on students are:
- Improving Grade Point Averages: Several studies have shown that students who study abroad have a higher GPA than similar students who stayed on campus.
- Improving Completion Rates: Multiple large-scale studies have found that student who study abroad, especially underrepresented or "at-risk" students are more likely to complete their degrees or certificate programs than students who did not study abroad.
- Improving Language Learning: According to statistics, only 25% of American adults can speak a second language. Studies have shown that students who study abroad made greater gains in language proficiency.
- Fostering Intercultural Understanding: Studying abroad is a unique and transformational learning experience. Students who studied abroad are better able to work with people from other countries and have greater intercultural learning.
- Increases Employability, Career Skills, and Employment Opportunities: Studies have shown that the skills gained while studying abroad are the same skills that employer's value and that employers recognize the importance of cross-cultural understanding in an increasingly economic environment.
Did you know that the study abroad experience doesn’t end once you’ve returned home? The Study Abroad Office continues to offer helpful and constructive resources for students to utilize their abroad experience once they have returned from their adventures. Some of these offerings are the Study Abroad Offices Global Ambassador Program, the Georgia Lessons From Abroad Conference, as well as a Re-Entry Handbook to help students work through their time abroad. In addition, the Study Abroad Office has built a Professional Development video and resource series to help walk returning students through the process of applying their study abroad experience to their resume, answering interview questions, crafting an elevator pitch and more!
A variety of resources exists to provide students with information about studying abroad. We recommend that students research library and website information about such topics as programs abroad, travel and tourism information, health and safety, culture, and available financial tools. The following links are just a sampling of some of the many resources that students who may desire to pursue studies in a foreign country might consult:
- Watch the First Lady, Michelle Obama discuss the Importance of Studying Abroad
- Why Study Abroad? TED Talk with Marina Meijer
- Study Abroad and the Global Perspective TED Talk with Emma Baumgartner
- Rick Steves' Message to Students: Study Abroad and Become a Global Citizen
- Rick Steves: Study Abroad is Vital for Education and Getting to Know Our World
- Rick Steves: Traveling as a Global Citizen
- Rick Steves: The Value of Travel TED Talk