Why Study Abroad?

You Can Afford It, Get Credit, & Graduate on Time

You can afford it. Studying abroad doesn’t have to be expensive, and each student is responsible for researching all the details of programs under consideration. State and federal financial aid can be applied to your study abroad expenses if you are eligible, and some scholarships are available. If you already have a scholarship, it’s possible that it can be applied toward the cost of studying abroad

You can get credit for courses taken abroad. UALR actively promotes the advantages of studying abroad by offering faculty-led programs and by assisting students in matching credits from foreign institutions to their own curriculum.

You can study abroad and graduate on time. With careful planning, you should be able to study abroad and finish your curriculum in four years. Study abroad during winter break or the summer semesters is available, and many students within certain majors can study abroad for an entire year and still graduate on time.

You Can Take Courses Abroad in English

You can study abroad in English if you don’t have proficiency in another language. Destinations like England and Australia are obvious choices for studying in English, but did you know that many countries have programs in English even where English is not the primary language?

You Can Travel Safely

Though traveling abroad requires a degree of caution, a term overseas is by no means certain danger. Our pre-departure orientation programs inform students of health and safety issues before departure and provide guidelines and procedures to ensure student safety.

Personal & Intercultural Development

Personal development stems from having to become fully immersed in a different culture and society while also resolving internal tensions.  Study abroad experiences require a high level of openness toward the newly encountered cultural elements and a willingness to adapt and positively respond to linguistic, behavioral, and ideological challenges. Such an attitude determines the attainment of a higher global awareness, triggers a process of self-evaluation (including an evaluation of one’s own nation and culture), and creates the context for a comprehensive understanding of the role and importance of tolerance and inter-cultural communication.

Intercultural development stands for the level of sensitivity that individuals can attain with regard to other cultures and nations, and their willingness to actively engage in finding answers to the grave problems that the global community is experiencing.  Students are expected to acquire intercultural communication skills, critical skills, political, historical, and geographical knowledge of other cultures, global awareness, national awareness, efficiency in their field of study, and first and foremost an understanding of the contemporary inter-national context, its problems and potential solutions.  The IES survey found that 98% of the students achieved a better understanding of their own cultural values, 90% understood the value of cultural diversity, and 94% continued to interact with people from other cultures.

Academic Commitment

Study abroad programs and courses are fundamentally academic in nature and have distinct scholarly and research-based objectives. It is crucial to point out that such programs are not mere opportunities for tourism rather they are serious academic endeavors that are often part of degree curricula. Universities around the world are increasingly becoming more sensitive to the importance of inter-cultural communication and numerous institutions have implemented study abroad as a mandatory degree requirement.

According to the IES survey, 80% of the students had an “enhanced interest in academic study” given their experiences abroad, 87% identified study abroad as an important influence in their further educational experiences, and 86% of the students actively engaged in the study and reinforcement of foreign languages.

New Perspectives on World Affairs

Study abroad can broaden your intellectual horizons and deepen your knowledge and understanding of international, political, and economic issues. It is almost certain that you will return from your sojourn abroad with a more informed and accurate perspective on world affairs. You will also have first-hand knowledge of how another culture approaches the tasks and challenges of everyday life, a sense of how “global” the international culture has become, and an appreciation of the importance of international cooperation.

You will probably also gain a broader understanding of, and appreciation for, the United States, its way of life, and its role in international affairs. Through your professors, the other students in your program, and people you meet, you’ll learn how others view the United States and its world role. If you live in a country where English is not the native language, or is spoken only by some, you will learn the practical importance of learning another language and using it.

Career Development

A very significant consequence of study abroad is the students’ acquiring an extended range of critical, practical, academic, and linguistic skills that are indispensable in their professional development and maturing. Such skills give students a crucial advantage on any job market given the nature contemporary global communication and inter-cultural interaction. The IES study revealed that 76% of the students who studied abroad “acquired skill sets that influenced career path,” and 62% were opted for a different career path after their experience.

Other surveys emphasize the fact that US citizens (and students) realize the importance of study abroad experiences and are interested in pursuing degrees and careers while also becoming opened to other cultures. Universities that offer study abroad opportunities rank higher in student and parent preferences, and are also known to offer a strong, quality-based academic and professional foundation.

According to NAFSA (Association for International Educators), 90% of the Americans consider necessary the attainment of inter-cultural knowledge and skills, 92% recognize the importance of foreign languages in professional/career success, 77% value study abroad programs, 86% would like their children to study at institutions where they could interact with foreign students, and 94% recognize study abroad as the way to understanding other cultures, and becoming globally aware.