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Why Go Abroad?

Going abroad is a transformative experience that pushes a student outside of their comfort zone while gaining independence and building an international network. After returning from abroad, many SDSU students exclaim that "Now they feel like they can do anything!" Whether it's a study, research, intern or volunteer experience, students will return as a more empowered version of themselves.

Going abroad allows you to:

  • Understand and appreciate diversity
  • Enhance your degree, résumé, and graduate/professional school application
  • Increase your international experience
  • Become a better informed global citizen
  • Have fun!
Many students miss out on going abroad because they think that it will alter their graduation schedule, cost too much, or is simply too complicated. Here is what you need to know about going abroad:
  • You can afford to go abroad!
    • Selecting an education abroad program is much like buying a car: many types and styles of programs are available to fit a variety of budgets. SDSU offers many high-quality, lower-cost programs that are very affordable and cost about the same as attending SDSU.
  • You do not have to speak a foreign language to go abroad.
    • Although some of our programs are designed for students with a foreign language capability, many programs are taught exclusively in English or in countries where English is widely spoken, such as Sweden, Finland or India. In addition, many programs will provide you with intensive language training at the beginning of your education abroad experience, allowing you to study in non-English speaking countries.
  • You can complete your major requirements abroad.
    • Some SDSU majors are very specific about how you need to fulfill major requirements, but most majors offer some flexibility. Many students are able to complete one or more major courses while abroad. To ensure that your coursework abroad fits your major requirements, consult your academic advisor and the Office of International Affairs.
  • You can still graduate on time.
    • As long as you consult with your academic advisor, Department Head and the Office of International Affairs, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to graduate on time even if you attend a full-year program abroad.
  • Your course credits abroad can transfer back to SDSU.
    • Education abroad programs offered through the Office of International Affairs are all University-approved. All credits earned while abroad will transfer!
  • International experience does matter!
    • The job market and admission to graduate or professional schools is getting more competitive every day. Employers and admission officers are looking for something that sets you apart from other applicants. Studying abroad signifies that you are willing to grow in diverse environments, interact with many different types of people and adapt to changing situations.
  • Your financial aid can be used for most programs.
    • Since our programs are approved by SDSU and the South Dakota Board of Regents, most types of financial aid will apply. Set up an appointment with the Office of Financial Aid for more detail.
  • You can study abroad either short or long term.
    • While there is much to be gained from a semester or academic year abroad, we also have many short-term study abroad programs available.
  • Education abroad is for everyone!
    • No matter your background, major or interests, studying abroad can benefit you personally, academically and professionally. Spending time abroad allows you to expand your horizons and step outside your own cultural context.
  • You will not be alone.
    • In most education abroad locations, there are scores of other education abroad students from the U.S. and all over the world. You will meet plenty of fellow education abroad students, and together you will help one another navigate your new community and campus. Additionally, there are staff liaisons at all education abroad sites. These people will help you get settled and are there to be a resource for you!