Study Abroad: Rigorous or Relaxed

close the window Last fall, the editorial board of USA Today published an article arguing that study abroad programs in the United States are falling short of expectations. They claim that lax university oversight, unscholarly students, and deceptive tour operators are muddying international waters. The article makes some valid points, but it also casts doubt on low-intensity programs. The key point is that low intensity does not imply poor quality.

While traditional study abroad programs are valuable for providing international experience to career-minded students, low-intensity programs have the potential to provide direction to students who lack it and may otherwise never find it.

Access to study abroad should not be considered a detour from the fast track. It should also not be considered a detour. Studying abroad can only enhance your college experience, whether personally or professionally if you use your discretion and plan ahead of time. The following are some things students should think about when planning a semester abroad.

Placement, Placement, Placement

Your study abroad location will have a significant impact on how you live and study. Don’t fall back on Europe. There are numerous reasons for both A and B personalities to consider nontraditional destinations, with more opening up each year.

With over 6,000 study abroad programs available in the United States, there is something for everyone, from the career-oriented overachiever to the low-intensity undergraduate.

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