Study Abroad is the term applied to the participation of a university student in a structured, credit-granting program of academic study in a foreign country for a summer, a semester or an academic year which is sponsored either by an accredited U.S. university, or by a foreign university which is recognized in its country. About 225,000 US students study abroad annually, out of 16 million university students.
seeking university students who are currently enrolled in any of The Alamo
Colleges. Student must have a minimum
G.P.A. of 2.0 in addition to meeting academic requirements and prerequisites of
the specific course(s) in the program. They must have completed at least 12
credit hours by intended departure date.
Participating in a study abroad program is a way to travel, expand your world view, and experience a new and interesting way of life while you pursue your degree at The Alamo Colleges. Click here
for more reasons to study abroad!
Students are encouraged to study abroad for a semester or an academic year if possible, but summer and other short-term programs are also available.
Study Abroad programs are offered almost anywhere in the world that is politically and economically secure.
Students have the option of going on faculty-led trips, exchange programs or affiliate/non-Alamo Colleges programs.
The best study abroad program is the one that works with your schedule and counts toward your major. Although we are often asked which are the "best" places to study abroad, the answer is that the program you choose will be best for you. If you'd like to talk to a study abroad advisor, we can help guide you through the selection process. To start, you can ask yourself questions like:
- Do you already know of any particular countries or universities that match well to your major or interests?
- Are you interested in learning a foreign language or fulfilling language requirements abroad?
- Is financial aid a concern? Do you need to find a program where your scholarships will apply?
- Would you like to be in a large city or a smaller one?
- Do you want to go on the same program as friends from Miami or make new friends abroad?
- Is there a particular region/country/city/culture you've always wanted to learn more about?
- Has a professor or academic advisor recommended a particular program?
You can also explore some of your options in the Programs section of this website. If you have any questions, ask a study abroad advisor!
Many students studying abroad through The Alamo Colleges use some type of financial aid (loans, partial scholarships or grants) to fund their program. In most cases, funding does not come from one source (one comprehensive scholarship), but rather from various sources (loans, partial scholarships, grants, personal savings, etc.).
Students who participate in a program for which an official transcript from an accredited U.S. university is issued, or in a program at a foreign university which offers official documentation comparable to a transcript, will receive transfer credit from The Alamo Colleges. Students who participate in an Alamo Colleges Faculty-led Program receive direct Alamo Colleges academic credit. You should talk to your academic advisor about your study abroad plans and how you will use this credit toward graduation.
Start early and talk to your academic advisor! Departments at the Alamo Colleges are very supportive of study abroad if they know that you're interested. Your academic advisor can help you to plan your academic career to include a study abroad experience. If you think that it will be difficult to study abroad within your major, you may want to plan to fulfill elective requirements abroad. Your academic advisor can help you make this decision.
Most students do - especially those who plan ahead. If you plan to study abroad, be sure to bring it up with your academic advisor. They can recommend an academic plan that will include the study abroad experience you want. By sticking to this plan, you should graduate on time as planned!
While studying a language in the country where it is spoken is the best way to acquire fluency, it is not necessary to learn a new language to study abroad. There are many programs in English-speaking countries, and it is possible to take courses in English in a number of non-English-speaking countries. The important thing is to expose yourself to a different culture. And remember: even if you go to an English-speaking country, you may still have communication challenges due to accents and dialects!
If your parents are concerned about the cost of studying abroad or have fears about your health and safety abroad, please direct them to the Parents section of our website. There we offer information about these issues and general information about study abroad at The Alamo Colleges. Your parents can also contact a study abroad advisor to address specific concerns.
There are several groups of people you may want to discuss your study abroad plans with:
- Study abroad advisor - A study abroad advisor can give you information about the programs that are available and answer basic questions about study abroad, as well as direct you to where you can learn more. You should also talk to a study abroad advisor if you have found a program on your own and want to be sure that you can earn credit for your study abroad experience.
- Academic advisor - An academic advisor in your major department can give you advice on when to study abroad and which classes to take while you're abroad. They can also help you work out course equivalencies so that you can make progress in your major while studying abroad.
- Parents - Keep your parents apprised of your study abroad research and listen to questions or concerns they may have about your study abroad plans. Your parents may also have valuable advice about study abroad programs that will work well with your future plans, as they know you a lot better than your advisors!
- Returned students - We have a Study Abroad Contact List which you can consult to find students who studied abroad in a certain location or at a certain university and have volunteered to be contacted about that location or university.
- Study abroad program contacts - If you have questions about a specific program or need a syllabus for a course abroad, please contact the study abroad provider directly. You can do this via phone or email - the contact information is usually available on each provider's website.