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Having an international experience or an experience that removes you from your university atmosphere and your comfort zone can challenge you both academically and personally. Academically speaking, you will be able to take concepts learned in the classroom and apply them to contexts different than those to which you are accustomed. You will be able to analyze situations with a broader view, a skill you can parlay into useful workplace tactics post-graduation. Personally, you will be challenged to be more adventurous, more confident, more self-dependent, and more aware of the world around you. Study abroad experiences may even help you to discover a passion you might not have tapped into otherwise.
The reasons to study abroad are endless, but all equally important. To greater understand the importance and benefits of study abroad, read this article by Mary M. Dwyer, Ph.D., and Courtney K. Peters.
Ideally, students should consider their opportunities shortly after arriving on campus, if not before. Beginning to think about studying abroad during freshman year provides students with ample time to consider their options and to choose their coursework specifically to allow them to fit a study abroad program into their academic schedule. Students are also encouraged to contact and set up a meeting with the Associate Director of Learning Abroad to discuss their opportunities and what steps to take to make study abroad a reality!
Gannon University offers a number of programs, ranging from one week to one academic year in length. Students can participate in week-long service-oriented trips, such as the Alternative Break Service Trips (ABSTs), in week-long faculty-led study abroad opportunities, in one month or two month summer programs, or semester and year-long programs.
If you are having trouble fitting a semester abroad into your schedule, you might consider opting for a summer program, a spring break program, or a faculty-led program offered after the end of the academic year.
If you have never traveled before, you should not be discouraged in participating in Learning Abroad activities. Instead of committing to a full semester right away, you might consider participating in an ABST or short-term faculty-led program to test the waters. After experiencing a short-term program, you can decide whether or not pursuing a long-term Learning Abroad opportunity is the right choice for you.
The cost of studying abroad depends on the program chosen. Gannon University has partnered with a number of European universities in order to help students study abroad while using their Gannon scholarships and financial aid. When participating in a semester exchange program with a partner university, Gannon students will pay their regular tuition to Gannon. For students opting to participate in a program run through one of Gannon's affiliates, fees will be paid by the student directly to the provider.
Students who are studying for a semester at one of Gannon's partner universities will be able to use their federal financial aid as well as any Gannon financial aid and scholarships. Students who participate in an affiliate's program will be able to use federal financial aid, but not Gannon aid.
For students participating in summer study abroad programs, financial aid may be used if the student is taking six credits worth of courses.
Learning Abroad Scholarships are available for students participating in semester or full year programs at Gannon partner universities, as well as students participating in faculty-led study abroad trips. More information about the Learning Abroad Scholarships can be found under the "Scholarships" tab.
Generally speaking, the most common time for students to spend a semester abroad is their junior or senior year. The best time for you to study abroad will depend on your major. Before arranging for a meeting with the office of Learning Abroad, students should discuss with their advisor whether or not a semester abroad is feasible with their particular major. Though some majors may not allow for an entire semester abroad, summer study abroad programs and GIFT Courses can be an alternative!
If you are studying abroad and planning to live on campus upon your return, it is suggested that you remain in contact with the Office of Residence Life during the semester. If you are studying abroad fall semester and will be returning to campus spring semester, you should contact the Office of Residence Life about halfway through the semester to request on-campus rooming upon your return. If you are studying abroad spring semester and want to live on campus the following fall, you will be able to partake in the online housing process that takes place in the spring.
You do not need to speak a foreign language to study abroad through Gannon. The courses taught at our partner universities are taught in English, though it should be noted that students hoping to study abroad at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso in Chile are recommended to have reached a level of proficiency in Spanish.
For additional clarification or questions, feel free to contact Meagan McHugh, Associate Director of Learning Abroad and International Academic Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org .