Study Abroad Myths

Study Abroad Myths


Studying abroad is too expensive for me. 
The reality: There are a variety of study abroad programs available to Agnes Scott students, but the majority of students who study abroad for a semester or year choose the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). Through ISEP, students pay ASC tuition, room and board and continue to receive all of their regular financial aid, just like a semester on campus. If you can afford to study at ASC, you can afford to study abroad for a semester. 

There are many scholarships students can apply for: Global Learning scholarships, Advantage Awards, awards through certain ASC departments, scholarships from various study abroad program providers, and for federal Pell grant recipients, the national Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship. There may be other scholarship opportunities for certain countries. Your study abroad advisor can help you determine which scholarships you can apply for, and you can also browse the information on our website.


Studying abroad will cause me to graduate late.
The reality: Whether you study abroad for a summer, semester or year, you will earn credit for every course you take abroad. The earlier you start planning, the better off you will be. Most students review their degree audits with their academic advisers to determine which courses should be taken at Agnes Scott, and which ones can be saved to take abroad. All students who plan to study abroad are required to seek pre-approval from the appropriate ASC department chair to receive credit for courses abroad. This process, through the Center for Global Learning, guides students in planning out their academics to keep them on track for graduation.


I have to be fluent in a foreign language to study abroad.
The reality: ISEP has programs in more than 40 countries, which offer courses in English even if the official language of the country is not English. There are many other program providers that offer the same opportunities. To really immerse yourself in your destination country, however, it is good practice to learn as much of the official language as possible.


Studying abroad is not safe.
The reality: There will be a director and/or staff on site at all times to assist you with any issues that may arise. It’s worth keeping in mind that crime rates in many countries are much lower than they are in the United States. For extra precaution, we recommend that anyone traveling or studying abroad register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you should an emergency arise. All students are also required to participate in a pre-departure orientation, during which we cover safety precautions, among many other topics.


I will be alone if I participate in a non-faculty-led program.
The reality: At all study abroad sites, there will be a director and/or staff who coordinate the program and are in charge of providing an orientation and who can assist you with all kinds of issues. Although you may be the only student from ASC on a given program, you will be joined by other students who are participating in the program and learning their way around, just like you. 


I will need to find my own housing while studying abroad.
The reality: Whether students live on or off campus while studying abroad through an ASC-approved program, they do not need to find their own housing. The program is responsible for coordinating accommodation. Depending on the program’s offerings and a student’s personal preferences, students may live in a dorm or an apartment or with a host family.