How to make your education abroad dream a reality

There’s no doubt that if asked, most college students would say “yes!” to education abroad. It’s a truly life-changing experience — offering the opportunity to experience, explore, and learn more about yourself and the world you live in.

You may be considering education abroad, but not sure if it’s within reach. Maybe the cost has you worried, or you’re intimidated by the process that goes along with international travel. We’re here to tell you that no matter your circumstances, CSU wants you to make your dream a reality — and we offer a wide variety of programs, support, and funding opportunities to help you do just that.

Follow these tips to learn how to make education abroad a part of your college journey.

Get to the heart of the matter

Making your education abroad dream a reality starts with getting connected to the ‘why’. Why is an international experience important to you? Do you want to immerse yourself in a foreign language and culture, conduct hands-on research related to your major, gain valuable global work experience, or provide meaningful service to an international community?

Education abroad takes planning, commitment, and a passion for developing and challenging yourself. Identifying your goals will help you to choose which program will be the most worthwhile.

Talk to someone who’s been there

At CSU, you can talk to current students who have recently returned from their own education abroad program. They can help you consider all of the pieces that go into making the most of your experience — from cost and academics, to length of time and lifestyle. Once you’ve chosen a program, they’ll also help you with the application and pre-departure process.

Education Abroad Peer Advisors are available Monday – Friday via phone or email. On campus for a visit? Stop by the Office of International Programs on the first floor of Laurel Hall and speak with one in person.

A simple way to get an inside look at the education abroad experience is by following us on social. Follow the Office of International Programs on Instagram and keep up with #RamsAbroad to check out stories from current students.

You’ve got options – explore them.

Because of the number of education abroad opportunities available, there’s a lot of flexibility in the type of program, destination, and length of stay. Once you have an understanding of the ‘why’ behind your desire to have this experience, you can begin to explore options.

Type of program

Whether you’re looking to gain cultural understanding, hands-on experience, or to serve a community in need, researching which programs will best fit your goals is key to making your experience the most worthwhile.

Some students opt to study language or earn credits toward their major. Others spend a week working on a research team or a summer in field schools. At CSU, you can find a program that fits your specific needs.

Destination

We’re proud to offer programs in 70+ countries. Whether you have your heart set on a particular locale or are basing your destination decision on other factors, you’ll find your fit here.

Length of stay

A week? A semester? An academic year? We’ve got them all. Carefully consider what length of stay will fit your goals and budget.

Research financial aid

If you want to experience education abroad but are worried about the cost, you’re not alone — and we totally get it. That’s why our Education Abroad Office offers a range of programs to suit varied budgets.

Costs vary based on factors like location, length of stay, and included services. For some, a short-term program ranging from one to six weeks may be a much more feasible option than a semester or year-long journey.

Most types of financial aid can be used towards an education abroad program. CSU has also made it a priority to offer scholarships to help those with financial concerns. Our students also regularly qualify for outside merit-based awards.

For basic information about financial aid for education abroad, watch this short video. To start researching your options, visit our education abroad scholarships page and check out financial aid resources. Need more help? Contact the CSU Education Abroad financial advisor by calling (970) 491-2581.

Get a passport

Whether you’re 100% sure that you’ll be taking part in education abroad or are looking at it as one of many college options, we highly recommend that you apply for a passport. The passport process can take awhile — you don’t want to get caught without your key to travel.

Check out our handy guide to getting a passport.

Anna Gerber
Author: Anna Gerber
Anna is the Communications Manager for International Programs at CSU and a former education abroad participant. She grew up in Fort Collins, and has worked at Colorado State since 2013. Anna loves sharing the stories of #internationalrams and #ramsabroad, and helping every Ram have an international experience – on campus and around the world!