Eight tips for studying abroad: Advice from Concordia Cambridge

The Concordia Courier

Concordia Irvine

By Madison Zuniga | 10/7/2022

Are you considering studying abroad? The current Concordia Cambridge students offered their best advice and suggestions for anyone thinking about participating in an international program. 


Plan ahead. “Make sure you’re planning. Bring it up with your advisor right away. Be aware of your schedule, and what Core classes you can take while abroad. If you want to study abroad, you can usually make it work.” said Rhys Bender, sophomore. Take advantage of the Moon International Center and the study abroad page on CUI’s website for essential information and recommendations.

Stay on top of deadlines. “Make sure you know when applications are due, make sure you know when you’ll hear back, when payments are due, when the deadlines are.” said Kayla Petersen, sophomore.  Preparing for applications can be stressful, but staying organized and keeping track of dates and deadlines is the first step to making your study abroad dreams a reality. 

It’s okay if you go alone. “Don’t be afraid of studying abroad even if you don’t know anyone. There’s always going to be someone to help you out.” said Alyssa Clarke, junior. Try to find people who are also interested in studying abroad, and encourage them to come with you. However, even if you are the only one traveling, know that you will end up meeting lifelong friends, no matter where you are going. 

Take summer classes beforehand, if necessary. “It’s worth it. It’s worth cramming a few summer classes in order to enjoy your time here. As a science major, I have to take these classes offered at Cambridge anyways for general education, so I might as well take them somewhere fun.” said Hailey Martinez, sophomore. Knowing what classes are required in your major and what courses are offered by different programs is critical in figuring out how to make studying abroad possible.

Save money over the summer. “It seems like common sense, but the more money you have saved, the less stress you’re going to have while you’re here. There are plenty of things to do. You’ll want to have money to go on a day trip to London, or to spend a weekend in Italy,” said Sarah Decker, sophomore. Having financial freedom while abroad offers greater opportunity to experience travel, entertainment and social events. 

Research the culture. “You can also prepare yourself by researching basic cultural norms. The more you know about where you’re going, the better, because you’re going to be living in that culture for an extended period of time.” said Decker. Especially in England, where Europe is so accessible, awareness of  different cultures and how they interact is beneficial. 

Have an open mind. “Be willing to try different things. Be open to suggestions, be flexible. I believe in the ‘yes rule’, which is saying yes to everything, in a healthy way. Like, ‘Hey, let’s go to Italy, let’s do this!’ Being involved is so important.” said Ariel Spilman, sophomore. Willingness to fully embrace the study abroad semester will make the experience so much richer.

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