Before I really get the ball rolling on these study abroad posts, I guess I should tell you a little bit about myself. In my master plan for my university life, I had hoped to study abroad for a semester in the fall of my junior year. However, some unforeseen factors caused me to transfer to UNC Asheville during my sophomore year. When I arrived, I was very nervous about whether credits had transferred, and how long it would take me to complete everything: would I even be able to graduate on time? Would I have the time, or the funds, to make my study abroad hopes a reality? I was pretty nervous. Maybe some of you are in that position right now. However, with the help of my adviser, and the Study Abroad office, I was able to make it happen.
I am now a senior here at UNC Asheville with a major in International Studies and minors in History and Asian Studies. My motivations for studying abroad were a combination of major requirements and personal interests. It is also relevant to note that I chose to study in a university with which UNC Asheville does not have an official or established relationship (yet). This information should help you understand where I was coming from as a person and as a student, when I was preparing for my trip.
TIP: When you’re thinking about studying abroad, it’s important to remember that you’re also going to study, not just experience a new culture. So, you should take into consideration schools or programs where you’re guaranteed to get credit for your studies abroad. This mostly applies for people who are planning to do short-term study, or who are looking at a university not affiliated with UNC Asheville, but is important to mention. In my case, I found a school well known for its Korean language instruction program, offering 6 credit hours for an intensive 5-week program. However, I had to go through a fairly lengthy process with the Study Abroad office to ensure that this credit would transfer back to UNC Asheville. In the end, the e-mails back and forth, and meetings with, members of the Study Abroad office were well worth the effort, as it meant that I was able to study in the school of my choosing, and from a practical standpoint, ensure that the time and resources I put into the trip were not wasted.