All it takes to fly is to think about Funding, Logistics and Your destination.
In the 2012-13 academic year, 1,050 students enrolled in a West Virginia institute of higher education traveled abroad. Whether you are considering a summer, semester or year-long program, you've come to the right place to find out how you, too, can make this happen.
Your financial aid can be used for education abroad. Stop by the GSC Financial Aid Office today to learn more about this option.
The Institute of International Education manages the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship program, which has awarded more than 6,400 scholarships since its inception in 2001. You could be awarded up to $5,000 for semester education and up to $3,000 for summer education. If you receive a Pell grant and plan to be abroad for 4+ weeks, then you are eligible. See Dr. Gibbons for more information on how to apply.
The Fund for Education Abroad awards up to $10,000 to as many as 15 students each academic year. Like the Gilman, you need to be abroad for at least 4 weeks.
If you are using an education abroad company such as ISA, check to see if they offer their own scholarships. For example, ISA offers several scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $2,000.
Another cost-effective option to consider is the International Student Exchange Program. You can choose from over 120 sites in 35 countries. The only additional costs are travel, health insurance and incidental expenses. If you are in good academic standing with one year of college completed and a 2.75 GPA, then you are eligible.
If you have to make your own travel arrangements, consider STA Travel. It's a discount student travel agency with over 30 years of experience.
You'll need to submit official transcripts as part of your application. This is easy. Just head to the Registrar's Office on the first floor of the Heflin Administration Building to get started.
You will also need a current passport. If you are renewing, it will cost $110. If this is your first, it will cost $135. You can pick up the forms from a post office or a courthouse. See Dr. Gibbons if you have any questions about completing this paperwork.
Our partner ISA is a great place to get started! You can search for programs by subject, location, term or language.
If you are a science major, consider The School for Field Studies (SFS). SFS offers programs in Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia and Vietnam, Costa Rica, Kenya, Panama, Peru, Tanzania and Turks & Caicos. They also offer seven different scholarships, with awards up to $8,000 for semester study.
You should also consider programs offered by West Virginia institutions. Already lined up for next summer are two programs that will take you to Mexico or Canada. See the attached flyer for details.
So... What's it Like?
"I was so excited about my trip to Italy, because I knew it was the chance of a lifetime. I didn't realize until my plane was leaving Yeager Airport how nervous I was. I saw things that were hundreds and thousands of years old. I've seen things that most people where I'm from only dream of seeing. I made a wish in the Trevi Fountain, ate gelato by the colosseum that was fought in by gladiators, and bought a purse made of real Italian leather for only 15 euro! It was a wonderful experience that was worth every penny. Nothing can replace what it is like to visit another country and learn about its culture. I can't wait to do it again. America may be the greatest country in the world, but it isn't the only country in the world." -- Kristen Meadows, GSC Student