Faculty-directed summer study abroad programs: Flexibility for any Sun Devil to study abroad


August 3, 2020

For some students, going abroad for a full semester may not be realistic, with balancing a packed course load in the fall and spring semesters, working through the semester and other academic year commitments. But faculty-directed study abroad programs give students the flexibility they need to study abroad during the summer, no matter what their semester schedule may look like. 

Faculty-directed programs are created and taught primarily by Arizona State University faculty. Participants enroll directly in one or more ASU courses offered on the program and are in class with other ASU students. Since faculty-directed programs are offered over the summer, students get a chance to experience a different culture for an extended period of time, without interfering with their in-semester life. Program lengths typically range from two to eight weeks, and students can get ahead on their degree plan by earning between three and nine ASU credit hours over the summer. ASU students on a faculty-directed program to Nepal ASU students on a faculty-directed study abroad program to Nepal. Photo by Heather Otten Download Full Image

These programs focus on a certain academic discipline, allowing students to receive an extensive look at a subject in an international context. Balancing classroom time with hands-on experience, excursions and field trips, students are sure to get a 360-degree view of the area of study. 

Daniela Ledesma, a global health major who studied abroad on a faculty-directed program to Peru emphasizing health care and nutrition, gained a deeper look at one of her passions due to the focused structure of the program. 

“Studying abroad taught me so much about an area of health that I was already passionate about but had the chance to learn even more about: nutrition,” said Ledesma. “Moreover, it was very insightful to actually witness health problems in a real-life context, and not simply study the theories of disease in abstract terms. My study abroad program taught me real approaches to contextualized health care dilemmas Peruvian children face, particularly parasites and anemia.”

Some faculty-directed summer programs also give students a chance to explore multiple destinations, allowing students to experience various locations on one study abroad program. So whether that be examining the nutrition and health of a Mediterranean diet while making stops throughout Italy and Spain, or gaining a new perspective on the resiliency of Vietnam and Cambodia, students are sure to return home with the intercultural competencies that employers seek in candidates

Think a faculty-directed summer program may be right for you? Take a look at the extensive options to study abroad on one of these programs. Meet with your academic adviser to chat about your study abroad plans, and check out the next steps you should take to start your study abroad journey. 

Do you teach a class that you think would be perfect as a study abroad program? The Study Abroad Office is always looking for new faculty-directed programs. Work with the Study Abroad Office to plan, create and teach on your own study abroad program. Don’t stress over the orchestration of it all; the Study Abroad Office has your back with administrative and logistical support the whole way through.

Where will you go?

Money, money, money: How students can fund their study abroad experiences


August 3, 2020

Even though it may sound as if studying abroad has no downsides, many students consider their options and, ultimately, count themselves out of studying abroad for one reason alone: the cost. 

“I mean, I want to travel, but it’s way too pricey for me to even think about doing right now. Maybe someday once I’ve graduated and have a real job …” ASU students on their study abroad to Peru ASU students on their faculty-directed study abroad program to Peru. Photo by Jessica Cassano Download Full Image

Kevin McCawley, a biochemistry and pre-med graduate with a Spanish minor, can still remember repeating this to himself during his first year at Arizona State University. However, after a full (debt-free) semester in Santiago, Chile, he is now a student in medical school and realized his thinking was actually the opposite of reality.

Time and time again, students share their stories of how funding should not be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and that studying abroad is more than worth it in the end. There are plenty of funding options to make a study abroad opportunity a reality.

The ASU Study Abroad Office is committed to helping students find the best opportunities possible for financing their study abroad. With a scholarship search targeted for just study abroad scholarships, a financial aid and program cost sheet for each program and a handbook tailored to helping students navigate their way through funding their study abroad, every student has the chance to find a study abroad program that fits well within their budget. 

The Study Abroad Office even funds its own scholarships for Sun Devils, giving out thousands of dollars in scholarships:

Plus, scholarships received through the Study Abroad Office will combine with the financial aid and scholarships a student is already receiving through ASU if they are traveling during an academic session. Students can always use a cost chart to compare what they would be paying abroad to what they are already paying on campus. (Hint: It’s possible that it could be the same or less!)

In addition, there are an abundance of national scholarships, including the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship for Pell Grant recipients, set in place to send American students exploring borders far beyond their own. 

Of course, the total cost to an experience abroad depends on the program and the spending habits of the student. However, the total cost can be estimated through the program cost sheet found on each program brochure. The program cost sheet breaks down all of the fees charged by the Study Abroad Office as well as nonbillable items like airfare and food. To cut down on costs, students can choose to buy groceries at a local market instead of eating out at pricey restaurants each day. Or they could consider taking public transportation versus paying for taxis. By penny pinching, students might even get to experience more of what life is really like for the locals of the area in which they are staying. 

Only a $50 nonrefundable application fee is required to get started on the opportunity of a lifetime. From the beginning of the application process to the moment they step off the plane back in the U.S., students have the unwavering support of the Study Abroad Office. 

Looking for even more advice on how to afford studying abroad? The Study Abroad Office hosts Financing Your Study Abroad workshops during both the fall and spring semesters to help students navigate the often-confusing world of scholarships, financial aid, crowdfunding and budgeting. Reach out to the Study Abroad Office with any questions.