Great Study Abroad Programs For Community College Students

Top Articles on Studying Abroad from Students and Experts

story by Trixie Cordova

Community college offers a more affordable way to pursue higher education compared to wildly expensive universities. Most community college students are also starkly aware of the realities that a limited budget can impose upon more ambitious academic aspirations, such as studying abroad. For many, the notion of a semester or two overseas is all but financially impossible. Among student airfare expenses, matriculation fees, and living costs in an unfamiliar country, it’s easy to see how daunting it is for a community college student to consider studying abroad.

Fortunately, there are ways to go about it without breaking the bank. One thing you can look into is the cost of living in the country you’re going to. If it’s considerably lower than where you live, you will surely get more for every dollar. With this list of affordable programs, you’ll find that it’s not out of the picture at all. It’s worth noting, however, that community college students should always confirm their ability to go on any programs outside of what is offered at their institution. Many community colleges are strict with regards to program access and eligibility, so be sure to get clearance before settling on a desired program.


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1. Experience a Madrid Summer

Spain’s capital and largest city is suffused in culture and history. The cost of living is reasonable compared to the US, and you’ll get to enjoy the warm summer weather that draws locals out to the streets. You’ll learn Spanish, one of the most widely used languages in the world, by conversing with the locals and living in an environment that tutors you organically. Madrid is also Spain’s center of fashion, and you’ll get to witness the locals casually dressed to the nines. Apart from the official Madrid summer program, you can learn even more about Spain with its wide selection of fantastic museums like the the Reina Sofia and the Prado. Madrid’s culture is also on constant display in the very architecture of the buildings and words of its people.


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2. Immersion in Kunshan’s Rich Culture

As one of the world’s superpowers, China will surely provide attractive insight to students who study the broad array of subjects provided by the Duke Kunshan University program. You can choose from various disciplines and the classes will be taught in English, although you can take up Chinese language courses if you wish. You’ll be with a multinational group of students, so the experience is guaranteed to be immersive as you learn more about China together, as well as each other’s cultural perspectives.


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3. Deeper China Insights at Shanghai

If you’d like to focus more on international business and economics, you can opt for a January course in Shanghai, which is a commercial hub. As a center of commerce, Shanghai also provides opportunities for a much deeper understanding of China’s role in the global business context, which is extremely valuable for careers that involve world economics. Apart from studies, the program also includes excursions to historical and cultural nodes in the area. Classes will be in English, and you can adjust your housing options to find a better match for your budget. You can either stay in the dormitory or opt to live with a host home.


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4. A Robust Selection of Study Courses in Manila

If you’re game for a diverse community of students in Southeast Asia, you really can’t go wrong with the Philippines. You may feel compelled to stay there permanently, as the Philippines is famed for its friendly folks and a refreshingly positive outlook on a lot of matters. The Diliman campus of the University of the Philippines is located in Quezon City, which means you’ll never be far from any urban conveniences and leisure options. UP Diliman offers a broad selection of academic courses for study in the Philippines, the classes are taught in English, and most of the people you’ll encounter are familiar with the language if not adept in its use. Cost of living is affordable, so this might be a very good choice for those who are particularly concerned about day-to-day expenses.


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5. Expand Your Horizons At Dresden

If you have advanced German language skills, you might be interested in a course or two at Technische Universität Dresden (TUD). The first third of the course will feature intensive language and cultural immersion that will give you deep insights on the robust German outlook. After which, you’ll begin the academic portion of the course. Dresden’s central location means you can take trips to various parts of Europe with ease, which is a definite plus if you’re up for some backpacking on a tight budget. You can choose from a diverse selection of science and humanities courses, and the school dormitories are available for lodging.


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6. Live And Breathe History In Berlin

From eclectic architecture to some of the most compelling museums in the world, Berlin is a haven for those who wish to drink deep from the cup of culture and history. Courses are available year round, ranging from literature to legal studies, with the classes being conducted in English. In addition, this will be the perfect opportunity to learn German by speaking it in the company of the best teachers: the locals. The Freie Universitat Berlin is where your formal classes are to be held, but all of Berlin is a magnificent classroom. You just need to walk around the metropolitan to absorb a rich and vibrant culture.


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7. Embrace New Zealand’s Academic Culture

If you’re looking into having a deeper understanding of Maori culture, the University of Waikato is your best bet. You won’t need to spend for far-flung excursions because Waikato schools a higher percentage of Maori students, meaning you’ll be exposed to a very genuine cultural experience. You’ll learn under professors who are active in conducting studies to constantly expand their respective fields and are known to provide a greater degree of personal teaching to their students.


Photo credit to Moyan Brenn from Flickr

8. Have A Cultural Escapade In Milan

Italy’s most creative city is a beacon of fashion. You’ll spend a summer learning while getting constant exposure to the day-to-day activities: classical architecture, open-air cinema, street theater, and the finest museums. Despite being a tourist favorite, Milan offers affordable lodging options to students. Milan is the best place to take a course on film and literature, as your lessons will be complemented by the omnipresent sense of beauty and creativity.

Getting a valuable international perspective is just a matter of researching what are the most affordable ways to study abroad. Take your time poring over the options and don’t be misled by a general notion that taking classes abroad is simply too expensive. Apart from this, you can also apply for financial aid. Many foundations offer study abroad grants to promising students or at the very least, alternative student loans. Don’t let a tight budget stop you from getting a multinational education and start looking for ways to take the next step.

There are available comprehensive listings of the study abroad programs, so read through the details and find one that fits your budget.

Trixie Cordova


Trixie is the Student Outreach Coordinator at Diversity Abroad. She studied abroad in Italy as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, then went on to be an Assistant Language Teacher on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program for 2 years. She has her MA in International Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

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