While it is true that the earlier you consider studying abroad, the more options you have, a global experience can still be a possibility for a graduating seniors. It is important to determine where you are in your final year to make sure you receive appropriate and accurate information. Before we provide additional insight to dispel the idea that you can’t study abroad, it is generally true that if you are about to graduate, studying abroad may not be the ideal global opportunity for you since you may not need the academic credits to graduate, which is a great incentive for sophomores or juniors. But, that also depends on when you are reading this! Read below to see which applies to you and as always, be sure to confirm with your school’s study abroad office about what options are available to you.
I am a Rising Senior: Being a rising senior means that you are in the summer before beginning your senior year of college. If you are a rising senior, there may still be time for you to study abroad for academic credits if you need them. Check with your school’s study abroad office to see what options you may have to have a global experience the summer or Early Fall term before your senior year.
I am in the Fall Term of my Senior Year:
If you are in the Fall Term of your senior year, there may be opportunities for you to participate in a global program during Winter Break or January Term. Depending on your college or university, there may also be a selection of international spring break opportunities. If you’re not too nostalgic about taking your final semester at school, some schools permit you to study abroad in the spring, while others don’t allow you to complete your final semester overseas. It is important to check with your school’s study abroad office as soon as possible so you can get an idea of all the options that may be available to you as you begin your senior year.
I am in the Spring Term of my Senior Year:
If you are in the Spring term of your senior year -- you’re almost done! While that’s something to celebrate, unfortunately, it means that the option to study abroad as an undergrad has likely passed. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still go abroad! Here are some alternative ways for you to still gain global experience in your final semester and beyond.
- Volunteer Abroad. What’s great about volunteering abroad is that you can do something wonderful for a local community, and you don’t have the added stress or work responsibility associated with a study or internship abroad. There are often volunteer opportunities held during the week of spring break, so check with your school’s study abroad office to see if you can turn your spring break into a global volunteer opportunity.
- Teach Abroad. A great alternative to going abroad as a student, is to consider teaching abroad! Teaching abroad is a great opportunity to go abroad -- and be PAID for it! The majority of teach abroad programs means that you’ll be teaching English to locals. One that Diversity Abroad recommends is the International TEFL Academy. Not only can you be paid to live abroad, you’ll also become a certified TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Instructor.
- Graduate School Abroad. If you are considering continuing your professional education, earning a graduate degree abroad is another wonderful way to gain international experience. And don’t think that you are limited to studying just internationally focused programs. There are a wide variety of programs that allow you to earn a degree in practically any field, from Art History and Biology, to Engineering and Environmental Science. We have many we list on Diversity Abroad.com here, so definitely explore our site to see if any programs interest you.
We hope that even if you are about to graduate from college, you understand that your opportunities don’t end there. There are still a lot of different ways to gain international experience beyond the traditional “study abroad” types that you might already know about. Embrace the fact that global learning can be a lifetime commitment, and open your mind to the many ways to go abroad you may have never considered before!