Study Abroad Guide for International Students

International students studying at a university in the United States can strengthen their educational experience by taking advantage of study abroad and exchange programs.  Through opportunities like these, students can immerse themselves in another new culture, enroll in language courses, travel, and expand their global connections.

Study Abroad vs. Exchange

It is first important to examine the difference between study abroad programs and exchange programs. The main distinction between these is that students in a study abroad program pay tuition and fees to the host university, while students in an exchange program remain enrolled at their full-time university.  This means Truman students in an exchange program only pay the regular tuition and fees they would pay to Truman State University. Additional fees for both programs include travel, food, and entertainment costs for the duration of the program.

The Visa Process

Prospective international students should understand the visa requirements early in the process of planning to go abroad as a student in the United States. International students studying abroad must maintain their F-1 visa status. According to the Department of Homeland Security, those who remain outside the U.S. for more than five months, and are not able to remain enrolled at their school in the U.S., could lose their visa. Visa requirements will vary depending on a student’s national citizenship and the country where the student desires to study abroad.

Your Campus Resources

Truman’s Center for International Education and Study Abroad office assists all students interested in studying abroad with their decision-making process. Their website,  offers many helpful tips. Students can request a general brochure from the office to help make an informed decision about which countries and institutions are suitable for their major, language ability, and cultural interests. The office can also help students determine whether they want to go abroad during a summer, a semester, or a full academic year. Current students can stop by Baldwin 106 to make an appointment and meet with a study abroad advisor.

Aya’s Story

Current Truman international student from Japan, Aya Terakawa, spent a semester abroad in China. Aya attended Shanghai University as an exchange student during the Spring 2017 semester. “I was taking Chinese classes here at Truman and my professor suggested to me that I should check out the study abroad programs in China,” reported Aya. “My favorite part about studying in China was that my Chinese language skills improved a lot! The cost of living in China is very cheap, so I was able to travel to many places in China and eat lots of good food.”

Many Truman students find the perfect study abroad program for them during their undergraduate studies. Students may participate in an international education program anytime in their academic career except for the last semester prior to graduation. So what are you waiting for? Stop by the Center for International Education Abroad in Baldwin 106 and take a look at the experiences you could have!

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Courtney is a junior Pre-Law Communication major and Business Administration minor. She loves her hometown of Kansas City, MO, spending her spare time watching Grey's Anatomy, and traveling!

This is the official blog of the Truman State University Center for International Students.