With Study Abroad Day on the calendar for February 26 and a wave of students engaged in a spring semester abroad, now is an opportune time to reflect on the power of study abroad and highlight some new resources to support students and families as they explore the opportunities available to them.

  • For the fifth year in a row, NAFSA is opening doors to study abroad through its Tamara H. Bryant Memorial Scholarship program, which was recently extended for an additional three years and increased to $150,000. It has provided cash scholarships to more than 40 students to date. Stories of recent Bryant scholars bring home the power of transformation that comes with stepping into another country and culture—and the imperative that that opportunity be provided to all. This spring, the Bryant Memorial Scholarship is supporting Danae Watson from DePaul University to study in Mexico; Elise Robinson from the University of Memphis to study in South Korea; Renaldy Previlon from Bentley University to study in China; and Shia Wade from Hobart & William Smith Colleges to study in Italy.
  • Being able to help young scholars like these in their education abroad experiences also illustrates why NAFSA is so passionate about the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would secure federal grant funding for colleges and universities to help remove some of the barriers that keep a larger and more diverse population of students from studying abroad. Members of Congress need to hear from their constituents that this issue matters. Speak up now!
  • International educators know that the upside of education abroad is high, but recognize that students may feel overwhelmed while trying to simultaneously prioritize their safety and navigate the many, varied options available to them. NAFSA and The Forum on Education Abroad recently collaborated to create “Finding Your Study Abroad Program: A Health, Safety, and Security Guide for Students.” This resource uses simple and clear terms to help students and their families evaluate these important aspects of a study abroad program. Families will also be reassured to know that study abroad continues to be an extremely safe undertaking—as underscored by The Forum’s Student Risk Report—and that study abroad educators and administrators are deeply committed to helping students stay safe. Using the report data and other sources, practitioners continuously update their crisis management and student preparation practices to meet ever-changing risk environments and student needs.
  • NAFSA’s education abroad student guides are also essential tools for walking students and their parents through the ins and outs of a successful study abroad experience. The guides can be purchased in a pack of seven or individually and include special guidance for racial and ethnic minority participants and incorporating study abroad into students’ overall career plans.
  • The question of how to afford study abroad can also be daunting to students and their families. Help them navigate the nuances of using financial aid to studying abroad by directing them to this key resource: “Financial Aid & Study Abroad: Basic Facts for Students.”
  • NAFSA also recognizes that learning and growth don’t stop with the study abroad experience itself. Students are encouraged to use the Making Meaning of Education Abroad reflection guide as they consider how to successfully convey the impact of their international experience to folks back home in a variety of settings, including familial, academic, and professional.
  • International educators, meanwhile, can keep their knowledge base complete and up to date with programming at the Forum’s upcoming 20th Annual Conference in March and at the NAFSA 2024 Annual Conference & Expo in May. Registration for the Forum’s event is open now, while NAFSA’s opens on February 28. Take note!

With resources like these at students’ and international education professionals’ fingertips, every day is Study Abroad Day!