Studying Abroad When You’re Studying Abroad
When international students come to the United States to study, they are already studying abroad. But it’s been increasingly common over the past decade for international students studying in the United States to want to participate in their institutions’ study abroad programs. Depending on the university, in any given year anywhere from a handful to hundreds of international students may decide to join American students in study abroad programs.
While international students who want to study abroad have unique needs, they generally don’t require a great deal of additional work on the part of education abroad (EA) offices and international student and scholar service (ISSS) offices. Rather, it’s more adapting the right mindset to support students’ interest in pursuing studies abroad.
“Of course, international students can participate in study abroad programs,” says Krista McCallum Beatty, director of the Office for International Students & Scholars at Michigan State University (MSU). “It’s great for international students, but also for domestic students. It just means having an attitude of ‘How do we make this work?’ as opposed to ‘What do we do?’”
Collaboration between ISSS and EA offices can make study abroad programs for international students more accessible, which benefits both international and domestic students.
Understanding Student Motivations
International students usually want to study abroad for the same reasons that domestic students do.
“Our international students are no different than our domestic students, and they all have similar goals of seeing new places, learning or improving their language skills, and becoming more independent,”