How to go abroad as university student – America

This is a guide for everyone who’d like to study or intern abroad. If you know other projects please let me know – let’s make going abroad easier!

When I enrolled in university I planned to go abroad studying at least a semester, but I didn’t know much about the many existing opportunities. I wish I knew at the time what I know now about these projects, and that’s why I’m listing here all the opportunities I am aware of – to help students find the right one!

Studying

Joint degrees

Who’s it for? Regular students

Duration: 1 year+ abroad, 3+ years total

How to apply: refer to your own university

Most universities offer joint degrees, but unfortunately they’re available only for few majors. These programs are based on agreements between your university and another specific university that provides a similar or complementary course. Once your application will be accepted, your situation will be this:

  • you will study for one (or more) year in your university and for one (or more) year in the other one. Studying in both universities is compulsory to graduate.

  • You will likely have to write two dissertations or take two graduation exams (one for each university).

  • At the end you will get two different degrees, one for each university (and country).

Joint degrees are usually harder and more expensive than “normal” degrees, but it’s definitely worth the struggle.

ICM – https://erasmusplus.org.uk/apply-for-international-credit-mobility

Who’s it for? Regular students enrolled in EU or Switzerland universities

Duration: up to 1 year, or 2 years for one-cycle courses (Erasmus+ and Erasmus+ traineeship included)

How to apply: refer to announcements of selection in your university website. Application usually requires your grades, a cover letter and sometimes an interview.

International Credit Mobility is an EU initiative that allows students enrolled in EU universities to study in extra-EU countries. This project is based on agreements secured by universities; scholarships  and other agreement implications vary from university to university. Unfortunately, at the moment the project is supposed to end in 2017.

 Overseas

Who’s it for? Regular students, in particular foreign language students

Duration: 1 semester+

How to apply: refer to announcements of selection in your university website. Application usually requires your grades, a cover letter and sometimes an interview.

Overseas programs, like Erasmus programs, are based on agreements between universities worldwide – this means you don’t have to be an EU university student to apply. Agreement implications and refunds vary from university to university.

 Visiting Students program

Who’s it for? Regular students

Duration: 1 semester+

How to apply: refer to your university International Mobility staff

It works like Erasmus and Overseas programs, but it’s not based on preexisting agreements: you’ll have to look for host university and courses by yourself and, depending on the university you choose, you might have to pay a fee. This program is more expensive than Erasmus or Overseas, but has an advantage: since you will choose the university, it allows you to study where you really want.

EF Education Firsthttp://www.ef.edu/

Who’s it for? Young people in general

Duration: 2 weeks – 1 year

How to apply: refer to website

EF Education First is a company that provides language courses in UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malta, South Africa, Germany, Spain, France, China, Singapore and Japan. It is mainly famous among high school students, but it also has lots of opportunities for university students: it offers summer courses, general (everyday communication) courses, intensive courses, language certifications preparation, career oriented courses and internships, as well as annual programs. The type of accomodation (campus or host family) is also up to you.

Fulbright Scholar Programhttp://www.cies.org/about-us/what-fulbright

Who’s it for? Regular students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists

Duration: 2 weeks – 1 year

How to apply: refer to website, or your university website

Fulbright Program is meant to increase understanding and collaboration between Americans and people from other countries. Different kinds of scholarships allow students, teachers and scholars interested in various fields to take part in a exchange program in the US, encouraging creativity, knowledge and innovation about global issues.

BEST Scholarship – http://www.bestprogram.it/?lang=en_us – http://www.fulbright.it/programma-best/

Who’s it for? Italian students holding at least a bachelor degree

Duration: 6 months

How to apply: refer to website (tender notice is issued in December every year)

The Business Exchange and Student Training project (which selection process is managed by Fulbright Commission) allows italian students to take Enterpreneurship and Management classes at Santa Clara University, California, and to intern in Silicon Valley to learn how to launch and grow start-ups

Working/interning

University opportunities

Who’s it for? Regular students

Duration: variable

How to apply: refer to your university Placement staff

Maybe you don’t have to look too far to find internships: you could check if your university provides some internships and abroad programs. Mine, for example, does: the project is called Ca’ Foscari Desk in the World – students go all over the world to promote the university and its International Placement project.

 AIESEC – http://aiesec.org/

Who’s it for? Regular students and recent grads

Duration: 4 weeks – 1 year

How to apply: refer to website, or to your university committee. It usually requires your CV, an interview with your committee staff and one or two interviews with the host committee and the company you are applying for.

AIESEC is a global student organization that provides volunteering opportunities and internships worldwide, mainly in developing countries. Lots of universities have their AIESEC committee held by students. Volunteering opportunities provide board and lodging, while paid internships, often available only to recent grads, don’t always provide it.

AIESEC opportunities concern lots of different fields. There are teaching opportunities, cultural and social work positions, marketing and tourism internships, technology, engineering and electronics companies and lots more. It’s a really good way to practice what you’ve studied, getting work and life experience abroad and even learn a language. Three birds with one stone.

 WWOOFhttp://wwoof.net/

Who’s it for? Everyone who’s interested in a sustainable way of life, as well as who’d like to experience a different kind of travel

Duration: depending on your wish and farmer’s needs

How to apply: refer to website

WWOOF is an international organization which main aim is to bring people to a sustainable way of life, but it can also be a good way to visit a foreign country and discovering its daily life. By joining WWOOF you will get the opportunity to live with locals of many countries all around the world while working in their farms – this experience could be a one of a kind!

EF Education First – http://careers.ef.com/

Who’s it for? Young people in general

Duration: variable

How to apply: refer to website or the nearest EF committee

EF Education First also recruits couriers and group leaders every year: you could have the chance to accompany students during their excursions and activities, and you could choose among your own country or another one, depending on your skills and wishes. Moreover, this experience could be the beginning for a long-term cooperation.

Disney Academic Exchange Programhttp://ip.disneycareers.com/en/academic-exchange-program/overview/

Who’s it for? Students enrolled in a university that has an exchange partnership with a US university participating in the program

Duration: variable

How to apply: contact your university to verify the partnership

This program allows students to work at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida in various positions within the resort. It is a life-changing experience and a unique opportunity to work for one of the best companies in the world, gaining experience and soft skills, living with people from all over the world and, last but not least, to start your career.

Chambers of commerce

Who’s it for? Everyone

Duration: variable

How to apply: refer to your own country chambers of commerce website

Chambers of commerce often sponsor internships abroad. Just connect to your own country’s chambers of commerce website and look for the list, find your city and then read through the advertisements, you may find the right one.

Besides these opportunities, plenty of scholarships are offered by governments and universities worldwide – just do a little research, apply and pack your stuff!

This is a guide for everyone who’d like to study or intern abroad. If you know other projects please let me know – let’s make going abroad easier!

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