Making study abroad affordable

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Thousands of BYU students get the experience of living abroad as missionaries, but international study programs can offer a second opportunity and give others a chance to experience living in a foreign land.

Lynn Elliott, director of international study programs, said studying abroad is life changing.

“It gives you a new perspective to the world,” Elliott said. “It gives you a new perspective to the subject you are studying there.”

Elliot said any financial aid students can use to go to school in Provo they can use to study abroad.

“They can use any of the financial aid that they are already receiving,” Elliott said. “They can use academic scholarships and any other federal financial aid, like Pell Grants or Stafford Loans.”

Elliot said there are also limited scholarships available through the Kennedy Center.

He said there are three types of international study programs and that the cost varies with each program.

“You can go on a traditional study abroad with faculty from BYU,” Elliot said. “Our office also manages international internships, or you could do a direct enrollment where you take classes at a foreign university.”

“If you go to a developing country, it will be cheaper than if you go to Western Europe,” he said.

Elliott said there are still programs open for the fall and they are starting to recruit for the winter programs.

He said studying abroad is useful because it sets students apart when applying for a job and can make resumes unique.

“I’ve talked to many students who have gone on study abroads, and no one has ever said it was a waste of their time or money,” Elliott said. “They have all said they were glad they did because it was a life-changing experience.”

Elliott said students can go to the financial aid office to find out what kind of financial aid is available for them.

Juan S. Arenas, from wehostels.com, said students can still get the opportunity to study abroad even if money is tight.

“Students are making study abroad affordable by studying later in their academic careers, for shorter periods of time and in emerging countries like China, India and Brazil,” Arenas said.

Adam Stewart, a sophomore studying Spanish and finance, said affordability was the reason he never considered a study abroad.

“I never thought about doing a study abroad because they are so expensive,” Stewart said. “I didn’t want to use my money for that.”

After his Spanish teacher told him about an opportunity in Peru, he learned how it could be affordable and applied for the program.

Stewart will be doing an internship this summer in Peru and will take classes in the fall at an international business school there.

“My academic scholarship will take care of the schooling cost,” Stewart said. “And I was able to get a $2,000 scholarship from the Spanish department to cover my traveling costs. Applying for the scholarships was a time-consuming process, but it’s not difficult.”

Stewart said he will have to pay for his food, housing and transportation when he is in school, but all of that will be taken care of during his internship.

“Hopefully, by being able to go do this, it will give me a chance to not only speak Spanish still but it will give me good experience interacting in a business environment,” Stewart said. “I think it will give me the necessary background for getting a job here eventually or abroad.”

For more information on international study programs, visit kennedy.byu.edu/.

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