What to Expect
The time you spend abroad will help you define who you are. We invite you to immerse yourself in a foreign culture, become accustomed to a new way of life, and gain perspective on your own world in a way that would not be possible by staying in Denton for the duration of your study. We want to ensure that you get the most out of your study abroad experience and that the outcome is a success.
In order to make this happen, it is important for you to consider all the logistical, physical, and emotional aspects of studying abroad.
Planning your study abroad is a thrilling experience as you look forward to future endeavors, therefore it is important that you are prepared. Please take a moment to carefully review the information in this section and in our online system to help form your practical expectations for your time overseas.
Studying in another country is one of the most exciting and rewarding opportunities available to you as part of your academic career. Your time abroad will be not only a journey of new worlds and cultures, but also a journey of self-exploration and self-discovery.
Look over the sections below to learn more about what to expect:
At the Study Abroad Office, our goal is to make sure that students can study abroad and graduate on time.
Study abroad is a unique opportunity to not only gain academic credit inside the classroom, but also an opportunity to learn outside of the normal environment to which you are accustomed.
Will study abroad affect my plan for on-time graudation?
As soon as students make the decision to come in and talk to a Study Abroad advisor, they make the first step in figuring out how to incorporate a study abroad program to contribute to their academic program, not delay it.
The sooner in your academic career that you come to the Study Abroad Office to find out more information, the easier it is to ensure that your program of choice will fit into your degree plan, so don't delay in making that initial appointment. All courses are pre-approved by academic advisors before students go abroad, to ensure the smoothest possible transfer of credits, so students do not need to be worried about being committed to something they are unsure about.
The Study Abroad Office will also facilitate the posting of credits from your program to your official UNT transcript. Depending on the Type of UNT Program you choose, some credits will post immediately, while longer exchange or affiliated programs may take up to a semester. You will choose beforehand however, the best option for you, so schedule an informational appointment as soon as you can by calling the Study Abroad Office at 940-565-2207 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What will it mean to be a 24/7 student?
Many students who go abroad report that, in addition to enjoying and learning in their weekly classes, they learned some of the most valuable lessons outside of the classroom.
Every interaction is an opportunity to learn, and to share cultural insights with others. Weekend excursions to museums and cultural sites add to your academic and personal growth.
No longer are you a student just a few hours a day, which can seem a bit overwhelming at first, but most often proves to be exciting and enriching for UNT students. As long as you approach your program as a new adventure, your experiences will translate into tangible benefits professionally and personally throughout your life, as many of our staff and student study abroad alumni will be happy to tell you. Come in to the Study Abroad Office and ask, and you will find no shortage of stories!
How will it affect my competitiveness in the job market, or for admission to graduate school?
Job Market: Students who have the opportunity to live and study outside the United States gain an understanding of another environment and culture that will allow them to start their professional life with cross-cultural interpersonal skills, giving them a distinct leg up in our increasingly globalized society. In fact, according to the Coalition for International Education, institutions of higher education in the United States are struggling to graduate enough students with the language skills and cultural competence necessary to meet the current demands of business, government, and educational institutions. Furthermore, students typically make great gains in personal confidence and gain valuable insights into their own culture that prepare them for the workplace.
Graduate School: If graduate school is your next path of choice, acceptance into graduate programs is very competitive. Studying or interning abroad will give you a competitive advantage when applying for those limited spots. When an admission committee sees the study abroad experience on an applicant's resume, they know that candidate has a variety of distinct advantages over other applicants, such as:
- You are prepared to adapt to unfamiliar environments.
- You are able to learn from different teaching styles.
- You are able to effectively communicate among diverse groups.
- You have a willingness to challenge yourself and your comfort zones.
- You may already have or be in the process of attaining a foreign language, and have intercultural skills.
By studying abroad you show initiative and eagerness to achieve personal and academically challenging goals. Study abroad also highlights your ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds, experience which will prove to be invaluable in your future.
What will it be like to take a class abroad?
Of course, the primary part of a study abroad is the "study" part of it! Your classes are your number one priority while on a UNT program.
Classes will vary depending on the Type of UNT Program you choose, and the country the course is located in. For example:
All Faculty-Led Programs will be taught by UNT professors who travel with you on the trip. A typical day includes two to three activities and/or lectures a day, that are usually held during some excursion that day in your abroad location. Class work is usually done on an ongoing basis, although professors do work around access to computers and/or internet. Some programs also include a few days on the UNT campus before or after the trip.
For Exchange or Affiliate programs, classes will very much depend on the program, university, and country you choose to study in. Do a little research on the educational system of your destination to get an idea - one great resource is the NAFSA Online Guide to Educational Systems Around the World. You will discover that in some areas of the world, it is common to go to school for a longer amount of time than in the U.S., and in other places, shorter. Typical ages of higher education students will often vary, as will student life, for example in many countries campus dorms do not exist and students live with their families. Keep in mind that just like in the U.S., courses vary depending on the individual professor.
How will I fare in a class in a foreign language I am still learning?
If you would like to take courses in a country that teaches in a different language, you may be worried about comprehension in class. However taking courses in a second language is one of the best ways to learn it, and should be seen as an exciting challenge, not a formula for disaster!
Plan on making friends with your classmates; a great way to meet someone is to ask them if they will help tutor you or if they would like to form a study group with you. Many students in other countries are interested in getting to know the foreign students at their school, and will be excited to tell you all about their culture as well. Additionally, do not hesitate to talk to your teacher. While not all countries typically have the concept of office hours, you can easily email a teacher to set up an appointment, and/or talk to the international office on the campus where you are taking courses.
Ultimately keep in mind that UNT wants you to succeed in your study abroad classes! Program coordinators are available on every type of program to help you when you request it.
Homestay: Several of our study abroad programs include a homestay option. A homestay allows you to live with a local family during your time abroad and take full advantage of every cultural aspect of your host country. Homestays could be either a single or double room, depending upon the program.
Homestays may have some basic ground rules for co-living, but in no way are considered a student's parents. This is the absolute best way to get a true sense of local culture and language, as you will live with inside experts.
Residence Hall: Programs involving a host institution may have a residence hall option for students. In this case, you can expect to share a room with one or more students also studying abroad.
Hotels: Short-term Faculty-Led Programs often opt for the hotel option for housing. Hotels may also be used for programs without a designated host institution. In this case you can expect to share a room with one or more students also studying abroad.
Of course traveling abroad inherently means you will leave your typical everyday life for a new experience; this new experience also means things like new beds, new showers, new foods, and new cultural norms. You may not have your pillow top queen bed anymore, but you will have a safe environment to begin learning about your surroundings - enjoy this departure from the norm and try new things everyday to tell your friends and family about. Go abroad with an open mind, and you will not be disappointed.
Student Support Services
From the moment a student decides to go abroad, to their arrival in their country of choice, UNT is committed to ensuring that each student's time abroad is filled with wonderful experiences, lasting relationships and unforgettable memories.
The Study Abroad Office is here to provide services to assist you in preparing for your time abroad. These support services range from information we gather and publicize to all students, to individual meetings, to being on-call for emergencies. We are here to support you as you prepare to go overseas, as well as while you are abroad and when you return.
It is critical that you prepare for your time abroad. Please click on the links below to see how to begin this process. Additional and more detailed information specific to a student's program will be loaded into the on-line system for all students after admittance to their program of choice. We strongly encourage students to share this information with their families!
Find out more about the following resources UNT has gathered for travelers:
- Passport and Visa Information
- Travel Tips and Safety Abroad
- Web Travel Resources
- UNT Health & Evacuation Insurance
- In the Event of an Emergency