How to find a study abroad program that suits you

February 3, 2020

By Devin Orr, Study Abroad Intern

As college students, many of us are used to having to figure most things out on our own. That can make it a huge undertaking when you’re trying to find a study abroad program. Luckily though, there are many on-campus resources and people who are more than happy to help you in the search for a program that’s perfect for you! 

During my search, I didn’t actually utilize any of the resources available to me, and that made my experience so much more difficult than it had to be. I spent hours combing through the Clemson terradotta app (which is not the most user-friendly, mind you) and trying a million different search combinations to find a program that interested me when in reality, all I had to do was set up a meeting with my advisor and see what she recommended.

Photo of a student meeting with her advisor.

Photo Credit: Clemson University Academic Success Center

In my opinion, the best course of action to take if you’re interested in going abroad is to speak with your advisor! They have the latest scoop on all of the awesome opportunities that fit your major and your interests, so they are best suited to give you some guidance. Not only are they knowledgeable in all things your major, but they can also help you pick the best program for your remaining course list. This is the most important facet of the study abroad search! You want to make sure that you’re fulfilling your requirements while also choosing something that interests you, and this is where your advisor comes in. 

Some other useful resources on campus include Clemson Abroad, which holds Study Abroad 101 meetings throughout the year in which students learn all about what steps they need to take, what kind of stuff to bring, and a plethora of other important information. You can find all of these meetings on the Clemson University Calendar.

Devin visiting the Oland Lighthouse with her study abroad group last summer in Sweden.

Devin visiting the Oland Lighthouse with her study abroad group last summer in Sweden.

You can also wander around campus and find half a million flyers with potential study abroad opportunities. In fact, you can check out the AG Quad buildings and Hendrix to find flyers I made to advertise Sustainable Cities in Scandinavia, Clemson’s only faculty-led program in Sweden. 

Now let’s get into all the different varieties of study abroad opportunities! Being an out of state student myself, one of the best parts about Clemson’s study abroad programs is that you get in-state tuition when you go on a faculty-led study abroad to one of Clemson’s partner universities, which are located all over the world! When you decide on a faculty led program, you also avoid the hassle of having to find accommodation, organizing your own travel, and that of transferring credits. 

If none of the Clemson faculty directed programs interest you and you want to do a third party program, there are so many of those to choose from as well, and they have their own unique benefits. Although you will have to get credits approved by Clemson faculty and go through the credit transfer process, there are way more third party opportunities than Clemson faculty-directed programs, so you may be able to find one that fits you best. Depending on the program you choose, you will be more deeply immersed in the culture of the country you go to and have more options for courses.

Exchange programs are another awesome way to go abroad. I have had many friends come and go as exchange students throughout my time at Clemson, and I gotta say, they were some of the coolest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting! Basically, you just pay the amount of your current Clemson tuition, then you switch spots with a student at one of Clemson’s partner universities, and bam you’re in a new country at a new school studying! 


Considering a study abroad opportunity this summer? Check out the Study Abroad Fair on Wednesday, February 7 from 10 am to 3 pm at the Hendrix Center.