Peer advisors highlight benefits of studying abroad – Iowa State Daily

Erica Rinehart

Senior Erica Rinehart studied Communication, History and Cooking at the Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy in the spring semester of 2022

Taking college courses abroad is something many students have on their college bucket list. With the study abroad program and peer mentors, this is easy to achieve.

Iowa State offers programs on all seven continents and they can be used to meet major, general education, or credit requirements. Class break programs can last from one to three weeks, and full semester or full year programs are also available.

“My number one tip is to just do it,” said Kathryn Cosgrove, a senior in supply chain management and a study abroad peer advisor. “We have hundreds and hundreds of programs that fit almost any major, and you can find courses that lead to your degree.”

Cosgrove spent two semesters abroad, once as a freshman and once as a junior. She studied Spanish in Spain and environmental sciences in Ecuador.

“Studying abroad gives students the opportunity to really explore different cultures and other countries while earning their degree,” said Cosgrove. “It’s a really cool opportunity for students. It looks good on resumes and you just learn a lot about yourself.”

Travel costs are a concern for many students studying abroad, but Cosgrove assures there are ways to make it affordable. Some programs are less expensive than Iowa state tuition, while others offer scholarship opportunities.

“We usually recommend that if [students] If they are interested, they should check out our website and tell their advisors about their first semester,” said Nicole Young, a Senior Advisor for English and International Studies. “They don’t fall behind if they don’t; it just puts it on everyone’s radar.”

During her junior year, Young was able to travel to Lancaster, England to study film, science fiction, creative writing, and psychology. It was here that she learned to be adaptable and independent, which she carried over into her time on campus.

“If there’s something that’s just on the mind of a student, we usually encourage them to come talk to us because sometimes all it takes is that first step to have one of the best experiences of their life,” Young said.

While it is better for students to register sooner rather than later, the office is working to offer this opportunity to as many students as possible. Students are encouraged to study abroad in the spring semester of their sophomore year, but students are welcome to participate in programs at any time while in the state of Iowa.

The Study Abroad Center is open from 10am to 5pm at 281 Parks Library to allow interested students to speak with peer advisors.

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