MYTH #1: It's too expensive for you to go.
FACT: If you go on an exchange program where you "change places" with a student from a foreign institution, you can go just about anywhere in the world for no more than the cost of tuition, room, and board at your home school! You pay Western Carolina University, buy your air ticket, and go! This is a particularly GOOD DEAL if you attend a North Carolina public university where tuition and fees are one of the best educational buys in the country.
FACT: It's the law! WCU MUST allow you to use your federal financial aid for study abroad. Most state financial aid can also be used. WCU may allow you to take its "private" scholarship money with you when you study abroad, too.
FACT: Some special study abroad scholarships are available for members of the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars and from other organizations.
FACT: Some host countries will allow you to work while you study there if you are a full-time student. This can give you "spending money."
MYTH #2: If you don't know a foreign language, you can't go.
FACT: You don't need to know a foreign language to study abroad. You can study in English-speaking countries like England, Ireland, Australia. You can also participate in study abroad programs in Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Israel, the Netherlands and in Germany where courses are taught in English for English-speaking students.
Look up these programs on our web site!
MYTH #3: You won't get credit or graduate on time.
FACT: If you plan your study abroad carefully, you'll receive full home credit for all courses you take, and these can be planned so that they count toward your major, minor, or elective requirements. You CAN graduate on time and still study abroad, with proper planning. Go to the WCU Office of International Programs and Services early to start planning.
MYTH #4: It's an optional "extra" unless you're in Anthropology, Foreign Language or some international major
FACT: It is possible for students to study abroad in every discipline-not only in Humanities and Social Sciences, but also in Fine Arts, Performing Arts, Business, Engineering, Pre-Med, Education, Architecture, Mathematics, and Sciences.
FACT: Employers want to hire people with international experience, and graduate schools consider study abroad a "plus" when reviewing applications.
FACT: Study abroad can be good for you academically and personally, no matter what your major. You can take courses in your major, as electives and in Liberal Studies.
MYTH #5: Only juniors can go.
FACT: You can go abroad in your sophomore year in some study abroad programs, as well as your junior and senior year. Much of this depends on your major and your planned date of graduation. Check with International Programs and Services to learn your options. The best time to check is in your Freshman year! Start early!