Want to study abroad?
Not as difficult or expensive as you think
Have you ever wanted to just pack your bags and go study abroad? Yeah, I bet you have. But how many times have you actually stopped and planned your trip?
Many students dream about going on an exchange program but most of them never really go after it — because they think they won’t have the money or the grades.
Well, you would be surprised by how many great opportunities could be yours just by taking the first few steps.
That’s exactly what happened to me: back in Brazil, I saw on the University news page a scholarship to come and study in Canada. It would be extremely difficult because there were only two places available and basically anyone who knew English of my 30,000-student-university could apply for it.
But then I thought, “Hey, it can’t hurt to try.” And here I am, a couple months later, enjoying negative temperatures and having the time of my life.
If you are interested in such an adventure, there is help on campus. I spoke to Kelly Hoglund, who is responsible for outbound exchanges at Mount Royal University.
“Students can apply for scholarships as regular MRU students, through MyMRU. They can also look for further information at the Student Awards and Financial Aid Office,” she said.
“There are several opportunities to be taken advantage of. (The Students’ Association of Mount Royal University) also has a special fund that can be used for scholarships, called the Membership Development Fund.”
Hoglund explained that the prerequisites for an exchange are: the student must have at least one year as a full-time student and must have at least one semester remaining when they get back from the exchange. Open studies students aren’t applicable for regular (one semester or more) exchanges, but they can try field schools, which are 1-4 weeks long, during the spring.
The major challenge to MRU students is the transfer of credits, Hoglund said, because the compatibility of courses at partner universities is not 100 per cent guaranteed. But students who have lots of elective components remaining usually face fewer problems.
She also said that students who are not living with their parents (ie. who have to pay for their own living costs) could go on an exchange program and spend the same amount of money they would spend for a semester here, at MRU. How awesome is that, huh?
So, are you excited? Take the first steps and see what happens!
An exchange would definitely change your views of the world and give you great advantage in your career — Not to mention all the cool people you would get to know and the awesome things you could do.
If you are indeed interested in an exchange program, you must hurry. The deadlines for the Fall 2013 and Winter 2014 end on Feb. 15.
For more information, you can visit mtroyal.ca/studyabroad or go the International Education Office, at EB3201. So make your plans, go after them and get ready to pack and go!