Why Summer Study Abroad Programs Are a Great Option

Studying abroad is a unique and valuable experience for any student. But for some of us, there are obstacles to a semester or full year away at an overseas institution. Fortunately, in an attempt to make studying abroad available to more students, BCA offers a number of summer programs that add more flexibility for interested students. With that in mind, here are some great reasons to choose a summer study abroad program.

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Major Requirements Make Missing a Semester Impossible

Most majors have certain courses students must take in order to graduate. Unfortunately, some departments cannot offer those classes every semester or even every academic year. So even if a student has room in their schedule to take electives or other required classes for which study abroad courses apply, they may not be able to miss classes only offered once every two years.

If this is the case for you, a summer program ensures you can be on campus during the spring and fall semesters when these important classes are being offered for your major. Plus, because credits from the summer program count toward your degree, studying abroad over the summer may actually lighten your course load during future semesters.

Your Athletic Season Prevents You from Studying Abroad During the Academic Year

If you’re a student-athlete, you understand the large quantities of time and energy spent towards your practices, games, and off-season training. In many ways, you sacrifice a lot for your team and passion for the sport, but there’s no need to add studying abroad to the list of opportunities you surpassed! The summer is a great time for you to go abroad as it does not conflict with possible game seasons in the fall or spring semester. Additionally, you can select a program that fits your summer schedule and avoids any pre-season training.  When presenting the idea of studying abroad to your coach, share all the benefits of studying abroad that you can bring back to the team such as your personal growth and confidence, as well as advanced leadership skills.

Obligations at Home Make Being Away for a Long Time Difficult

For some students, especially those who might be classified as “non-traditional,” leaving home for a full semester can prove difficult. Perhaps you have care-taking responsibilities or a part-time job you need in order to help pay for tuition. While a full semester outside the country might be out of the question, a shorter program may be doable.

BCA’s summer programs vary in length. Some last the whole summer, such as the Business in Spain and Intensive Summer Program in Valladolid. However, other programs, such as the Food & Sustainability in Italy program, last three weeks. This shorter term gives students the opportunity to experience an intensive and immersive study abroad program without the significant time commitment.

You Want a More Focused Study Abroad Experience

Finally, summer programs tend to be geared toward specific majors or experiences. The Arabic and Islamic Studies program located in Tetouan, Morocco, for example, is a perfect option for someone who wants an intensive program focused on Islamic culture. While semester-long programs give you broader course options, these focused summer programs let you tackle one particular interest. For those who especially want to give their full attention to a particular area of study, this is a great option.

In the end, both full-semester and summer programs have a lot to offer. But if some of the specific advantages of a summer program seem to fit your life and interests, you should strongly consider adding one of them to your college experience.

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The views and opinions expressed in these blog entries are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of BCA Study Abroad, the organization's staff, and/or other contributors to this website.