Study Abroad at Kirkwood: A way to new places

There are 195 countries in the world and The United States is only one of them. Over these past few years, international travel has taken a hit, especially after the 2020 pandemic. The PEW Research Center stated that of March of 2021, the number of Americans traveling internationally was around three million, five million short of the reported eight million travelers in 2019. While the numbers have increased since 2021, we are still nowhere close to pre-pandemic times. As of June 2021, only 71% of U.S. adults had reported that they had traveled abroad at least once.

Luckily, Kirkwood offers over 15 Study Abroad programs. With around 160 students studying annually, it’s a popular way to earn credits while getting to travel and experience new things. There are three types of programs: Short term facility led, semester long and virtual exchange. Programs take place year round, with the 2024 spring and summer applications being currently available. As of now, final application deadlines are Oct. 15 for spring sessions and Dec. 15 for summer. Study Abroad Advisor Hiromi Narita, can be reached at Hiromi. Narita@kirkwood.edu with any further questions.

In order to get into the Study Abroad program, the first step is to research and pick out what program would be the best fit and then talk to your advisor. Advisors are there to help along the way and can provide great insight into this opportunity.

When students apply, they will be contacted to schedule a personal interview as well as submit a $500 deposit by the application deadline. This is considered the first payment toward their program fee. The $500 is refunded if a student is not selected but is non-refundable after the student has been accepted to Study Abroad. After acceptance, the next steps are to complete the Health Assessment Form and start attending the pre-departure meetings scheduled for the program.

Planning a budget is essential with Study Abroad. While cost can be an issue, Kirkwood offers many scholarships that can cover up to $5,000 in fees. Financial Aid can also be used toward the program. Program fees include: airfare, housing, some meals, travel insurance, and some cultural experience. These fees do not include personal expenses, passport fees, visa fees and tuition. Once students are accepted, they will start making payments for these fees, which are usually divided into two to three installments. All fees and tuition must be paid in full at least 30 days prior to the trip. More information about fees and scholarships can be found on the Kirkwood Study Abroad website. The prerequisites to attending the trip are different for each program. Information about next steps as well as itinerary and contacts can be found under that program brochure on the Study Abroad website.

Studying Abroad at Kirkwood is a great option for all students to explore. These programs have so much to offer and continue to be successful every year. Students and instructors alike both highly recommend getting involved in these opportunities while it’s available. Additional information is available on the main website: www.kirkwood. edu/studyabroad.

Categories: Opinion