It's been a looong time since my last post, but for good reason! I've been busy! After finals ended last December, I packed up, drove home to Massachusetts, celebrated Christmas with my family, then packed again and flew to Dublin, Ireland!
So a bit about how study abroad works. Saint Mike's has a pretty sweet set up. Students keep their financial aid and scholarships and, while abroad, pay Saint Mike's like they would normally. Saint Mike's then pays your host institution.
Students are required to apply to study abroad. This sounds daunting, but it's fairly simple. Students first need to apply through Saint Mike's to be allowed to study abroad. Basically you need to have a certain GPA, get approval from your advisor, etc. All the requirements and forms are available on the SMC study abroad website. Next, students apply to a program through which they will study abroad. SMC has a list of programs that are pre-approved. These programs will help provide orientation in your new country, will help you get your student visa, will find you a place to live, and things like that.
I'm studying abroad through API, or Academic Programs International. I chose it because I'd heard good things about them & because they seemed on top of their game. They also have a whole bunch of excursions included. This semester I'll be travelling to Belfast in Northern Ireland & Edinburgh in Scotland, among other places!
These programs have locations all over the world, so you can really go anywhere. I have friends studying all over. Many of my friends are in Europe in Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Denmark, Spain, France. I also have friends going to Costa Rica, Ecuador, & Morocco!
It's only week 2, but I'm already so grateful to have the opportunity to study abroad! I would definitely recommend that students study abroad if given the chance! But a bit of advice: plan your study abroad journey early! I knew that I wanted to study abroad since I was a first year. Because of that, I saved some LSRs, or Liberal Study Requirement classes, to take while abroad. It made it easier to plan my classes and to get courses abroad approved by the SMC registrar.
I'll be posting soon with more pictures & stories about my first few weeks in Ireland! If you have any questions, feel free to email!