Let’s Go! (Here’s How)

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Students at the Sant’Andrea della Valle in Rome. From left to right: Emily Sugg, Bailey Pearson, Erick Arrizon, Tayler Trantham, Molly Drewyor, Hunter Vines, Anna Hudgeons. Photo courtesy of Joe Burns.

Do you fancy yourself studying sustainable development in New Zealand, interviewing Tibetan refugees on rooftops in India, or climbing the Duomo’s steps to overlook the hilly Florentine landscape? Good news: the Honors College has increased study abroad funding to cover 40%-50% of your costs, so with grant support, your semester abroad may actually be cheaper than attending classes here in Fayetteville. With a simplified application process, financial aid supplements, new short-term options and study abroad grants up for grabs (more than $500,000 were awarded last year), there’s never been a better time to get your passport and go.

Why Not Study Abroad?

Check any that apply:

__ Your schedule doesn’t have a lot of wiggle-room.

__ Foreign travel and your wallet don’t see eye to eye.

__ Exploring new parts of the world (with language barriers and travel logistics to work out) can be intimidating.

The Honors College can help. We have set an ambitious goal to raise the percentage of students studying abroad from 50% (already 4X the national average!) to 70% by the time they graduate. (This includes you!) To make this happen we’ve been working on some exciting new programs and simplifying the grant application process.

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Carol Gattis, associate dean of the Honors College, oversees the Honors College grant program, which awards more than $1 million in grants each year.

What’s Coming:

Short-term Trips

If you can’t commit a whole semester to a study abroad experience, take advantage of a spring break or intersession program. Many students have a major with very few electives, and they often need to do internships as well,” said Carol Gattis, associate dean of the Honors College. “They need the ability to do something short term.”

  • After a competitive application process, funding will be provided to honors students for a spring break or intersession study abroad associated with a course in which the student is enrolled.
  • The experience abroad makes a course come to life and provides some practical application and experience to expand on that learning.
  • Intercession trips will be designed to bridge multiple colleges and courses of study.
    • Already in the works: Sustainability and Nature in Costa Rica; Arabic/Middle East Studies in Jordan

Fast, Easy Application for Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs

You want to participate in one of the 30+ study abroad programs led by U of A faculty members. We’ve made it really easy for you:

  • Apply to the program.
  • Need some grant support to go? Answer a few extra questions on a partnering faculty member’s program application. (No need to fill out the usual study abroad grant application!)
  • You’ll learn whether or not you got the grant in a matter of days after the program application deadline.

New Research Programs

Type 1: Faculty-Student Team Grants

You and several other honors students are participating in a team research project and need to travel abroad. Here’s how it works:

  • Your faculty mentor can submit a short proposal to fund up to three honors students of his/her choice to work as a team around a project.
  • If funded, each student will receive a stipend of $1,250 per semester.
  • Students do not have to submit an application, and they can be selected after the award notification.

Type 2: An approved provider, such as SIT Study Abroad, leads the program.

With this full semester option, you can learn the basics of research in your discipline, and get started on your honors thesis – abroad.

  • You will identify a faculty research mentor.
  • You will take a research methods course and other courses in your field.
  • Your faculty mentor will oversee your work to make sure you’re on track.
  • You will get crucial training in research for your honors thesis as well as international research experience.
  • For more information visit Honors College Preferred Study Abroad Programs.

Need-based Aid

“Students with serious financial need just assume they can’t afford to go abroad, and that actually isn’t the case.” According to Gattis, a study abroad experience can be affordable at any budget.

  • Remember, funding has increased to 50% for preferred programs and 40% for non-preferred programs. Students eligible for Stafford loans will receive an additional 15%, and those eligible for Pell grants will receive an additional 25%. Limits do apply.
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Austin Berry and Anna Tovar teach school kids how to call the Hogs on a service learning trip to Mozambique. Woo pig!

One Last Reason to Go Abroad: Think Future Jobs!

Gattis, who oversees more than $1 million in study abroad and research grants that are doled out each year, notes the transformative role studying abroad can have on your life: “It can change you so much that it alters the direction of your life, because it opens your eyes to other possibilities that you didn’t know existed. You find what your passion is.”

Graduate schools and employers are getting the memo about the importance of this experience as well. In a University of California study, students who studied abroad made 25% more in their starting salaries and found jobs at nearly twice the rate of those who hadn’t. According to Gattis “Rather than a huge advantage it’s actually becoming a detriment to you if you don’t have an international academic experience. We need to step to the plate as an institution to prepare our students.”

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