UNH offers over 400 study abroad programs around the globe for students to choose from. Through financial aid and advising, there are resources for students to be able to spend time abroad.
New study abroad programs open up every one to two years. This past January, there was a new program to Cuba added to the long list of countries that students can go to. Next year, faculty hope to add one in Budapest. Previously, the Budapest program was split into a fall semester justice studies program and a spring semester humanities program, according to James Parsons of the College of Liberal Arts (COLA) study abroad program at UNH.
Many students who previously went abroad have shared their experiences with others.
UNH alum Eva Bergstrom studied abroad in Ghana and explained how this one particular program “stood out to me as an experience that would be totally different. I was torn between some other really amazing options but ultimately decided that this would be the best one for me if I was looking for something totally different from my little town in New Hampshire.”
Bergstrom said that the one thing that she was most surprised about was the cultural integration and how it was a lot harder to adjust to society back in the Granite State after she returned.
“There’s a sense of urgency and always getting better and getting more things that there wasn’t in Ghana. Everything was slower and more relaxed and everyone seemed happy with the way things were, living in the moment and not constantly wishing for something different,” she said.
The COLA study abroad program offers the most programs out of any college at UNH. Students from all colleges and majors are welcome to apply.
Every year, 200 to 400 students go through the study abroad programs at UNH. There are programs that are offered for a full semester, during the January term and during the summer.
Students may have preconceived notions about study abroad programs, many of them relating to financial costs.
“Some study abroad programs are less expensive than taking classes here at UNH,” Parsons said.
Parsons explained the process of applying for programs and what students can do to plan out the financial costs of their trip.
There is a formal online application that students must complete the semester before they plan on going abroad. After being eligible to study abroad, students have to fill out an internal application as well. The faculty director will review the application and determine the eligibility of the student. Depending on the program, students need a GPA of 2.0-2.5 to be approved to go abroad.
There are many resources that students can utilize when planning to study abroad.
UNH offers advising through faculty and students who have been through the study abroad program. Students can speak to study abroad advisors and faculty directors to help with the finances of their trip.
As well as financial aid advisors, there are study abroad awards and funds that COLA students can apply too. Students are able to use financial aid toward studying abroad as well.
Students can reach out to “Global Ambassadors” to learn more information about the programs that are offered. The Global Ambassadors are UNH students who have previously studied abroad, and are available as a resource for those who plan to do the same.
Global Ambassador Emma Addison studied abroad in New Zealand at Victoria University in Wellington through a program called CISabroad. Addison chose this option due to the fact that it was on the cheaper side of other programs offered.
Addison explained her experience and one of the reasons she decided to become a Global Ambassador.
When she was going through the process of finding a program, she was told that it may be hard to study abroad because of her major in occupational therapy. Even with a heavy workload and a busy schedule, she was set on going.
Addison explained that she wanted to get the chance to tell other students that it was possible to go abroad even if they are told it will be hard to find time in their school schedule with their major.
“I loved my time abroad and I honestly think it was one of the best decisions I made here at UNH. I wanted to be able to help others who might think it’s not something they could fit in with their major.”
Advice that she gives to students who are thinking about going abroad is to “do it! Even if people tell you it’s going to be hard to fit in or try and convince you you’re going to miss out on things at UNH, don’t believe them. It is not a decision you will regret.”