Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Studying Abroad



Studying Abroad

 
Have you always wished of travelling abroad and studying with a scenic view of Paris in the background, or take a trip down the Great Wall of China during a study break? Consider Studying Abroad! UTSC offers several opportunities for students to take courses at various institutions worldwide. There are also internships and research placements available at several universities. The International Student Centre is the primary resource centre that assists in matters related to studying abroad. You can consult with staff on the application process, the costs involved, and how to choose which program to get involved with. Several resources and programs for studying abroad offered by UTSC are outlined below.

The Study Exchange Program is a great opportunity to immerse yourself into a new culture, and UTSC has partnered with more than 125 universities worldwide so there’s many options to choose from! There are partner institutions worldwide that offer research placements as well as regular courses in the summer and throughout the year. If you’re looking to just do a summer abroad, the Summer Abroad Program offers several courses from the Faculty of Arts & Science to complete towards your degree for the duration of the summer semester (May to August). Many students prefer this program because the duration of the program is shorter and University of Toronto professors teach courses abroad, so the grades for these courses would show up on your transcript and count towards your cumulative GPA. If you’re a language student or even looking to gain experience in French, The Centre for French & Linguistics offers several studying abroad opportunities to learn French.  A few popular programs that students participate in is Explore, in which you can learn a language at an institution in Canada. UTSC also offers Study Elsewhere sessions in France, Belgium, and Switzerland for learning French. 
 
Things to consider before studying abroad:

Choosing a Program
There are various factors to consider when choosing a program and/or a university to go to. If you are interested in a particular subject or course, or want to gain research experience in a certain field, it’s a good idea to explore your options and choose a program accordingly. Consider booking an appointment with one of the career counsellors at the Academic Advising & Career Centre to explore what programs may be best for your future field of interest.
Deadlines
Most programs have supplemental application forms and deadlines to apply so make sure you are aware of the dates and apply in time! You may be required to bring in your transcript, a reference letter, resume, faculty/program supervisor permission form, a personal statement/questionnaire and an interview. You may need to plan well in advance to ensure you have a competitive resume, personal letter and interview. The Academic Advising & Career Centre offers resume and personal statement critiques, as well as mock interviews for you to gain feedback and improve.
Academic Standing
You need a minimum of 4.0 credits to be eligible. You must also be in good academic standing in order to join a study abroad program. The GPA requirements vary among programs, more competitive programs have a higher CGPA requirement, and the requirements range from 1.6 – 2.5 (up to 3.0 for some programs). Consider using the GPA calculator on the UTSC AA&CC website as a planning tool to help estimate the CGPA you will get at the time of application. If you don’t think you will meet the GPA requirements, you can also consider booking a study skills appointment to gain learning strategies to help you improve academically.
Costs Involved
In some programs you would pay the same tuition as a domestic University of Toronto student while studying abroad. However, this is not always the case and there are also several additional costs that are not covered which you would need to consider such as: accommodations, costs of living, food, transportation, books, travelling airfare, touring, and other additional costs. There may be some programs that allow you to live with a host family or on residence at the university abroad. There are several scholarships, bursaries, grants and loans available specifically for travelling abroad, but they vary based on the program of interest.
Credits
If you are looking to participate in a study abroad program you may want to consider the amount of credits you will receive. In some cases, your marks may not appear on your transcript, but you will get a credit for the courses taken. The courses you wish to take must be approved by the program supervisor of that discipline, whether you choose to take a course abroad to fulfill a program requirement or not.