With the Fall 2022 semester study abroad application due March 15, we’re answering the most frequently asked questions our program alumni hear from students!

How do you choose your study abroad program?

Syracuse has an incredible variety of program offerings including the five Center programs and over 60 World Partners each semester, in addition to summer and other short term programs. The most important consideration when choosing your abroad program is compatibility with your major and course requirements in order to graduate on time.

The Program Selector tool is a great way to get started after establishing your course requirements/flexibility with your academic advisor. Some majors may seem difficult to study abroad with, but with careful planning and research, you may be surprised by the possibilities, and the earlier you begin planning, the better!

The two most important considerations when choosing your abroad program are academic requirements and experiential goals. Language and host families are two common factors which may deter students from participating in the program in which they may thrive the most, but always feel free to reach out to a Global Ambassador or an International Program Advisor to address any further concerns you may have.

How do I adjust to the language barrier?

Syracuse Abroad programs ensure that the language barrier will not hinder an experience in any non-English speaking host country. Often mandatory language classes feel quite the opposite of another stressful class to attend and complete course work for. Language courses are designed to enhance students’ day-to-day language skills, leaving you confident to walk the city and ask or do anything you may need.

Regardless of the experiences you might be looking for, language barrier and host families can sound daunting. Host families are just as excited for you to be there as you are! They help with the language barrier, provide exciting local tips and tricks, and are only there as a resource to you. Host families won’t take away your independence; they will help you find your independence in your new host city!

What is it like to live with a host family? Are there other housing options while abroad?

It can be intimidating to think about living with a family that you’ve never met but ask anyone who has lived with a host family – it’s amazing! There is no better way to immerse yourself in a culture than to eat home cooked meals with people who have spent their lives in the country that you’re studying in.

Host families love the opportunity to introduce students to their neighborhoods. This opportunity to learn about the area surrounding the city can help to make you feel much more comfortable while studying abroad. Visits to famous landmarks, lunch at local restaurants or cafes, and trips to local concerts are just a few examples of how host families have bonded with their students in the past!

Not convinced? There are a number of different housing options available while living abroad. These options differ between programs, and can range from multi-student flats (available in London) to student dorms (available in Madrid).

Want to be convinced? Make an appointment to meet with a Global Ambassador to talk to them about their experience abroad, or come to drop-in office hours in Bird Library!

How do I budget for my semester abroad?

Everybody’s semester is different! Here are some things to think about before you start budgeting for the semester:

  • How much do I plan on eating out? (Remember that two meals a day are provided by the host family and most residence halls!)
  • Do I want to travel? How often?
    • Many people choose to spend their time abroad discovering the city that they are in and taking advantage of trips provided by the program!
    • The location of many of our programs allows for easy, inexpensive weekend travel… one Global Ambassador says, “In Madrid, the trains travel all over the country! There are always cheap tickets to beautiful destinations… all you have to do is look!”
  • What extracurricular activities do I want to participate in?
    • There are many activities sponsored by the Center programs, as well as opportunities for students to participate in activities such as museum tours for free or at a reduced cost!

The Syracuse Abroad website has helpful budgeting information and example student expenses to help with the planning process! There are also numerous grant and scholarship opportunities available to qualifying students.

How are the courses abroad? Will my credits transfer?

There are some courses that are offered at Syracuse’s main campus as well as at the Center programs. These include some biology, psychology, business, and engineering courses. Many students also take advantage of the wide array of location-based courses at Centers, which could include anything from a Mediterranean cooking class to art history courses to courses covering the history of the indigenous people in your region of study!

The question of credits…like with most study abroad questions, the answer differs between programs. Courses taken at a Syracuse Center (i.e. Florence, London, Madrid, Santiago and Strasbourg) transfer to SU credits with no additional work on the part of the student. If a student studies at one of the 60+ World Partner programs, there are a few things to consider:

  • For many of the World Partner programs, there is a list of pre-approved courses offered by that college or university – these credits will transfer to SU
  • You can also work with program advisors to get approval for specific courses not already pre-approved – it’s helpful to work with your academic or major advisor when trying to find classes that fit into your plan!

Excited to learn more?

Stop by SyracuseAbroad@Bird for Drop-in Hours with Global Ambassadors from 4-5 p.m. in Bird Library, room 002! Learn more about studying abroad by meeting with recent program alumni and ask questions about their experiences abroad.

  • March 3: Santiago & Central Europe
  • March 10: London & World Partners

Apply by March 15 for fall 2022 semester programs.

Written by Courtney Conte ’23,  College of Arts and Sciences, and Allyson Greenberg ’22, College of Engineering and Computer Science