Myths about Study Abroad
#1 Studying abroad is more expensive than studying at Texas Tech
The truth: Tuition and fees of some study abroad programs may cost less than Texas Tech tuition and fees. The 2016-17 academic year estimated cost of attendance for TTU undergraduate residents is approximately $25,776, and students can use this number to compare program costs.
#2 Studying abroad is not a financial reality for some Texas Tech students
The truth: Students for whom finances are a concern should consider more affordable program options and give themselves enough time to apply for multiple scholarships. Funding is generally available, but students must plan far enough in advance to meet application deadlines. Campus staff are eager to help. It’s important to remember that available scholarships may not be exclusively for study abroad. A student may find a scholarship for “a male from Texas, studying math” that could apply. No single source offers enough to cover the complete cost of studying abroad, but a focused effort can yield a substantial amount of funding.
#3 Students who study abroad are more likely to graduate late
The truth: According to research conducted at the University of Minnesota and the University of California at San Diego, “Higher graduation rates for students who study abroad can be observed across a wide variety of variables, including race, gender, major, first-generation status, parental income, SAT score, and grade-point average” (Redden, 2012).
#4 Study abroad is not safe for my student
The truth: The safety and security of our students is paramount. It is also true that, in the words of TTU’s Vice Provost for International Affairs, “no place in the world is entirely safe” (2016). The Study Abroad staff monitors security situations abroad, vets host families, enrolls students in comprehensive health and accident insurance, and requires pre-departure as well as on-site orientations to help students adjust to their new surroundings.
#5 Study abroad is an expensive vacation
The truth: Study abroad students can use their time abroad productively, and international experiences can help them grow personally and professionally. In addition to an enhanced self-awareness developed through critical reflection and building relationships with diverse others, studying abroad often reveals a lot to students about their own character as well as skills and strengths such as problem solving, adaptability, resiliency, and intercultural humility. Conducting research or completing an international internship may further boost a student’s résumé as international experience is increasingly important in our globalized society.