Want to study abroad?; Here’s a recap of the International Center’s Study Abroad Information Session

Darvin Nelson, General Assignment Reporter

UNF’s International Center continues to host Study Abroad Information Sessions which give helpful information about the numerous opportunities abroad including university exchange programs, faculty-led programs, and internships.

Students have lots of options regarding studying beyond the U.S. border, regardless of their major. Some of the benefits of doing so are enhancing language skills, learning more about yourself, expanding your professional network, taking courses from a different perspective, and much more. Courses taken while abroad not only can count towards your degree, but also look really nice on a student’s resume.

“Employers see this as a great, positive experience – something to put on your resume – it does statistically show to be more beneficial for you in employability in the long run,” says UNF Faculty-led Study Abroad Coordinator Ann Hartunian.

 Photo by Luis Quero from Pexels.

There are four different ways to study abroad at UNF:

  • Faculty-led Study Abroad programs are usually short-term programs that vary between two to eight weeks. The majority of these courses are during summer semesters in which a student travels with UNF faculty along with other UNF students.
  •  Exchange programs are agreements between UNF and different host institutions or “sister schools.” Students pay UNF tuition but attend a different school for a semester or even a whole year. 
  • Third-party Program Provider options help to plan your trip from start to finish. Students would usually travel by themselves without other UNF students, but potentially with other students from the U.S.
  • Internships, Research, and Volunteering programs can allow students to develop their careers through an international lens. 

To get the ball rolling on the study abroad journey, students should attend at least one Study Abroad Information Meeting, and fill out the Study Abroad Interest Form. From there, a Study Abroad Advisor will reach out, so that students can make an appointment with them.

Hartunian recommends that before the appointment, students should sift through the International Center website to become very familiar with what program they are interested in. 

Additionally, students also should meet with their academic advisor to understand whether or not the program that they’re interested in has any prerequisites or GPA requirements, and if it even counts towards their degree.

One of the most important steps for many students will be meeting with a financial aid coordinator to finance the program. A student’s current financial aid package could potentially be used to cover some of the program’s costs. There are also many study abroad scholarships that students can apply for, if eligible.

What about the COVID-19 pandemic?

“We are very delicately trying to ensure that we cover every base as it relates to your safety prior to going abroad,” said  Hartunian. “We are proceeding forward with 2022 travel abroad for our students for all types of study abroad. But we want to make sure that you and faculty, staff – anyone in the UNF community – your safety and your health are of utmost importance.”

 Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels.

Hartunian says that they continue to track the spread of the virus in returning students and have some great strategies in place to help keep Ospreys safe. One example is called “Wellness Check-ins” in which UNF checks in with students abroad on a regular basis to ensure that students feel supported, safe, and are fully aware of a country’s entry and exit requirements prior to traveling. 

“Things are ever-changing, so it’s so hard to say what the outlook will be, but we are moving full ahead,” Hartunian said.

If you missed this information meeting, don’t worry! The International Center will be hosting two more this semester on Oct. 26, and Nov. 30 at 3:30 p.m. through Zoom (Zoom ID: 966 8545 8964).

For any questions, you can visit the International Center’s website, or their office on the East side of the Student Union on the second floor, in room 2300. You can also email the International Center at [email protected]


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected]