The Process Before Studying Abroad 

Engineering major Michael Young ’24 will be studying abroad in Costa Rica in the spring of 2023.

A bright blue pond is surrounded by brown mountains and lush green greenery in Costa Rica.

Hello, my name is Michael Young! At this point in time, I am about two months away from leaving for a semester abroad in Costa Rica. I’ll share some of my experiences with the process at Etown for committing to a study abroad term.

Since my freshman year of college, I knew that I wanted to study abroad at some point during the next four years. No matter how long you have wanted to study abroad or travel to another county, each person will start at the same place. That is, picking a location of study from the long list of options offered by Etown. Our school has ties with many different study abroad programs around the world that have good reputations and high academic standards. There are a lot of details to look out for, including additional fees associated with a particular program, housing situations, length of the program, and more. Lucky for you, Jaime Ramos is the study abroad advisor at Etown and does an excellent job at making sure you select the most optimal program for your interests, comfortability, and availability. You will discuss all these program details at a one-on-one meeting with him when you make the first step to studying abroad.

Once you are sure of the program that you want to join, you will fill out the official application on the Etown study abroad website. You can also apply to multiple scholarships offered through the school and even ones not affiliated with Etown at all. I highly recommend applying for the scholarships here because you will have a good chance of receiving one at such a small school. At this point, you should be proud of yourself for committing to studying abroad since it takes a lot to make the first steps.

Following the application, Jaime Ramos II will work very diligently with you to create a plan for what you need to do before the start of your term and when this needs to be done. Most of the steps will be direct with your program/university of study in choosing classes and filling out academic information and health forms on their application. Your program might even assign you an enrollment coordinator who helps you with this process remotely. Etown requires some approval forms to be completed by different people on campus, but Jaime will explain the process clearly so that you know exactly what to do. Beyond here, you will be focused on buying a flight to your destination and deciding what to pack.

All in all, you might feel overwhelmed with the steps you need to complete to study abroad. I know I felt overwhelmed at times. However, you will quickly realize that it is not as much work as you would think. You can even start right this second by thinking about where you want to study. The process is a very small price to pay for an incredible experience in the foreseeable future. The point I’m trying to make is this: if you want to study abroad and you have the time and minimum GPA, it’s all yours.

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