It is harder to study abroad than it is to get admitted to college

education and friendship concept - happy students giving high five at school

What’s wrong with this title?  Unfortunately it is state of study abroad in America today.  For all involved this is not an indictment to their intentions, rather the unfortunate state of the “industry.”  

If you are student, and you’ve encountered the maze of qualifications, pre-approvals and other barriers to study abroad, we feel your pain.  If you are feeling down, helpless there is hope – consider summer study abroad.

If you are an advisor, stuck behind a desk, wrangling with forms, clunky computer systems and byzantine procedures, we feel your pain.  We hope you will read Abroad101 CEO’s article on “How to Fix Study Abroad” and join efforts to make information simpler to navigate, more visible and easier to share.

If you are a study abroad administrator, or leader, we appeal to you to make study abroad more open, accessible and achievable.  In Europe, the Erasmus Program makes it very easy to attend a university in another country, and many do.  Mobility seems to be a key part of university administration and university life.  In the US, we are not making much progress and we hope you’ll take a few minutes, read “How to Fix Study Abroad” and work to make the little things simpler so that we can make the big things easier.

Great introduction to a fascinating city – Abroad101 Cool Program of the Week in South India

South India-SITA

Question your assumptions, think about a broader view of the world.  This week’s Cool Program is South India Term Abroad located in Madurai in Tamil Nadu. SITA is ideal for creative writers, philosophers, curious adventurers, dancers, activists, social entrepreneurs, and maybe you. Break your limits, try SITA.

South India-SITA-reviewSouth India Term Abroad is located in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. SITA students are creative writers, future Fulbright scholars, curious adventurers, dancers, first-time international travelers, activists, social entrepreneurs, and everything in-between. Optional classes in dance, music, or art will provide you with a unique window into Indian culture, an opportunity to learn deeply, and a chance to forge meaningful connections with members of the local community. Make your experience living in Madurai a great one, and you will learn the most from the many people you will meet.

To find out more about this program, read returning student reviews and learn more or apply, please visit:

What is it to Study abroad in snowy Russia?

“Study abroad”, this phrase contains a lot of stories, means, and riddles. Every day, people choose where to show their abilities and skills. Many foreign students prefer Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Yekaterinburg is located on the eastern slopes of the Ural Mountains. You can make only a single step between the different parts of the world, because this city is a natural boundary between Europe and Asia.

groupUral Federal University gives the opportunity to study different discipline in English. Department of marketing communications and branding invites you to be trained in two programs in English: Bachelor of Advertising and PR and Master Advertising and PR. If you have wish to enroll on these programs, you will get a chance of getting full or partial scholarships.

What attracts students in the Urals? Fabrice Fosso from Cameroon came to Russia to study Advertising and PR Master Program. He believes that the standard of living in Russia is, no less than in Europe, but much cheaper. Another advantage, which he has mentioned, is the opportunity to get a scholarship for study. It`s time to find out: “What is it to Study abroad in snowy Russia.” Many students have developed their principles and rules of behavior in Russia.

studentsPeople have a lot of stereotypes about Russia, but Rastha, a student from China, has denied all stereotypes, he said: “Bears, balalaika, vodka, where is it? I only saw the birch and matrioshka.” Arriving in Russia, you can dramatically change your opinion about everything. Yes, Russia is a very harsh country, but even here you can find happiness, as Anindita Mukherjee from India did, “Traditions in Russia are very different. For example, Happy ticket – happiness can be found even in the public transports.” But what is the secret of Russia? Dr. Rahman Matiur told us about it, he said: “Open your heart, and Russia will be opened by you.”

3 studentsTo communicate with people is very important, so Dr. Saugata Santra advises “Don’t be shy. Russian people are very sociable.” Everyday Eder Cordero from Mexico meets with the Russians, and that`s what he says about them – “Russian spirit, Russian soul, Russian temperament is a powerful rod. If you meet them once, then remember it for a long time.” The study of the Russian language is included in all Master programs. It’s pleased to learn Russian with Russian girls, Abid Abidullah noted – “Russian girls are very beautiful and modest. I lose the power of speech seeing their smiles.”

Many young people are afraid to leave their homes, but if you listen to Adadi Parise from Pakistan then we can understand how people are mistaken, he says that if you come to Russia, you will not regret. “Dear Students, Russia is huge. It’s time to open it to the world”- Guillanme Ore from Cote D’ivoire.

snowy day“All in all. People need to be active, ambitious, courageous, sociable, friendly, creative, tolerant if they go abroad.” Fabrice Fosso advices, these qualities would be useful for you, if you decided to link your lives with Advertising. If you want to be successful, communicative, creative, then welcome to UrFU! After studying at Ural Federal University, you will know how to build a successful business with Russia. You’ll find useful contacts. You’ll find close friends.

Elvina K

Elvina Kurbanova is a student at Ural Federal University in Central Russia who shows that study abroad is not just an American phenomena.  Her study abroad story is summarized in this study abroad review

Debit or Credit: Which Way Should Students Pay Overseas

Debit or Credit Card

In just a few months, spring semester will be over, and you’ll be on your way to your summer study abroad trip in Japan or the U.K. or Costa Rica. You’ve been preparing for months already ― researching the climate, the culture, the cuisine ― and you already feel like a travel pro.

However, if this is your first trip overseas, you might not have considered how you are going to pay for all your adventures in that foreign land. After all, even if your program pays for your lodgings and meals, you will undoubtedly want to explore on your own, and to do that, you’ll have to pay up. Experienced travelers rarely move about with more than a few bucks of cash, preferring hard, shiny plastic instead. Yet, if you only have a debt or ATM card in your pocket, you might want to consider taking out a line of credit, instead.

Debit cards are incredibly insecure, especially overseas, and traveling with one could cause all sorts of problems ― most significantly: theft. Here is a quick comparison of the different types of plastic payment to help you decide what stays and what goes.

Credit Cards Have New Security, and Debit Cards Lack the Best Tech

Last year, the major credit card companies (including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express) called for Americans to make a move away from the traditional magnetic strip and toward computer chips. Called EMV cards (for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa), these chip-embedded cards are dramatically more secure than magstrips ever were, and therefore they are more cost-effective for credit companies, card issuers, merchants, cardholders, and more. As a result, credit card companies provided issuers and merchants all sorts of incentives to adopt EMV technology ― and most of them have.

The chips contain tons of payment information, just like magstrips, but that data is heavily encrypted and difficult to reproduce on another card. Conversely, magstrips are easy to skim information from at any payment terminal, and fraudsters need only to print another magnetic strip to start spending their ill-gotten gains.

Nearly all credit cards in the country now use chips; in fact, nearly all credit cards in the world rely on EMV, since Europe and Asia adopted the tech nearly a decade ago. However, in the U.S. at least, debit cards still rely on old magstrips to convey data. Because no incentives exist to encourage banks to provide chip-embedded debit options, your debit card remains easy to steal from, especially when you travel abroad. Worse, thieves can take as much as they want, as explained next.

Credit Cards Have Automatic Limits, and Debit Cards Have No Protection

When you apply for a credit card, the issuer evaluates your credit history (which is likely lacking when you are young) to decide how much money you can be trusted with, called your credit limit. Usually, college students can get limits between $500 and $1,500, which is plenty to use on your summer study abroad trip. Fortunately, whatever your determined limit, no matter how hard you try, you cannot spend higher than that amount ― which means thieves cannot spend higher than that amount either.

Conversely, your debit card is directly linked to your checking account, which is usually linked to your savings account. A scammer who gets access to your debit card information ― through hacking, skimming, or plain-and-simple theft ― has access to all of your money. An experienced crook will drain a debit card in minutes, leaving you little time to notify your financial institution and cancel the card. Though your bank can investigate claims of unauthorized activity, it takes months to resolve; meanwhile, you are out your life savings while you are in a foreign country.

Credit Cards Provide Crazy Travel Benefits and Debit Cards Incur Crazy Fees

Finally, many credit cards give you rewards on travel-related purchases, like plane tickets or hotel rooms, so you can explore the world for less. Usually, travel rewards cards have higher interest rates than regular credit cards, but as long as you use credit responsibly ― i.e. never spend more than 15 percent of your limit and pay your total balance every month ― you should never incur unmanageable debts.

Meanwhile, debit cards tend to punish you for traveling overseas. Because it costs extra to send information internationally, banks charge transaction fees that add up fast. Additionally, every visit to an out-of-country ATM can cost as much as $10, putting your trip well over-budget. Instead of factoring in the costs of fees, you should just start building your credit with a safe, secure, satisfying credit card for your summer studies.


A Life-changing Whirlwind – Abroad101 Cool Program of the Week in Vienna Austria



Located in the heart of Europe, Vienna is a city of almost 2 million inhabitants that, since its founding in the 3rd century, has served as a bridge between a myriad of cultures. IES Abroad’s European Society & Culture Program and Semester Music Program offer students extensive curriculum, hands-on approach, and rich experience in Vienna.


Traditionally considered to be reserved and conservative in nature, the reality of modern Viennese culture reflects an openness and appreciation of the multi-cultural makeup of modern Vienna.

The opportunity to hear great music, including classical, modern, pop, and jazz, is so considerable that you could be busy every night. The season for the performing arts in Vienna lasts from September through June; the Wiener Festwochen is a month of special concerts, theater, and opera productions from the end of May to the end of June.

To find out more about this program, read returning student reviews and learn more or apply, please visit:

How to Pack Effectively for Your Semester Abroad

girl with suitcase

Taking a semester abroad can be one of the best and most exciting times of your life. But before you get there you have to think about packing. It may not seem like a difficult task but making sure you have everything you need while also keeping the baggage to a minimum can be somewhat of a balancing act. So hopefully these tips can help you pack for your semester abroad, and get you on your way to a life changing adventure.

Make a Plan

If you know that on your trip you are going to be doing certain activities, make sure you plan accordingly. You are essentially moving for a semester so you don’t want to be unprepared for any activities you might participate in, for example: hiking, building houses, or any community service opportunities. These activities could change what you decide to pack. The best way to make sure you pack appropriately is to do your research and get to know the program you’ll be participating in. Ideally, you have been accepted into a program that includes extracurricular activities you enjoy, but there is always the possibility you will be trying new things as well, so look carefully at the itinerary and make sure you are packed for everything.

Make a List

This is probably the most important thing you can do. Creating or finding a checklist will help you map out what you really need and what you can leave behind. One thing that really helps is to lay out everything you want to bring on your bed and narrow it down from there. If you see that you have seven pairs of pants maybe you can cut back to three. Doing this will save you a lot of time and energy in the long run. Don’t forget you can always buy more shoes when you get there!

Think About the Weather

This is super important! You want to make sure if you are traveling to a cold country you are packing accordingly. Wearing extra layers on the flight is a good way to create space in your bag. Also, don’t forget to pack a hat and mittens. If you are going to a warm weather destination you want to make sure to still pack a jacket in case the weather turns, but overall you should have some more space for warm weather clothing. You also want to make sure to bring sunglasses, a summer hat, and a bathing suit.

Downsize and Utilize

Being able to downsize everything is really helpful for packing. Rather than bringing a computer, bring a tablet. Rolling your clothes or vacuum packing them can make more space in your bag as well. Also make sure you use every inch of space you have. Stuff smaller items in shoes and hats, and make sure any toiletry containers you bring are compact and completely full. A half-empty bottle of shampoo is a waste of space, so investing in a new one or transferring it to a smaller bottle will make a huge difference.


These are just a few helpful tips that will help you pack for your semester abroad, and have an awesome travel experience. One last thing, make sure you leave some room in your bag to bring home souvenirs! Cherish your time traveling and make the most of your journey. If you have any packing tips of your own, please share them in the comments!


Guest writer:

Amanda_EarleyAJ Earley is a freelance writer and travel junkie from Boise, Idaho. 

twitter: @ajvworld


Demanding, Rewarding Arabic Language Experience – Abroad101 Cool Program of the Week in Amman Jordan



Adventure, challenge and testing your limits are some some of the personal hurdles overcome CIEE-ammanin this week’s Cool Program.  Reviews tell of some extraordinary classmates that add to the impact on CIEE’s Arabic Language program in Amman, Jordan.

Jordanian professors work with you on reading, writing, oral production, and comprehension so that later in the semester or year, you can take courses like history and religion in Arabic. Homestays or Arabic-only apartments, peer language assistants, excursions, and volunteering opportunities all contribute to your ability to develop your Arabic skills to new levels.

To find out more about this program, read returning student reviews and learn more or apply, please visit:

Prepare yourself to be enamored – Abroad101 Cool Program of the Week in Cusco, Peru



Explore Cusco, Peru with ISA. Situated high in the Andes Mountains in Southeastern Peru, Cusco stands tall as the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. The nearby Inca archaeological site of Machu Picchu has long been one of the most inspirational destinations for countless travelers. Today, Cusco is one of the must see destinations in South America, due to the preservation of its culture displayed in amazing archaeological sites, architecture, and colorful Peruvian dress. Many Cusqueños still wear traditional clothing like polleras (long, colorful skirts), play zampoñas (pan flutes), and raise llamas. In addition, the exquisite Andean cuisine provides Peruvians and foreigners alike with innovative dishes.


The immersion experience in Cusco will take your handle on the Spanish language to new levels. Students will also be able to study Quechua, an indigenous language of Peru, as well as culture and history courses in English. Students receive a transcript from the prestigious Universidad de Salamanca, while attending classes at the ISA Study Center.

To find out more about this program, read returning student reviews and learn more or apply, please visit: