Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer in the United States. If they haven't already done so, students all across our country are heading back to school this week. And for more than 270,000 of them, this school year will also be the start of a whole other adventure -- studying abroad!
If you want to understand another country and its culture, institutions, and languages, there's no substitute for living there, whether for a few weeks, a semester, a year, or longer. The friendships that these experiences foster are life-changing, and they form the basis of our country's international relationships for years to come. Students with that experience are more confident and better prepared to engage globally. Studying abroad also enriches the campuses and communities around you.
In short, study abroad expands your world: new insights, places, and people open up all kinds of new opportunities, at every level.
If you're interested in studying abroad, the State Department sponsors programs for almost any kind of student -- American and foreign, high school, undergraduate, post-graduate, and even teachers and scholars. If studying abroad isn't right for you, you can bring the world to you by hosting an exchange student.
For Americans interested in seeing the world, check with you school's study abroad offices to see what's offered and check out our Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program for funding opportunities. You can also consider applying for a Fulbright Scholarship, teaching English abroad, or spending an academic year overseas through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth or YES Abroad.
Foreign students should check out the EducationUSA advising network, an incredible online and in-person resource for accurate, up-to-date information about studying in the United States. Our advisors can help with guidance on everything from picking a school to getting a visa. You can find all of our international academic programs, like the Fulbright Program, the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program, the Future Leaders Exchange, the Community College Initiative Program, and more on the Educational and Cultural Affairs website.
In the meantime, stay tuned for our celebration of International Education Week (IEW) From November 12-16, our website and Twitter hashtag will be open with Q&A, events announcements, and study abroad tips. We hope to hear from you -- or, better yet, to see you studying abroad soon!