My name is Grace Mangigian and I am a senior here at Haverford. I’m a student assistant in the Office of International Academic Programs and I studied abroad during my junior year in Copenhagen, Denmark on the DIS program.
Studying abroad in the fall of my junior year was one of the best decisions I ever made. But if you had asked me at the beginning of my sophomore year if I planned on going abroad, I would have said, “Maybeeee?”
I’m going to be totally real with you. Although plenty of my friends studied abroad, it hadn’t crossed my mind until I saw a poster for a “Study Abroad Info Session” as I walked into Lunt one day. So I’ve got five tips for all of you sophomores who may be thinking “Maybeeee?” to studying abroad.
1. Go to an information session: This is the first step (and did I mention it was mandatory?). You’ll go. You’ll feel totally overwhelmed with the amount of information thrown at you. This is normal! Eat the chocolates. Get excited about all the amazing programs! If you still haven’t gone, the next info session is Friday, March 18th, at 4:15pm in Chase Auditorium.
2. Do a little research of your own: Figure out your priorities. Are you looking to study abroad in the fall or spring? For many majors, there are certain requirements that can only be filled during one of the semesters. I talked with someone in the psych department, read the psych major guide, and realized it would make the most sense for me to study abroad in the fall, and do my lab requirements when I returned in the spring. I also knew there was a family event I couldn’t miss in March. These are all things to think about!
So, in sum, think about these things:
- Major/Minor Requirements
- Language Requirement (are you looking for programs that will fulfill a language requirement?)
- Family events
- Internship opportunities
- Classes (finding programs that offer things you aren’t able to take at Haverford
3. Make an appointment with Dean Mancini: Again, eat the chocolates. I brought a list of 4 programs I was considering, and we talked through my options. Dean Mancini helped me think about the kind of experience I wanted. Through our discussion, I realized I wanted to be in Europe, at a program that would walk me through being abroad, and somewhere where I wouldn’t spend every penny I saved.
4. Read the program reviews online and fill out the Declaration of Intent : Did you know that every Haverford student who has studied abroad wrote a review about their experience? IT IS AMAZING. Go onto the website and scroll away! Reading the reviews helped me figure out what program would be right for me. Once I made my decision, I filled out the declaration of intent .
5. Never forget your resources: Feeling lost or confused at any point in the process? The study abroad office is there to help! Never feel awkward stopping by Chase 213 for a quick question. Reach out to Haverfordians who did the program in previous years. Text me! Seriously- you have a ton of resources, and it’s up to you to use them!
Studying abroad was a phenomenal experience that helped me grow as a person, and also helped me build my resume. I took business classes that I would never have had the opportunity to take unless I had study abroad. I worked at a TEDx Conference, had an internship at a global entrepreneurship competition, and got to work on a design challenge for Volvo. These experiences helped me attain an incredible summer internship and post-grad position! On top of it all, I was suddenly fearless and not afraid to live without wi-fi!
Study abroad. You won’t regret it.
Declaration of Intent Deadline for Fall 2016 and 2016-2017 Academic Year Study Abroad
Monday, February 15th
Information Table with IFSA-Butler
Tuesday, March 15th
4:00 PM, DC Lobby
-Stop by to talk with a representative from IFSA-Butler, or just pick up some brochures!
Mandatory Information Session
Friday, March 18th
4:15 PM, Chase Auditorium
-All students studying abroad are required to attend one information session prior to studying abroad.
Study Abroad Financial Aid Information Session
Wednesday, March 30th
4:00 PM, Chase Auditorium
My sister came to visit!
My amazing host family
Making Christmas decorations with my little host sister
The view from my bedroom