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Disproving Study Abroad Myths

Just like any new experience or opportunity, there are many assumptions and falsehoods created about studying abroad. With accurate facts, students can make educated decisions about studying abroad.


Myth #1: "Studying abroad is too expensive!"

Reality: UTSA offers more than 1,000 study abroad programs that range in costs. Many programs are very comparable, cost wise, to studying at UTSA. There are a variety of ways to pay for studying abroad, including scholarships, financial aid, and loans. By planning ahead, you can speak to your family about your financial restrictions, as well as save for your time abroad. There are a number of scholarships set up specifically for studying abroad!

Find scholarship information here!


Myth #2: "Financial aid doesn't apply to study abroad."

Reality: The programs listed on this site have been approved by UTSA, which allows most financial aid to apply to study abroad. The main requirement for financial aid is for the course to be applicable to your degree plan. Speak to your academic advisor and to find out which courses are!


Myth #3: "I need to speak a second language to study abroad."

Reality: While some programs do have a language requirement, many programs are taught exclusively in English! Some of these programs are located in countries where English is an official language (Australia, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Kingdom) and some are hosted in countries where English is a secondary language (Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Italy, Japan, Korea, Sweden, Thailand, and Turkey).

To find programs taught in a specific language – such as English – specify a “Language of Instruction” when you search for programs using our advanced search.


Myth #4: "It is not possible to complete major requirements while abroad."

Reality: Many students are able to earn credit toward their major while studying abroad. Regulations vary by major, college, and curriculum. Some UTSA departments are stricter in their specific requirements, but other departments offer some flexibility with their course work. Some UTSA colleges offer faculty-led programs that offer UTSA-credit courses while abroad. In some UTSA faculty-led programs, it is entirely possible to earn an entire semester's credit while studying at a foreign institution. With a large variety of programs, there may be one or several programs that provide courses that fulfill requirements in a specific major or curriculum.

If you have questions, please speak with your Academic Advisor in your department or your Education Abroad Advisor.


Myth #5: "Studying abroad will delay my graduation."

Reality: Many students study abroad and graduate in on time. Students earn credit toward graduation requirements for most courses taken abroad. By frequently consulting and meeting with academic advisors, students can even study abroad for an entire academic year without affecting their graduation date. In fact, some students study abroad multiple semesters and still graduate on time.

You don't have to take our word for it! The scientific literature is here:

“Data on time to graduation and number-of-terms-enrolled show that, on average, study abroad participants enroll for more terms before graduating but that they take less time to graduate.”


Myth #6: "It would be better to study abroad after graduation."

Reality: It is difficult to find time after graduation to study or travel in another country. College is a unique time that allows for a summer, semester, or year studying abroad. After graduating, most people find that the demands of work, family, and other responsibilities prevent them from spending significant time abroad.


Myth #7: "Studying abroad doesn’t help your career."

Reality: Employers look to hire well-rounded employees who are able to demonstrate the ability to adapt well to new situations and thrive in multicultural environments. Businesses are increasingly growing into international companies and utilizing skills gained from a study abroad experience gives potential employees an edge that others lack.

Again, don't just take our word for it:
"Eighty percent of the respondents believed their overall business would increase if more international expertise were available on their staff."

"The findings suggest that all stakeholders identify clear connections between international experience and employability"

Myth #8: "It's difficult to get accepted."

Reality: Most of the students who meet the minimum qualifications and complete the application process are accepted to study abroad. UTSA is looking to increase the number of students studying abroad, and will work closely with students to find the program that best meets their needs and qualifications. As long as you're willing and ready, we will find a program for you!


Study Abroad Student by Door