MYTH: Study abroad discriminates against poor students
FACT: All financial aid can be used to support the costs of study abroad. In addition, there are
specific grants, such as the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship sponsored by the U.S.
Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, that are only open to
Pell Grant recipients. California community college study abroad programs tend to be
50% less expensive than the same programs offered by universities.
MYTH: Study abroad is not pertinent to community college student needs
FACT: International literacy provides the necessary building blocks for comprehending issues
of local, national and international importance. It provides the skills necessary to
ascertain theories and patterns of interrelationships that provide the foundation for
effective citizenship training. Finally, resulting skills allow students to become employable
for a job market whose context has changed dramatically.
MYTH: Study abroad is only for the elite
FACT: For the past few decades, California community colleges have adhered to the Open
Access mission by allowing all students the opportunity to study abroad. The reality
is that more under-represented and low-income students from California
community colleges study abroad than any other group!
MYTH: Local communities would be angry if our community colleges offer study
abroad during our current economic crisis
FACT: All of the four-year universities in California are expanding their study abroad
opportunities. To provide a situation in which only university students gain skills
that benefit students WILL anger our local communities. Most importantly, since
the majority of students do not transfer, the only opportunity for study abroad is what
they receive at the community college. That is something to be celebrated!
MYTH: I can only study abroad in English-speaking destinations because I don't know
FACT: Community college programs tend to offer the curriculum in English and simultaneously
teach the language of the host country. This is the ideal way to start learning Spanish,
Italian, French, Chinese, etc; in the country in which the language is spoken! Short-
term (summer) study abroad programs are often intensive language programs
for the express purpose of teaching the language at the beginner, intermediate and
advanced levels while living with a local host family which contributes signiricantly to the total
MYTH: I can't study abroad and complete my studies/transfer on time.
FACT: Yes, you can! Early planning helps ensure that you stay on track to finish on time.
Selecting a program that offers classes that you need, whether for your major
and/or GE requirements, will also help. A counselor is always available to help with
MYTH: Studying abroad isn't possible with my major
FACT: While it is true that community college study abroad programs do not usually offer
science and math classes, all majors still have GE requirements to complete. So why
not take that art class in Italy or that history class in Argentina? Also don't forget that
you can study abroad for personal enrichment also - not all the classes you take
abroad have to meet requirements for your educational plan. If you broaden your
education by studying abroad , it will look very good on your university transfer
application and on a resume when applying for employment.
MYTH: Studying abroad has no context to future skills
FACT: Findings from the American Association of Colleges and Universities show that
employers want colleges to place more emphasis on global issues, intercultural
competence, and intercultural knowledge on global issues. The AAC&U also
released a policy paper which calls on academe and policy makers to commit to
civic, ethical and cross-cultural learning for every academic program of study and