Study Abroad Myths

MYTH:        Study abroad discriminates against poor students
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
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
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
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
                    another language
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
                    immersion experience.

MYTH:        I can't study abroad and complete my studies/transfer on time.
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
                    academic planning.

MYTH:        Studying abroad isn't possible with my major
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
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
                    every student.