Anyone can study abroad!
Study abroad is designed as a complement to your academic curriculum by providing an opportunity to acquire a foreign language skill, learn the same or similar content through another cultural lens, and view and visit places of significance. Practice your Spanish language skills while living with a host family in Santiago, Chile; learn about the French Revolution in France and visit the sites where the revolution occurred; learn from people on both sides of the political conflicts in Jerusalem; or experience the blending of nature and city life in Hong Kong -- the world is at your fingertips!
Common misconceptions about study abroad
1. Studying abroad is too expensive.
At Notre Dame, students participating in study abroad programs conducted during the academic year will be charged Notre Dame tuition, on-campus room and meal charges, and a $750 Study Abroad fee. The cost of study abroad is the same for each program you choose. For information on specific items that are included in each program, please visit the Study Abroad Finances webpage. Scholarships and grants are also available at ND and through national organizations.
2. I don't speak another language, so I can’t study abroad in a country whose primary language isn’t English.
Some programs offer beginning level language courses. Many programs located in non-English speaking countries do not require any facility in a foreign language including:
- Athens, Greece
- Beijing, China
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Hong Kong, China
- Jerusalem, Israel
- Kigali, Rwanda
- Kyoto, Japan
- Rome, Italy
- São Paulo, Brazil
- Seoul, South Korea
- Shanghai, China
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Tokyo, Japan
3. The academic sequence for my major doesn’t work with study abroad, and my graduation will be delayed.
With careful planning, any student can go anywhere. Start the conversation early by discussing your academic plan with a Study Abroad program director as well as your specific DUS and college advising dean.
4. Employers and graduate schools don't value study abroad.
As you pursue opportunities after Notre Dame, a study abroad experience provides students with a competitive edge with prospective employers and graduate programs. The skills students gain and improve upon while abroad such as adaptability, critical thinking, decision-making, and intercultural communication are highly sought after by employers. Furthermore, having a global dimension to your academic discipline can help you stand out as you apply for admission to graduate programs.
5. It's better if I work abroad after I graduate or travel/intern abroad during the summer between academic years at ND.
While working abroad after you graduate is possible, it can be more difficult to accomplish because of a lack of familiarity with the host country or facility in a foreign language. Study abroad opportunities provide you with the experiences, the skills, and the knowledge to more effectively accomplish this goal. Moreover, once you graduate, additional responsibilities such as a job, graduate school, and/or repayment of student loans may make traveling overseas more challenging.
Summer study abroad or intern abroad programs are available through Notre Dame every year, and various opportunities exist to complement your academic curriculum and provide you with the opportunity to visit and learn from another culture. Visit our Programs page and use the term filter to search for available summer programs.
6. I enjoy my dorm community and I am concerned I won't know anyone in my study abroad program. Or I’m reluctant to miss out on main campus activities while I’m away.
Almost all of our study abroad programs have several, if not many, students from Notre Dame -- this is your opportunity to connect with other students at Notre Dame who have similar interests as you! While it is true that by being away from campus you will miss certain events that occur at ND, you will also have tremendous opportunities that will be impossible to replicate, such as:
- Developing friendships with other students around the globe
- Interning in an abroad location and establishing professional relationships that may yield future employment opportunities
- Attending and participating in events that occur around the globe, such as attending Holy Week events with the Pope in Rome or celebrating Chinese New Year in China
7. I am unable to study abroad because I am a varsity athlete.
Varsity athletes do have challenging schedules that balance academics with athletic training and competition. Study Abroad works with Athletics each year to identify summer study abroad programs that will accommodate both the academic requirements and training needs of each varsity sport. Consult with a Study Abroad program director and your athletic academic advisor(s) to discuss options that will work for you and your sport.
8. I have a special need or a disability, so study abroad seems difficult.
Study Abroad Program Directors want to work with you to determine and meet your needs as best as we can with consideration for accommodations that may be possible abroad. It is important to note that the sooner you speak with a study abroad advisor the more time we have to plan. You may also want to consult with Sara Bea Accessibility Services for additional information on whether you may be able to participate in study abroad at Notre Dame.
9. My family questions the importance of study abroad.
As one of the most impactful experiences an undergraduate can have, study abroad has numerous benefits:
- Advance your academic development
- Expand your intercultural competence
- Build a professional network and focus graduate school opportunities
- Develop problem solving skills, confidence, and self-reliance
- Explore and experience the world while completing your degree
10. Study abroad at Notre Dame is very competitive. I won’t get into a program.
Every study abroad program is unique and has its own eligibility criteria. Study abroad applications are reviewed holistically, as there are various components, including a personal statement, DUS and advising dean approvals, and a rector recommendation. No single factor will determine a student’s acceptance. Moreover, many programs work for many different majors and if you are willing to consider more locations, we can help you find a program that fits within your academic plan.
11. I am a student of color at Notre Dame and have concerns about program choice.
Study Abroad program directors can meet with you to discuss any concerns you may have about study abroad as it relates to your identity. It is likely that as a student of color you will encounter your racial identity in new and unfamiliar ways during your time abroad, as different countries tend to view race in different ways. During Study Abroad Week, Study Abroad will host a Diversity and Inclusion Returnee Panel with returnees of color who will share their insights.