Categories:  Students

Planning to study abroad

Illustration of travel with passports, globe, and atlasIf you have not considered going abroad for one of your semesters here at UIC, give me the chance to persuade you. As I am beginning to embark on my junior year abroad, I am starting to realize how valuable the study abroad program is and how affordable it can potentially be. The more I learn about the process the more I am convinced that all UIC students should at the very least look into the idea of spending a part of your schooling in a foreign place.

I have had my heart set on traveling to Europe and spending the entirety of my junior year in Paris and London. And now that it is the semester before I intend to move, it is time for me to begin the application process. The first step for applying or finding out more information about Study Abroad is to attend a First Step Session. During this 10-minute session you learn about the wide range of countries you are given the opportunity to travel to along with some of the specific programs they offer. You are also informed about the multitude of scholarships UIC and its partnering institutions have to offer, and by the end of the presentation you will be convinced that your entire trip and schooling can be paid for. After that you schedule an appointment with an adviser who will ask you which countries you are interested in and will aid you in picking a program that coincides with your major or minor from your desired country.

You will then have to fill out a study abroad form and will write a one-page personal essay that takes no more than an hour of your time. After that you complete your specific program’s form and the check of credit with your major adviser (for this you will print out syllabi of classes you wish to take and bring them to your adviser for departmental approval).

While this is the farthest I have gotten in my quest to study abroad, it has been an extremely easy and stress-free process. The advisors at the Study Abroad office are incredibly helpful, making your process straightforward. With each step I take, the excitement for my journey that is to come grows. During the First Step Session you are told that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and believe me it is true. I have no idea when the next time I will be able to upheave my entire life and move to another country with the promise of education, shelter, scholarship and set return home. Students that have been fortunate enough to take this opportunity has told me the learning experience you receive, particularly outside the classroom, is incomparable. It is an opportunity us college kids are lucky to have and crazy to pass up.


Lucy TeurelLucy Teruel is a sophomore majoring in communications and minoring in political science. Born and raised on the North Side of Chicago, Lucy loves music, French, shopping, going to the gym and traveling. She’s also an avid sports fan with a particular penchant for the Chicago Cubs. She hopes to one day become a sportscaster, so don’t be surprised if you catch her on the nightly news a few years from now.