Recommendations for First-Year Students Interested in Study Abroad

The Office of Education Abroad in the Center for International Affairs at Case Western Reserve University provides a unique opportunity for students to personally experience another country and its culture, customs, people, language, and methods of problem-solving. There simply is no substitute! Students who study abroad develop important competencies that can be of great interest to professional and graduate schools, as well as future employers. Study abroad allows students to learn about themselves and their home culture through exposure to new ways of thinking and living that encourage personal growth and independence.

Regardless of academic interests, study abroad is open to all students at Case Western Reserve. Each year, hundreds of students spend anywhere from a week to a year studying in another country. Students can earn elective, breadth, minor, and even major credits on a study abroad program. We have more than 75 programs in more than 35 countries to fit all student’s needs.

Options for study abroad

As a first-year student, you can jump right into a study abroad program. First-year students are eligible to participate in faculty-led short-term and summer programs. Many academic departments across campus offer short-term programs during winter break, spring break, May, and summer. These opportunities consist of a CWRU class traveling abroad for one to three weeks, exploring how the course topic is experienced in another country or culture. Additionally, first-year students can also participate in one of 50 plus opportunities to study abroad at an international institution during summer break.

Moreover, your first year is an excellent time to start planning for a semester or yearlong study abroad experience! CWRU offers a varied portfolio of semester or yearlong study abroad options for all majors.  If you plan early, you may find that you’re better able to make the most out of your study abroad, and can more easily fit it into your four-year plan.

CWRU study abroad advisors are happy to meet with you at any time to help you find the program that meets your academic, career and personal goals. For example, you can study abroad and complete research, an internship, volunteering or a medical shadowing experience while on your study abroad.  To schedule an appointment, email studyabroad@case.edu or stop by the Center for International Affairs in Tomlinson 143.

 To-Do List for First-Year Students Interested in Study Abroad

  1. Email studyabroad@case.edu to meet with a study abroad advisor to have your questions answered and go over the process.

  2. With your study abroad advisor, you will begin to explore the study abroad options that can meet your academic and personal goals. You can also explore them solo at any time here.

  3. With your advisor’s help, select one or two universities where you would like to study that have programs matched to your goals and academic degree.

  4. Speak with your faculty advisor or the department representative to determine which courses will transfer back to CWRU and the best semester for you to go abroad.

  5. Familiarize yourself with the study abroad application deadlines for your programs of interest. You can find them here.