What is Study Abroad?

Posted: October 12, 2022 | Author: Abbie Cochrane | Read Time: 4 minutes

Study AbroadSometimes the best place to learn isn’t the classroom, sometimes it’s in an entirely different country. In addition to welcoming students from other countries, Southern Utah University takes pride in sending students out into the world on study abroad excursions. With over 60 long-term and short-term study abroad opportunities, students can gain a unique educational experience in dozens of countries.

There are countless reasons why you should consider studying abroad, so we’ve narrowed it down for you.

Five Reasons to Study Abroad

1. Discover yourself

Self-discovery, developing confidence and becoming independent all go hand-in-hand with studying abroad. When you study abroad, you get the chance to live outside of your comfort zone for a short period of time; this creates a space that invites you to learn about yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, and your limits.

2. Travel with people who know how

Traveling can be a daunting undertaking, especially if it’s your first time on your own. By choosing to study abroad, you will be surrounded not only by peers but also by experienced travelers and leaders who have your best interest. The faculty who lead SUU’s study abroad programs often have previously led several groups and are very familiar with the area(s).

3. Make new friends

There’s no better way to make friends than by exploring a foreign country together. You will bond with those you travel with and have a connection to a place that not everyone is lucky enough to experience. You may even share a hotel room with one or more of your traveling companions. Traveling not only creates memories for a lifetime but also creates friends for a lifetime.

4. Learn more about the world

Perhaps the most obvious reason you should consider traveling is to learn more about the world. There’s something magical about seeing the places in person that you’ve learned about in the classroom. Traveling makes learning about these places more tangible and less theoretical. Studying abroad allows you to become immersed in different cultures, languages, and people. You come to love the people of the country you visit and they will always claim a special place in your heart.

5. Experience something truly unforgettable

No matter where you travel, what you see, or who you travel with, studying abroad will give you unforgettable experiences that you can hold on to forever. New memories are waiting to be made wherever you go! There’s no better time to see the world than now, so make the leap and study abroad this year.

Types of Study Abroad Programs Available at SUU

Students can choose from several different kinds of study abroads; a semester to a full year, a short-term study abroad for two to four weeks, volunteer or internship abroad, or the National Student Exchange at other schools in the U.S., Canada, or U.S. territories. These opportunities provide students with global experience in any subject or field they may be interested in. Additionally, students experience a different part of the world with a different culture to learn about and come to love.

Here are some examples of experiences that SUU students have had on their respective study abroad trips!

Maura Knutsen pursued her dream of immersing herself in Chinese culture by spending time abroad in Changsha, China at Hunan Normal University, where she studied to become fluent in Mandarin.

ACE and chemistry student, Mariah Clayson, studied abroad in London and found purpose and a learning opportunity with every excursion planned by the trip leaders.

Abby Stephens studied abroad at Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia. She was a first-generation student who got her SUU degree in economics and political science. The trip provided her a unique opportunity to learn German and speak with members of the German Parliament.

Paying for a Study Abroad Trip

For some, financing such an excursion can be a valid concern. Luckily, students can apply for study abroad scholarships to help them fund their trip. Financial support is available for both short-term study abroad and semester-long exchange programs.


It’s a lot of preparation to go out on such an adventure, but staying on top of the paperwork is the first step to being ahead of the game. It is advised that all students preparing to study abroad read about sustainable study abroad habits to protect the environment. If a desired trip is unavailable, become a Global Ambassador and potentially create a brand new excursion opportunity for yourself and other students!

SUU’s study abroad program ranked #1 in the Intermountain West for the 2017-2018 academic year. The University offers programs to dozens of countries throughout the year. For more information about studying abroad at SUU, visit the Office of Learning Abroad either in the Sharwan Smith Student Center or online. For any questions, visit their FAQ page to see if there’s an answer to your question!