Study Abroad or Domestic Exchange
International study abroad or a domestic exchange is a great way for a Nutrition student to learn more about global nutrition, and have a terrific experience. But first things first – talk with your Nutrition advisor and figure out if Domestic Exchange or International Study Abroad is possible! Keep in mind that you may have to stay an extra semester or two at UMass Amherst, but completing a minor or secondary major in a foreign language is a great resume builder and also a great skill to have when it comes to working in nutrition and public health.
Talk with your parents or whoever helps to finance your education to see whether or not study abroad is financially possible. UMass Amherst offers financial aid for students during study abroad semesters, similar to how normal financial aid is offered during the school year.
Keep in mind that tuition, room, and board may be included in the price of the package, but flights, text books, entertainment and travel are all extras! Maybe you could work extra hours during the summers before and after studying abroad, but these expenses should be kept in mind and factored into a budget.
Also, keep in mind that UMass Amherst offers mini-semesters for study abroad during the Winter and Summer sessions. Since the semester is a shorter one, the experience will cost a lot less than it would during a full 4-month semester. Below are a few links to the UMass Financial Aid web site and also to their scholarship page:
Once you've decided that study abroad will benefit you personally, academically and career-wise, it's time to pick a country and a program! Choosing a country based on their native language narrows down the search, but keep in mind that languages such as Spanish are spoken in more than one country and some research on your part will really help you to decide where you want to go.
Also, although UMass Amherst offers a variety of programs through this university via direct exchange, don't be afraid to look at all of your options and research other programs. Many companies have dependable, long standing programs that provide Curriculum and Course Books to students and their home-university professors. With a course book that explains classes, class sizes and syllabi, students can choose which classes he/she will take with the help of an advisor, so that classes taken abroad will transfer back to UMass Amherst and either contribute to your degree in Nutrition or possibly in a foreign language.
Keep in mind that many programs and countries also offer volunteer opportunities! Volunteering in a hospital or in a classroom as a teacher's helper are great ways to get out there and get some real-life experience in a foreign country. With some university programs, students can also sit in on classes with local students; sitting in on a nutrition class could be one great way to learn about the nutrition and nutrition teachings of your country as compared to U.S. standards! Below you will find a few links to credible study abroad programs, and also a link to the UMass Amherst International Programs Office, which offers direct exchange without having to go through a separate company.
- UMass Amherst International Programs Office
- Council on International Educational Exchange
- Academic Programs International
- CEA Global Education
Get the most out of study abroad!
Really work at learning that second language and try not to speak English while you are abroad. Volunteer and get involved, just as you would during a normal semester at UMass Amherst, and make the most of your time in a foreign country!