My name is Charlotte, and I’m a sophomore currently studying abroad in Granada, Spain. Along with about 23 other UNH students, I am taking part in the UNH-managed Granada Program, offered through COLA’s Center for Study Abroad. I will be sharing some of my experiences and observations of Spanish culture throughout the semester here on UNH Tales… Stay tuned!
As you may know, UNH provides several different options for students looking to study abroad. You can select one of the 500+ programs offered by outside institutions that UNH has approved. You can participate in a UNH exchange program in which you enroll individually at a partner university. You can find a study abroad program that suits you and petition to have it approved by UNH’s Center for International Education. Or you can choose to join a group of classmates and a UNH professor in a UNH-managed program, like I did.
What’s it like to study abroad in a UNH-managed program? I will do my best to describe it here.
1. You have a UNH professor to turn to.
Studying abroad entails living in a new culture in a foreign country, and this can be a scary thought. Luckily, with UNH-managed programs, you have a familiar figure who is there for you whenever you need help. The UNH professor who accompanies you on the program will become one of your most trusted advisors. It is comforting to have a knowledgeable, experienced professor in your group while studying abroad.
2. You will bond with other UNH students.
I personally love this aspect of UNH-managed programs. It’s hard to see a downside in meeting 25 or so fellow Wildcats and exploring a new country and culture with them. Studying abroad together is a surefire way to form bonds that continue even after the program ends.
3. You will get to see the sights.
In Spain, so far we have taken a day trip to the Mediterranean coast and a weekend excursion to Madrid. Although there are plenty of free weekends where you can plan your own trips, I have enjoyed the structure that the UNH-managed program provides with scheduled trips. Not only do we take trips as a group but we also share experiences together, such as concerts, shows, soccer games and more.
4. You will be immersed in the culture.
One of the utmost priorities of UNH-managed programs is to give students true cultural immersion. Typically, you live with a host family, which offers a maximum opportunity to practice the language and learn the culture. If you don’t live with a host family, your UNH professor will make available to you as many cultural experiences as possible.
5. Your courses will transfer seamlessly.
Since UNH has essentially designed the program, you leave knowing that the courses you take while abroad will match up with your courses back at UNH. You don’t need to worry about whether they will meet the requirements of your major or minor or whether UNH will accept the credits. This means a lot less work on your part!
These are some of the benefits of taking part in a UNH-managed study abroad program. Remember that each study abroad experience is different. If you are considering study abroad, you should seek the program that most closely aligns with your interests and priorities. There is an option for everyone, and the incredible resources of the CIE and your college’s study abroad office will surely help you find the right fit!