Sunday, January 13, 2013

General Tips for Applying for Study Abroad

As stated in the title, this post will be dedicated to a couple tips for students considering study abroad in general. It may make a dull first post, but the more you know, the better : ) I'll probably do a couple more like this over the next 6 months, but these two things stood out as info I wish I knew before applying:

1)      This may sound painfully obvious but... 

      Look into scholarships early.

Like, a year before going abroad, if possible.

Most organizations and programs will start offering scholarships as early as a year prior to the semester you actually plan to be abroad. Meaning that when you might realistically start looking (perhaps the semester before you leave), the deadlines (and, in many cases, the best offers) will have passed and ended already.

The OIS has a good—but certainly not exhaustive—list of scholarships you can apply for, so, just to reiterate, check early. Have professors, the writing center, English major friends, and/or friends you can trust to be honest about your writing check your essays when you do get around to them.

NOTE: The application to apply for the Urbino program includes a scholarship for room and board.

2)      Look into citizenship.

This may sound like strange advice, but, take it from me, it’s worth looking into if your heredity includes the country you’ll be traveling to.

This was the case with me. My nonno was born and raised in Sicily, and, after he moved overseas to Venezuela and then later America, he never renounced his Italian citizenship. As this was the case, I am, by blood, considered a citizen by the Italian government. (However, in order to officially claim my citizenship, I must wait for my mother (who was not born in Italy) to claim hers, because this bloodline law is dependent on each generation claiming their citizenship).

This site may better explain it: 

If you are eligible for citizenship (the process takes about 4 months per person btw), then this will eliminate the visa process, and I almost had to learn this the hard way: Two months prior to my trip, I nearly got denied a visa. When I was at the Italian Consulate in Philadelphia to apply for one that was when I first learned about this bloodline law. To my knowledge, there is no mention of this on their website, and the OIS had never heard of this. I was actually the first student they had this happen to. Lucky me.

UPDATE: Due to a technicality with my nonno's birth certificate and greencard, I, sadly, may not be eligible for citizenship through this law after all. However, this still almost hindered my ability to partake in the program, so this would still be well worth to double check before traveling.


  1. In my journey to study in italy, I would keep these tips in mind.

  2. may be useful tips for all wishes toStudy abroad