The experience of study abroad is becoming increasingly critical in our global community. It is desirable to employers, and can be a life-changing experience for students. We encourage all Plan II students to make time in their academic career for study abroad, whether for a month, summer, one semester, or whole year. Numerous programs exist to accommodate any schedule and degree plan, and so the earlier a student begins looking into opportunities the better.
The best way to get started is to visit the International Office's Study Abroad website, there is a wealth of information here designed to educate students on the many options so they are empowered and informed. Students can search programs by country, program length, language of instruction or area of study. General planning sessions and program specific information sessions are held regularly each semeser, check out the International Office calendar to connect with these opportunities. Study abroad programs are categorized in many different ways (exchagne, affiliated, faculty-led, etc...) students can learn about the differences to find the program best suited for them. Students can also find resources to help them define their goals and fund their abroad experience.
Plan II has a travel grant fund that we use to partially support our students’ study abroad endeavors. In addition, Plan II offers two of our own study abroad Maymester Programs in Costa Rica and Italy respectively; these programs are taught by veteran Plan II teaching faculty award academic credit for courework required for the Plan II Major.
We hope to continue growing our travel grant as well as our study abraod programs and someday achieve our goal of having ALL Plan II students study abroad.
Every Plan II student planning to study abroad should discuss the matter with an Academic Advisor to ensure successful incorporation of the abroad experince into their individual academic plan. However, there are several frequently asked questions that we have answered below that are applicable to all Plan II students.
When can I study abroad?
Plan II students can study abroad as early as the summer after their first year. Second and third year are by far the most common times for Plan II students to study abroad. Occasionally a fourth year student will go abroad, but working out the timing of the Plan II thesis project as well as getting course credits from abroad posted to a student's record in time for graduation can be tricky.
What Plan II Major requirements can I fulfill through a study abroad program?
Courses from study abroad programs are most often used to fulfill the Plan II Non-US History, Plan II Fine Arts/Humanities and Foreign Language requirements. The two Plan II Maymester Programs each award credit for one Junior Seminar course. Tip - keep all course descriptons and syllabi as this documentation may be needed to demonstrate that the content of courses taken abroad are appropriate to fulfill the above requirements.
Where can I study abroad?
Anywhere in the world with the exception of some locations that present heightened health and safety risks, check out the UT Travel Policy to Restricted Regions to learn more.
How can I pay for study abroad?
There is a great deal of funding available to help students afford to study abroad. The key is to start early, do your research to figure out which funds you are eligible for, when you need to apply, then apply to everything you can. Often students are awarded small amounts from multiple funding sources which add up to take care of a good portion of thieir study abroad costs. When thinking about eligibility for funds think about your Major (Plan II Honors), your College (Liberal Arts), and your University (UT Austin); if you are pursuing a second Major in Liberal Arts or a dual degree through another College addition to Plan II, you may have access to additional funding through that Major/College. Next, some study abrord funds are specific to a particular study abraod program, type of program (i.e., exchange, semester-long, maymester, faculty-led, internship), geographic location, or may target students who meet a particular demographic criteria (i.e., first generation, hometown). Additional ideas include fundraising, using Financial Aid or taking out a Student Loan.