Becky Swig/Old Gold & Black
Becky Swig/Old Gold & Black

Summers Abroad are an Alternative to Whole Semesters

It is popular to study abroad at Wake Forest, whether it be for a summer, semester or year-long program. According to the Wake Forest Center for Global Programs and Studies website, Wake Forest offers more than 400 programs in over 200 cities and 70 countries, with more than 60 percent of students spending time abroad. 

Spending a semester abroad is often students’ first choice, however, spending a summer abroad is also a great option. I had the opportunity to spend two summers abroad; six weeks in Sydney, Australia in 2016 and eight weeks in London, England in 2017. While these programs were not with Wake Forest, I was still able to receive credit for my time abroad, lessening my course load for the rest my time at Wake Forest.

Most students strive to spend a full semester abroad, the majority in Europe, but I loved having the chance to go abroad during the summers. First, it fit my academic schedule very well as I did not get behind in earning major and minor credits. I actually was able to get ahead due to receiving summer credit. Moreover, I loved the fact that I did not have to be away for a full semester, as being gone for so long could get tiring at times. Abroad is a fun and exhausting experience, and after a few weeks, I was ready to come home. The shorter programs were the perfect amount of time to explore and be away without it becoming completely draining.

Spending the summer abroad is a great way to see a different part of the world while also not sacrificing time at Wake Forest and stressing about filling in courses in other semesters. Even though a summer is limited in the length of time, I still found that I had an abroad experience that matched many of my friends’ semesters abroad. I was still able to travel and explore different cities and countries. My experiences weren’t lesser because my programs were half the length of a semester program; I was actually forced to make the most of every second because of the shorter amount of time spent abroad.

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Regardless of the decision to spend a semester or summer abroad, it is a worthwhile experience to travel outside of the U.S. if at all possible. Don’t limit your choices to a semester, as a summer abroad also has many positive qualities.

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