What Are Study Abroad Programs Like at Dartmouth?
Did you know that 60% of Dartmouth students study abroad once, and 30% will study abroad twice? I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to attend a study abroad program in Italy this past summer. In this post, I'll explain what study abroad programs at Dartmouth look like. I also want to share a bit about my experience in Italy!
When people think about the idea of studying abroad, they often attribute the experience to language learning. Language Study Abroad (LSA) programs are definitely popular options. These programs give students the opportunity to fine-tune their pronunciation and grammar skills. Dartmouth language professors are great instructors at all levels. But, obviously, there is no better way to learn a language than to be fully immersed in it! It may seem intimidating at first, but don't worry—Dartmouth professors will also travel with you.
The program I attended, Full Immersion Rome Experience (FIRE), was an LSA. My program was unique, though, for its lack of prerequisite classes. The only word in Italian that I knew before this summer was "ciao!"
But maybe you're not passionate about any languages. That's okay too! In fact, a lot of my friends are attending Foreign Study Programs (FSPs) instead. These are programs that can be offered by any department. Some popular ones include the programs in Auckland for Linguistics or Anthropology, Costa Rica for Biology, and London for Government. Most programs have prerequisites, like having previous coursework in the department. The earliest term that students may study abroad is the summer proceeding sophomore year, so there's plenty of time to fulfill any prerequisites. There are other ways to study abroad like transfer terms and exchange programs.
Luckily, the D-Plan and financial aid improve accessibility for students who want to study abroad. The D-plan breaks the academic year into quarters rather than semesters. Instead of only having eight semesters to choose from, you have fifteen terms! Studying abroad is basically guaranteed to fit into your schedule somehow. And, study abroad programs count as an "on term," since you'll be taking classes (usually with Dartmouth professors)! As far as financial aid goes, students who receive financial aid on-campus will have their scholarship amount matched. Your aid travels with you!
Regardless of which study abroad program sounds the most appealing to you, my biggest advice would be to just go! I didn't really look into study abroad programs when I was applying to colleges. Oddly enough, I never imagined myself studying abroad. But Dartmouth's study abroad system was so convenient that I couldn't resist applying. Attending FIRE was very serendipitous. My time in Rome was incredible, and I learned life lessons during my ten weeks there that I still find myself applying to my daily life. Maybe I'll dedicate a separate blog post to FIRE… But until then, explore the different study abroad programs at Dartmouth here!