The mission of the Office of Study Abroad is to support the mission of High Point University to deliver educational experiences that enlighten, challenge, and prepare students to lead lives of significance in complex global communities by providing accessible international educational experiences aimed to meet students’ individual goals and develop their intercultural skill-set.
We are glad you’re considering enhancing your HPU education with a rigorous, academic experience abroad! Studying abroad brings to you a challenging experience that will take you outside of your comfort zone as you explore new cultures, ways of thinking, methods of learning, lifestyles, and relationships. At High Point University, we aim to prepare you to lead lives of significance in a complex, global community. We understand that in some ways, the HPU campus may not be a direct reflection of the world in which we live–what better way to grow than to immerse oneself in another culture, embracing a different way of living while expanding one’s horizon.
Benefits of Studying Abroad
We believe that an academic experience abroad will enhance your education as you prepare for your future. Where a vacation may allow you to see highlights of other countries, engaging in the culture as a local student will give meaning and deepen insights into yourself and the world around you. Your time in the classroom will challenge your thinking. New friendships may challenge your beliefs and help instill in you new or existing values. Your travels will become experiential as you make independent decisions. You’ll be tested to budget your time and your money wisely.
We’ve worked diligently to develop carefully crafted partnerships and programs that meet the academic needs of the HPU curriculum. These programs provide courses that will satisfy or supplement your degree requirements, often providing a global perspective to the content. With careful planning, you’ll stay on track to graduate, while enhancing your resume and intercultural skill set.
Through our partnerships, we hope to bring people and cultures together, to share their similarities and embrace their differences. Former Senator J. William Fulbright proclaimed that “International education exchange is the most significant current project designed to continue the process of humanizing mankind to the point, we would hope, that nations can learn to live in peace.” Exchange programs, especially semester programs, greatly internationalize each others’ campus, as students swap their home campus experiences for a new world.
The Challenges of Studying Abroad
Studying abroad is not always easy or comfortable. You’ll be leaving a campus that you call home for what may seem like the “unknown.” What you experience every day at HPU will, more than likely, not be what you experience abroad. You’ll find few residential campuses, and even fewer concierge services. For the first time, you may live off campus, sharing your living space with someone growing up on the other side of the world; and, for the first time, you may have had to find your housing with only the help of your host university.
There may be only one or two students from HPU on your program. You may not be greeted by a familiar face at the airport and likely won’t have a free shuttle to campus. You may not yet know any fellow classmates. You’ll experience spotty Wi-Fi. Laundry won’t be free, and you may not have the luxury of an electric dryer. In lieu of a meal plan, you may have to shop regularly for groceries, figuring out how to prepare meals daily.
But all of this can be positive.
You will learn to navigate public transportation as you commute to campus. You’ll find that you walk or bike to get to daily activities, and sometimes, you’ll walk for long periods of time or distances–but this will become the norm. Everyday tasks, like traveling through your host town, will no longer feel scary. Through these and other challenges, we hope you learn to adjust quickly, embrace the daily experience, develop transferable skills, and mature as an independent global citizen.
How To Get Started
To prepare for your education abroad experience, we encourage you to research your programs carefully. Begin with your goals–academic, personal, and professional. What do you want to learn? How do you want to be challenged? How will this experience prepare you for your future? Then:
- Explore the class offerings at various institutions. (Begin with Exchange Programs by Major)
- Meet with exchange students who are on their study abroad experience here at HPU.
- Research the location, realizing the vast majority of universities are outside the perimeter of the large cities–the capitals, the business hubs, the tourist centers–providing you with the opportunity to live like a local and embrace the culture. (Begin with Google Maps)
- Discuss your goal of studying abroad with your academic advisor.
- Be open to recommendations and advice from your professional study abroad advisor–we’ve all studied abroad and have your best interests in mind.
- Remain flexible to program locations. It’s best not to fall in love with one program. Your experience abroad will be what you make of it–the location, the host university, is the stepping point you need to accomplish your goals. Don’t be afraid to find 3, 4, or 5 programs that may prove an academic fit. Some of our students’ most transformative experiences have been the result of studying at a university they thought to not be their top choice.
Whether you’re planning a semester, Maymester, or summer program abroad, we hope you find these pages helpful in your exploration. When you’re ready to meet with a Study Abroad Advisor, please schedule an appointment by calling (336) 841-9280, or stop by our office for more information.
Get to know us, your study abroad team and visit us in Cottrell Hall, Suite 142.
We’re rooting for you and ready to help you plan for this exciting academic experience abroad!
– Your Office of Study Abroad
Check out the blogs from HPU students studying abroad: