Study Abroad: Myths vs. Reality

Nearly 80 percent of first-year students arrive at Gettysburg saying they plan to study abroad. Four years later when they graduate, 60 percent have spent at least one semester studying globally. Gettysburg College consistently ranks at the top in the nation for study abroad participation among baccalaureate institutions. We are very proud of this ranking and of the impactful experiences our students have, yet we want to make sure that all students see themselves as good candidates for study abroad. For that, we need your help!

Academic Majors

Myth: Students in certain majors (the sciences, for example) are not able to study abroad.
Reality: Many of our science faculty are engaged in global research and teaching, and they encourage their students to gain a global perspective by studying abroad. Our students in physics, life sciences, mathematics, and computer science can—and do—study abroad, and the benefits are obvious as they enter graduate schools and the multicultural workforce. Did you know that two-thirds of patents filed in Pennsylvania included an international team member?

Student Athletes

Myth: Student-athletes are not able to study abroad.
Reality: We lend our full support to student-athletes who study globally. Year after year we see that our athletes who study abroad bring the confidence, flexibility, and leadership skills they developed abroad back to our teams and campus, and we all benefit.

High Financial Need

Myth: Students with significant financial need are not able to study abroad.
Reality: Gettysburg College is committed to making the cost of studying abroad as close to the cost of studying at Gettysburg as possible. Students enrolled in our affiliated programs may be eligible for a flight allowance credit. There is also additional scholarship monies to meet any gaps, such as the cost of a visa or passport. Thanks to donors, the Center for Global Education has awarded more than $200,000 in grant funds to global study students in the last five years. The CGE staff is happy to address individual questions that students and families may have about financing study abroad, and we encourage students to make an appointment.

Male Students

We leave you with one other fact: Nationally, including at Gettysburg College, only one-third of students who study globally are male. Many male students are missing out. While the reasons behind this phenomenon (unchanged since study abroad tracking first began in the 1970s) would take another article, we hope that if your student is male, you will offer extra encouragement to him as he considers study abroad options. And don’t let the myths stand in the way.

Global Gettysburg

To see the impact of global study, view these videos: