Exploring Graduate School Study Abroad Opportunities

by Naomi Mannino

Whether you took advantage of the opportunity to study abroad as an undergraduate or stayed on campus each year, did you know you can get another chance to explore the world? Exciting graduate school study abroad opportunities allow you to further your education (and understanding of your chosen field while living in another country.

“Studying away in graduate school allows students to experience an aspect of their degree coursework in another context and culture,” said Allison Smith, program coordinator for graduate and short-term programs at Azusa Pacific University.

This is great news if you’re looking to pursue a master’s degree—especially one that might have an international or cultural component. Here’s what you need to know about graduate school study abroad programs, and the long-term benefits you could enjoy.

Advantages of Studying Abroad in Graduate School

Most graduate school study abroad programs are incredibly immersive and help give individuals another perspective on the world. At APU, the study away opportunities are faculty-directed, short-term experiences that constitute a portion of a course and help students expand their frames of reference.

“These programs allow for a deeper interaction with faculty and firsthand experience with diverse perspectives and international communities, providing a gateway to developing global commitment,” Smith explained. “Students gain meaningful additions to their repertoire of experiences that contribute to their overall employability and leadership within professional and vocational contexts.”

Smith emphasized that these learning experiences can potentially lead to international employment. Whether you’re interested in studying abroad to cultivate a career path, or simply want to be open to as many future opportunities as possible, it’s a great way to broaden your horizons (literally).

Because APU graduate school coursework is experiential, study away programs can expand on real-life cases and simulations in meaningful ways. During your time abroad, you can expect to gain experience facilitating, observing, and evaluating the inner workings, management, and operations of organizations around the world.

Meaningful Graduate School Study Away Experiences

Currently, students at Azusa Pacific University can elect to complete an intensive, international field experience trip as part of their master’s degree—in locations such as Asia, Africa, Europe, South, and Central America. For many of these individuals, the world becomes their classroom.

For example, those seeking careers in learning institutions around the world can participate in APU’s field-based Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) master’s education program. Educators with a secured contract for teaching abroad are offered the opportunity to earn a master’s degree in two years while working in their own overseas classrooms.

New Opportunities on Offer at APU

In the fall of 2018, master’s nursing students from Azusa Pacific University were afforded clinical experiences in both acute and chronic care settings in Vietnam and Brazil. This is incredibly important training for individuals interested in exploring the cultural, economic, systemic, and philosophical aspects of nursing that influence healthcare systems in other countries.

This summer, several graduate-level social work study abroad programs will take APU students to far away parts of the globe such as Ecuador, India, and Kenya. While embedded in these countries, students will work with a number of client populations, such as trafficked young adults and survivors of domestic abuse, who are in dire need of services and resources. Students will learn and practice evaluation and assessment skills, find resources, uncover opportunities, and seek out—as well as apply for—grant funding.

Master’s students with international business aspirations can study abroad to get a firsthand experience of working at a global business within the manufacturing, merchandising, services, and financial industries, as well as government and nonprofit sectors of the economy. Previous graduate-level study away programs within APU’s School of Business and Management have included corporate visits to the Department of Homeland Security, International Republican Institute, Intel European Headquarters, American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, and Google Ireland offices.

This is not the kind of learning you can get in a classroom, lecture, or a book. These graduate school study abroad programs are an excellent way to go deeper into subject matter that interests you, travel out of your comfort zone, and immerse yourself in the lives of others—ultimately finding a place in the world where you can make a real difference.

Interested in learning more about graduate school study abroad opportunities offered at Azusa Pacific University? View a list of available programs.