About 35% of Carroll School students will study abroad during their junior year. Most students will go for one semester, but a few will study abroad for an entire year.
There are many questions that one needs to consider in making the decision to study abroad. Where should I go? What courses should I take? In starting this process, it is helpful to read the section of this site "Deciding Where to Study" and to make an appointment at the Office of International Programs.
Once you have made your decision about where to study, visit the "Preparing for Study Abroad" section for the steps you need to complete before you leave such as getting Dean Keeley's approval and selecting courses.
What Students are Saying About Studying Abroad
Alex, Class of 2013
Marketing and Information Systems
In order to meet my lofty study abroad expectations, I decided to spend a semester at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Before I ever even considered enrolling at Boston College, I knew I would be spending at least some of my college experience abroad. At that time, I knew it would be an unforgettable experience that would allow me to explore an area of the world that was completely foreign to me. However, what I did not realize was the benefits that would be reaped from actually living in that foreign land for five months rather than a measly two weeks. In two weeks, you can see the land, the architecture, and the people, but you cannot engulf yourself in the culture. I can honestly say that my five months spent in Australia were fundamental in me growing into the young adult that I am today.
My favorite memory from my time spent in Australia were the two weeks that my friends and I spent living out of a van and exploring the Great Ocean Road. We saw the most amazing beaches my day and slept under koalas by night. It was an experience that I will never forget.
I had a great experience academically. However, most of the classes I took were primarily geared towards study abroad students, so I did not have an enormous amount of exposure to local students. This could easily be overcome based on class choices.
Adriana, Class of 2013
Finance and Accounting
I attended the Dante Alighieri program in Parma, Italy. This program is for beginner speakers of Italian versus the UniParma program which is for advanced Italian speakers.
I highly recommend students study abroad because it allows for one to explore the world beyond the BC “bubble” and see it from a different perspective. Second, depending on the particular program you are in, it gives you the opportunity to meet either other BC students who you have not met before or to meet students from different schools all over the world. Third, you get to travel all the time with your friends which is always fun!
I personally felt that I grew up and learned a lot, not only academically but myself as a person; I definitely noticed a transition from the college student I was when I entered into the program in Parma and the student I was when I left; it is an experience that is difficult to describe, but I feel it is an experience that is recognizable by all those who do go abroad.
As for my favorite memory, it is difficult to pick a particular moment that stands out above all others, but I would have to say that in general terms (1) the fact that I was able to travel constantly and (2) that I was given a bike as a form of transportation in Parma are two key elements of my study abroad experience that made it particularly special. Before going abroad I had only been to Spain, and so given that most of Europe was left undiscovered allowed me to choose a variety of cities and countries to visit each weekend. This opportunity allowed me to appreciate different cultures and each country’s unique characteristics; simply wandering the streets of places like Prague, Dublin, Vienna, Paris, and Barcelona, without at the present moment thinking of school or getting an internship or worrying about your career, really allows you to appreciate life and its moments. Furthermore, using bikes as a means of transportation in Parma gave day-to-day activities a sense of simplicity (attending school, biking to the grocery store, cooking in your apartment or villa), again allowing you to appreciate life’s moments because you were forced to slow the pace of your lifestyle versus the hustle and bustle of the BC community or the American way of life.
Academically, I took a good balance between core A&S classes and CSOM classes, plus I was able to explore more of the culture of the country I was living in while also receiving credit for these courses which I felt made the overall study abroad experience more fulfilling.
Rachel, Class of 2014
Accounting and Information Systems
I studied abroad through an internal program at Queen Mary University of London in London, England. I would recommend students to study abroad because of the uniqueness of the experience. For most students, it is the first time in your life that you are in a foreign country without your parents. You have to learn how to budget your money for food, travel, and tours within your abroad city, and learn to schedule your time between schoolwork, classes, and exploration. Besides gaining these critical skills, you really form a community with those you study abroad with -- whether it be with BC kids, students from other schools, or international students.
I think the most unrivaled thing that I got out of my study abroad experience was a greater sense of self. I was financing my abroad experience on my own, so I really had to figure out what was important to me. Did I need to go to Oktoberfest, or would I rather invest the money in a trip to the English countryside or show in London's westend? Traveling to foreign countries was also an eye-opening experience. While in London I may have been able to use my American accent and dimples to charm a tube officer into ignoring the fact that I accidentally tried to go through the wrong gate, but this was near impossible in non-English speaking countries. You quickly find out how much patience you have and how good you are at problem-solving. Despite some hiccups in travel plans, I know that I walked away from abroad with a whole new group of friends and journal full of incredible experiences.
My favorite moments abroad mostly included any time that we could get the BC/Queen Mary group all together. Whether it be a tour of the Tower of London, dinner at the local Wetherspoons, or shopping in Camden Market, my abroad group was extremely special, and I loved every minute I got to spend with them.
Academically, my experience abroad was extremely different than it is in Chestnut Hill. In England, high school is set up like our university system and university is set up like our grad school program, so all classes are graded through just one or two tests or papers. Also, classes meet only once a week, so including discussions, I only had class on Mondays and Tuesdays. Having so much freedom and free time was a big adjustment for me since I have such a busy schedule on the heights, but I learned to really enjoy it. In international classes, you get out of the class exactly what you put in to it. This system became extremely appealing to me, because through the research I did more my end of term papers, I found that I was retaining a lot more information than I did cramming for a test.