Direct enrollment is a great option for students who want to go abroad independently and who want to be “immersed” in their host country--to live life there for a longer period of time. Direct enrollment works just like applying to college in the States works; once you find several universities you’re interested in, you will apply there directly through that university as an international student and the credit you earn while studying there will just transfer back to Campbell.
If you choose a direct enrollment program, you will likely be going on your own without other students from your school, and you won’t be apart of an American program, but all schools that welcome international students will have pickup and orientation for you to get you acclimated to your new country and school. Direct enrollment works so well because you will put directly into that university’s system; you’ll be studying in classes related to your major where you could be the only one from your country, and you’ll be living with students that are natives of your host country. You’ll also have flexibility to create your own study abroad--while some universities have student unions designed to support internationals and host trips, most of the time you’re in charge of your own time and can plan trips and live life the way you want to!
How do I even get started thinking about direct enrollment?
Campbell partners with several organizations who specifically welcome Campbell students to their universities, but some Campbell students have also found their ideal university and made a transfer agreement with them. The sky’s the limit!
Campbell has transfer agreements with:
What if I want to go to a university that's not listed above?
Do you have a specific major that these schools don’t cover? Or perhaps you had something different in mind--say in Italy, Scotland, Spain, etc. It’s still possible to study abroad there! In fact, the agreement with Ulster didn’t exist until 2013 when a student applied directly to Ulster and Campbell was able to come to a transfer agreement with them. It takes a lot of hard work and determination, but if you have a specific place you'd like to be that fits your budget and goals better, you can still apply directly as an international student.
This requires working with both the Campbell and the host university's study abroad and international offices to come to a transfer agreement, so it is best to get started on this as soon as possible so you have plenty of time to be accepted and then to start on the transfer agreement (which will ensure that your classes from your time abroad will be credited to you at Campbell).
Suggested steps for researching potential study abroad locations:
- Google! If you have a specific place in mind, such as Ireland, Google will help you find a list of all the universities in Ireland. You can then browse through their website and view their majors. Sometimes it’s easier to look directly at university websites, because a google search will often just take you to specific sponsored programs that are geared towards Americans. Topuniversities.com is a good place to start, and Wikipedia has good articles about universities in specific countries and the rankings and sizes of them. 4ICU also has a comprehensive directory of universities in each country.
- Start a list of potential universities. Then narrow it down by major--do they have what you need to take? Maybe they don’t have your specific major but they have courses in all the general education classes you still need (say math, english, social sciences, etc--which you can easily complete in a semester), which is a viable option. Browse through each university’s list of majors offered. Often, in Europe (and particularly the UK), your field of study (known as your “major” in America) is referred to as your “course” and the actual classes are known as the “modules.” Often you’ll find a list of courses on the website, and then you can click on that course to discover what modules it offers. Unlike America, most places only have you take the modules in that specific course, but as a foreign student you can opt to take modules from several different courses.
- Once you have a list of a few universities that have what you’re interested in studying, and in the general region, be sure to check out their Internationals page. Most universities have a large section of their website devoted to this information. You’ll want to see what they offer--how do they describe their university? What kind of support do they offer to internationals? Don’t read too deeply into fees and housing details just yet--look for a page titled “Study Abroad” or “Semester Study” or a variation on that, as you won’t be going to the university to get your entire degree and don’t want to get mixed up with that. Most websites will have a section on students coming for short term periods of study and can give you advice there.
- Start chatting! Take your research and ideas into the Study Abroad Office at Campbell, and discuss with them if you’re interested in going to a school that they already have a partnership with or if you are really interested in a different one that they’re not partnered with. They will help you determine next steps for this. Also, if you’re curious about a specific program, a study abroad coordinator at the foreign university is often listed on the internationals page--it’s always a good idea to get in touch with them if you have any basic questions!
- Apply! If the Study Abroad Office at Campbell gives you the go-ahead, start the online application process with the university. The study abroad coordinators at your potential university can also help walk you through the online application process, since it can be confusing.
- Around the time you’re starting to think of applying/actually sending in applications, look at visa requirements. Most universities will have information on this on their internationals page, but it helps to look at the websites for that particular country. "Student visa in [your country]" is a good keyword to search with. Make sure to read the list of requirements carefully and write down any questions you may have. Also keep in mind that visas can take a few weeks or up to a couple months to process, so early application is key. In order to enter most countries you DO need a student visa and proof that you're studying at that particular university, usually in the form of a "sponsorship" letter. The international office at your potential university can help you with any problems/questions you have.
- Once you are accepted, you will need to begin working on your transfer equivalency forms. This is Campbell's way of ensuring that you're taking classes abroad that are similiar enough to fulfill the requirements here. Using your study abroad school's website, you can make a list of modules in your course that you are interested in, and then the study abroad office at Campbell can help you decide what courses at Campbell they'd respond to (i.e. an elementary Spanish course there fulfilling the requirements of Spanish 101 at Campbell). The Study Abroad Office will direct you on how to complete the form.
Study abroad is one of the most rewarding experiences you'll have, and college gives you the perfect opportunity to live and explore places that you might not have time to do after you graduate--and a student visa makes it much easier for long term travel! Direct enrollment is a great option if you are determined, passionate about traveling, and want to really "design" your own program. The Study Abroad Office is available to answer any questions you may have on the process, so feel free to stop in or send an email.