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Studying abroad at Cleveland State University can provide life-changing experiences, competitive advantages

Studying Abroad at CSU can Provide Life-Changing Experiences, Competitive AdvantagesFor some, the idea of leaving home (and their comfort zone) to explore the world seems like a big leap—one that feels intimidating and risky. But for students at Cleveland State University, all it can take is one small step and the right guidance. 

Dr. CK Kwai, Cleveland State’s director of the Center for International Services and Programs, called studying abroad a “life-changing experience” now more than ever. 

“When I talked to parents 10 to 15 years ago, I would say it’s important to study abroad to be able to see things from a different perspective,” Kwai said. “As students graduate, they may end up working with folks from different parts of the world. 

“But now, when someone graduates, it’s very likely they’re working for somebody who came from different parts of the world.” 

Students can join the many who have chosen to enhance their degree at CSU by pursuing education abroad opportunities. Of the about 188,000 students who participated in U.S. Study Abroad programs for credit during the 2021-22 academic year, more than 6,000 were from Ohio, according to NAFSA. California, Texas and Pennsylvania-based universities all had 10,000 students or more study abroad during the 2021-22 academic year. 

“These are value-added experiences that keep students on track for graduation, give them real-world experience, definitely through a different lens when learning about the content from different professors in different countries,” said Cleveland State Manager of International Programs Julie Good. 

What’s Available at CSU? 

CSU works with a variety of third-party providers, including the Council on International Educational Exchange and School for International Training, to help set up its partnerships with affiliate programs and open its options for students who wish to study abroad in places like Botswana, Argentina, China, Japan, Germany, Ireland, Egypt and Australia, among many more. 

CSU’s exchange programs, whether national or international, give students the ability to experience a home away from home with unique academic opportunities. Cleveland State also offers reciprocal exchange options for undergraduate students who have been nominated by their home university. The exchange for most disciplines are taught at Chung Ang University, a private research university based in Seoul, Korea. The courses for reciprocal exchange options are taught in English. 

What are the Costs? 

University-led programs are seven-day –to –four-week programs that lead to in-residence credits. The Faculty-led Programs Abroad (FLPA) offer cost-effective options and courses led by CSU faculty members. The Spring 2024 program is based in Paris, France with travel dates from March 8-17. The program cost of just under $3,500 included roundtrip group airfare, a Paris Metro pass, a museum pass, airport transfers and more. 

How Does Studying Abroad Give Students a Competitive Advantage? 

Studying Abroad at CSU can Provide Life-Changing Experiences, Competitive AdvantagesHaving the knowledge and skills students can gain from studying abroad can give them the advantage they need to compete in an ever-evolving workplace and in an increasingly interconnected world. 

In 2019, more than 31 million job openings required skills that students can acquire while studying abroad, according to the NAFSA- Association of International Educators.  

“The world is only getting smaller,” Good said. “The types of work that we’re going to be doing in the future means that we need to know how to work together, get along with other people, respect other people, to be able to navigate diverse differences. Studying abroad helps to lead to that.” 

“When you are always in your own comfort zone, even though sometimes people acknowledge it’s important, they don’t go out of their way to find out, investigate or explore,” Dr. Kwai added. “Because you’re in your own comfort zone, you can always run back to it, close the door and you’re perfectly fine.  

“It’s only when you’re away where you have to really learn about yourself and try to understand why the world is different or why your surroundings are different than you are.” 

To learn more about Cleveland State’s study abroad programs, visit