Planning for Overseas Study

Overview

The Bing Overseas Studies Program presents Stanford undergraduates with numerous opportunities for enriching and diversifying their undergraduate experience. This is accomplished by immersing students in different cultures and academic environments. BOSP offers quarter-length programs in Australia, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Cape Town, Florence, Kyoto, Madrid, Oxford, Paris, and Santiago. BOSP sends approximately 50 percent of each graduating class abroad on one of its programs.

Applications for most BOSP programs are due two quarters in advance. This means you need to ensure the following:

  • Apply during Freshman year to go overseas during Sophomore year
  • Apply during Sophomore year to go overseas during Junior year
  • Apply during Junior year to go overseas during Senior year

As you can see, the key to making overseas study a part of your academic plans is to plan ahead

Freshman Year

  • It’s never too early to start planning for studying abroad with the Bing Overseas Studies Program (BOSP).
  • Although you cannot study abroad during your freshman year, it is a good time to begin talking with your advisors about the program that is right for you. This includes an Academic Advising Director (AAD) or staff in BOSP.  Since many BOSP programs have a language prerequisite, many students choose to begin their language study during freshman year. BOSP does not accept Advanced Placement (AP) or SATII credit for language study completed during high school. Therefore, it is important to think about how you will continue your language study at Stanford.
  • Applications for BOSP programs are due two quarters in advance, not including Summer quarter. This means you will apply during your freshman year to study abroad during your sophomore year. The exception to this is if you are applying for the Kyoto program, which is one year in advance.

Things to Do:

  • Visit the BOSP website for additional information on its programs including Overseas Seminars, language prerequisites, course offerings and application deadlines.
  • Meet with an AAD to discuss your overall academic goals and which BOSP programs interest you.
  • Go to BOSP dorm presentations and talk to the BOSP team of Student Advisors (students who have participated in BOSP programs in the past). Visit the BOSP website for profiles and information.
  • Visit BOSP in Sweet Hall to ask questions and get additional information.
  • Enroll in a foreign language.
  • After drafting your application, schedule an appointment with an AAD to review your academic goals and application prior to submitting it to BOSP.

Sophomore Year

  • Approximately 90 percent of students who study abroad with the Bing Overseas Studies Program (BOSP) do so during their junior year.
  • Take full advantage of the BOSP academic opportunities overseas by continuing language study during your sophomore year (if you have not already started it). Most BOSP programs are broad enough in their academic offerings to accommodate a variety of majors and interests. Talk with your prospective major and minor departments, meet with an AAD to discuss your academic planning and visit BOSP to ask questions.
  • BOSP encourages you to think creatively about all of its programs. Some BOSP programs do not have any foreign language prerequisites (Australia, Berlin, Cape Town, and Oxford). You may apply to more than one program, so it’s a good idea to have a second or even third choice in mind.
  • Applications for BOSP programs are due two quarters in advance (not including Summer quarter). So you will  apply during your sophomore year to study abroad during your junior year. The exception is when you are applying for the Kyoto program, which needs one year advance notice.

Things to Do:

  • Visit the BOSP website for additional information on its programs, language prerequisites, course offerings and application deadlines.
  • Think creatively about ALL of the BOSP program options available to you; have alternative programs in mind.
  • Meet with an AAD to discuss your overall academic goals and which BOSP programs interest you.
  • Go to BOSP dorm presentations and talk to the BOSP team of Student Advisors (students who have participated in BOSP programs in the past). Visit the BOSP website for profiles and information.
  • Visit BOSP in Sweet Hall to ask questions and get additional information.
  • After drafting your application, schedule an appointment with an AAD to review your academic goals and application prior to submitting it to BOSP.

Junior Year

  • Students see their junior year as a chance to study abroad, hence the slogan “Junior Year Abroad.” With approximately 90 percent of junior students studying abroad with the Bing Overseas Studies Program, Stanford is no different. Some students spend their whole junior year abroad because they planned ahead and managed to fit it in to their academic plan.
  • During your junior year, consider taking a language refresher course. This is particularly appropriate if it has been more than a year since you met the requirement for the program on which you’re traveling abroad.
  • Some students only realize in their junior year that they can study abroad and think that they have missed the opportunity. Be aware that you can study abroad in your senior year and many students do take advantage of this. Along with the option of regular quarter-length programs, you can still apply and be eligible for an Overseas Seminar prior to beginning your senior year.
  • If you have applied and are looking forward to going on the program of your choice, think about taking a class relevant to that program. These will get you interested and motivated before you go. It will also help you gain an understanding of the culture and history of the area and country where you will be. A list of related courses is available on the BOSP website.

When you return after your experience abroad, please consider applying to become a Student Advisor with the Bing Overseas Studies Program during your senior year. Then you get to discuss your experiences and encourage other students to go.