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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola’s Study Abroad Program: What You Need To Know

Sophia Graney

Studying abroad can be an enriching opportunity for students looking to expand their horizons in a location they are typically unfamiliar with. According to the Office of International Programs Website, more than 60 percent of Loyola’s students participate in the university’s program. The school currently sponsors study abroad opportunities in over 20 countries and assists students in applying to a variety of external opportunities each year. 

Deciding when and where to study abroad can often be a difficult choice for students. Dean of International Programs Jack Hobson explained some challenges he’s noticed with students trying to study abroad.

“I think a common challenge point might be when students have strong preconceived notions about the location to which they are studying, even if you’ve visited, living in a place can be quite different. Be sure to keep an open and flexible mind and heart during your program,” he said.

Before applying, students must attend a general information session and a specific information session for their desired location. From here, students choose their top three locations and fill out the corresponding application on Terra Dotta, the study abroad application portal.

Before beginning this process, it is important to gather as much information as you can about your desired location. Hobson commented on the most important thing, in his opinion, that students should know while studying abroad.

“Studying abroad is, by design, structured disruption and is intended to push students intellectually, academically, emotionally, socially, and culturally. We only send students on study abroad programming where the courses continue to advance them towards the completion of their major. Finding a program that inspires and works academically is the key.”

Another crucial factor when looking to study abroad is your passport. All students who wish to study abroad must have a valid passport. Loyola’s International Programs website states that passports must be valid up to six months after the end of the program. Often, passport information is required by Loyola’s partner universities during the application process, and a passport will be necessary to obtain a student visa.

Emma Shields ‘25, who studied abroad in Italy this past fall, shared that culture shock was another major hurdle to deal with that is not talked about much before your departure.

“I would say the biggest challenge was the culture shock and the homesickness in the first month abroad. It’s a very big adjustment and was hard to navigate in the beginning because you feel like an outsider,” she said.

Kate Izzo ‘26 did not take the traditional route when studying abroad. She decided to participate in a summer program rather than choosing to go during the school year, but she echoed Shields’ sentiment.

“Studying abroad should be in a place that you are excited to go to. For me, the two biggest challenges were homesickness and balancing all the things I wanted to do along with my schoolwork,” she said.

Students typically study abroad in their junior year, usually for a single semester. However, full-year, summer, and holiday study tours may still be available. Loyola has developed study abroad opportunities to accommodate all majors, but you should begin planning for your international study experience as soon as possible. Study abroad applications for both the fall and spring semesters are due in November of your sophomore year. For more information, you can visit

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