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Dear Student,
 
Congratulations on your decision to study abroad!  This will be a fun opportunity not only to learn about people and cultures from all over the world but also to gain greater insight into your own skills, strengths and aspirations. The cross-cultural communication skills you will gain while studying abroad will be incredibly valuable and will help you to become a global citizen. While at first things will feel a little uncomfortable and you may feel insecure, before long you will have a new sense of confidence and capability to thrive in the new culture, and you will make life-long friends from all over the world!
 
Study abroad is an exciting way to gain course credit toward your degree in addition to helping you develop skills and traits that will give you an advantage after graduation from Georgia College & State University.  Only a small percentage of U.S. Americans have experienced a difficult culture and lifestyle than that of their own country. International experience, cross-cultural communication skills, global awareness and foreign language skills are of growing importance in all areas of work and study, and your study abroad experience will prepare you for future challenges that will require this knowledge and experience.
 
This handbook has been designed to give you insight into the world that lies before you, as well as the challenges you may face as you temporarily relocate to a new culture. Please read it carefully, as it will provide you with accurate and valuable information about the changes to come.  While everything cannot be covered in one simple handbook, you are encouraged to visit the International Education Center to seek out answers to your questions.  In addition, former study abroad students often offer the best advice as their experience is still fresh in mind.  While we have services and information to share with you, it is YOUR responsibility to become an informed and involved participant!
 
In preparing for your study abroad experience, remember to keep an open mind.  Everything is new and different; avoid judging your new encounters as good or bad, try to laugh as much as possible, and stay flexible.  The more open you are, the more you will learn.  Most importantly, don’t forget to HAVE FUN!
 
Sincerely,
International Education Center staff
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