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Bummed you can't fit study abroad into your schedule? Semester and yearlong programs are not your only options. Maymesters are a great alternative for those looking to travel and study abroad without having to sacrifice time out of the school year. Staying on track to graduate and having the opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture is possible with short- term study abroad programs. Read on to discover why Maymesters might be a great choice for you:
Your School: Some colleges and universities offer Maymester or January Term options so don't be afraid to check your school's off campus webpage . The nice thing about participating in a program sponsored by your home university is that you will most likely recognize some familiar faces from around campus.
If your school does not have Maymester programs... Just here on the right is a full list of options for Maymester programs in popular destinations such as Spain, France, Costa Rica and Argentina.
Cost: The financial element of studying abroad for a year or even a semester can seem overwhelming. Maymesters are a great alternative in terms of cost. Most likely, there will be a 5,000 and upwards-cost difference between Maymesters and a semester abroad. Keep in mind the price gap will vary by program, so go online and compare prices when searching for your program.
When you study abroad, you're actually helping to make America stronger.
-- Michelle Obama
No FOMO-That's fear of missing out. While studying abroad for a semester or a year is a great opportunity, it's normal to wonder about what you're missing back at school. Whether you love going to football games or your school's Spring Festival, you won't have give up spending your favorite season on campus for a study abroad experience. The best part about Maymesters is that you won't have to worry about feeling out of the campus loop. Instead of coming back after being gone for four or twelve months, you'll return to school in the Fall with everyone else, but with plenty of adventures to share.
Perks: Besides warm weather, May is a happening place for many countries. Read on!
Here's a list of different countries and exciting regions who offer unique perks come May:
Thinking of spending your first month of the summer in Italy? You'll be happy to know that not only will you score great deals on airfare during May (thank you off season!), but you also won't have to deal with the thousands of tourists that will arrive in the following months. Less lines means more time to soak in the culture whether you're sitting at a cafe or spending a day looking at the Sistine Chapel.
Looking to indulge in some local and internationally known artists while abroad? Germany's Long Night of Music in Munich is the perfect venue to immerse yourself in the culture. This 400-concert event takes place on May 17th and my hunch is, you won't want to miss out.
If watching marathons seems more enjoyable than participating, The Great Marathon in China has you covered. On May 17th watch as runners make their way up the historic monument. My guess is, there will be quite a crowd, which is perfect for taking in the Chinese culture.
Ottawa: Think Holland is the only country famous for it's tulips? Think again. From May 3-20th the city celebrates Tulipmania, a tulip festival which also includes airborne parades, tea parties and treasure hunts.
Four words: La Revolucion de Mayo aka the May Revolution, which celebrates the anniversary of Argentina's independence from Spain in 1810. Occurring on May 25th, La Revolucion de Mayo or Dia Nacional is a public holiday not unlike our Fourth of July and you can experience Parades, music and Argentinean food in a day meant for celebration.
Want to immerse yourself in Brazilian culture while studying abroad? Check out Festa do Nordestino (Festival on the Northeast) held in Taubate, Sao Paulo at the end of May. Honoring the people of the Northeast, Brazilians come together for food, performances in dance and shows, which are attributed to the region.
If you can't imagine leaving campus for an entire semester, consider a Maymester and feel free to have your cake and eat it too!
Rebecca Wojno is a college senior at DePauw University who loves traveling, learning about different cultures and reading travel and food blogs. She studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark in the fall of 2012 and is anxiously awaiting her next travel experience.