Coming into college a lot of students have the idea that studying abroad will add another semester to their four years of college and that after they come back they will find out that most of the credits they just completed won't count. Well dear readers, I am here to tell you that those ideas are false, false, false! I have two majors from two different colleges, am studying abroad on a semester long program, and still managed to do it all in four years. So don't let this mentality set you back from what will be one of your most incredible college experiences.
The best piece of advice I can give you about studying abroad is to choose the program that is the best for you and start planning for it from your first semester on campus. Personally, with two majors I have I wanted a program with a lot of support in France and at Minnesota to know exactly what I should take for my major. With the hoards of French majors that have done this program before me, I knew exactly how to plan it into my four years. These types of programs aren't perfect for everyone though. Say, for example, you want to be the only person on the study abroad from the University of Minnesota...you are still in luck! Students have been going on many of these programs for years so both offices have extensive records about what classes transfer back to the University.
So whatever program you choose, you can be set with a little bit of planning to go on the trip of your life. Carlson does extensive work in helping with planning study abroad and there are myriad resources for you! Your advisor will start talking about it with you from day one, there are other advisors in both the international programs office and learning abroad center, study abroad fairs, and information sessions about what you need to do to plan for your big adventure. Before you know it you will be saying bon voyage!
As for me, my program is almost done. One more month and I shall be stateside for Christmas! Below is a picture from fall break in Rome at the Colosseum!