Studying abroad can be the experience of a lifetime. Gaining knowledge while visiting another country is a valuable opportunity that will provide you with a unique skill set you can use throughout your career. Follow these five tips to effectively pick a study abroad program that's the best fit for you!
1. Look at what is offered by your school
Programs offered through your school can be an exciting experience to go see the world with people from your same school. The credits from this program are almost guaranteed to count toward your major. However, don't get discouraged if you don't find what you're looking for. Many other opportunities exist. When looking at programs outside of your school, talk to a counselor to make sure that the credits earned will transfer.
2. narrow down Where you want to go
There are so many programs that offer study abroad experiences in every corner of the world. Think about what countries you would like to learn more about and do some research to see if you would like to visit. When you are studying abroad, you aren’t just learning in your classes, you will be learning about the country as well. You may want to consider things like time zones, climate, language, general safety, exchange rates and culture.
3. reflect on attributes that ARE important to you
When browsing programs abroad, look at programs that align with your career path and what you want to accomplish. Programs will often have an outline of the curriculum that will be taught. Make sure to read all the details about the program to determine what best aligns with your professional development. While many programs are general, there are also many specific programs focused on various majors and career fields.
4. Plan the best time to go
With so many options, it is important to look at when these programs are offered. Plan out if you want to spend the fall, spring or summer semester abroad. You may even want to spend multiple semesters abroad, so it is important to plan ahead so you know when you will leave and what classes you will be taking. If a three-month experience seems daunting, consider looking at programs over winter break or other short-term experiences throughout the year.
5. Make a Financial Plan
Studying abroad can be expensive. It is essential to see if your school or program has any scholarships available. You can also look at outside organizations to seek additional scholarships or grants. Planning far in advance is the perfect way to budget and prepare for your greatest adventure!