Five Things to Think Of Before Studying Abroad

Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I, and so many other college students, have made. By studying abroad, I was exposed to new cultures, languages, and experiences that I never would have experienced at home. As cheesy as it sounds, I am a better person because of the experiences I have had. Whether you’ve dreamed your whole life of studying abroad, or you’re still not sure if it’s for you, selecting a program is a huge decision that can really impact the experience you have. Here are five things to consider when choosing which study abroad program is right for you:

1.) TIMING

Based on your course load, how long you are spending on your degree, and what is important to you, timing is a huge factor in selecting a program. If you have a lot on your plate during the academic year, maybe a summer program or 2-to-3-week field study is right for you. Or, if you are looking to be more immersed in the experience, maybe a longer program, like a semester or even full year is preferable for you.

2.) COST

It’s no secret that study abroad is a financial commitment. If you choose a Rollins approved semester program, the cost of the experience is typically the same as your regular on campus tuition. You can even use your regular financial aid and scholarship packages for many semester programs! On the other hand, while some scholarships are available, many summer programs and field studies will require an additional financial commitment. This means that in some cases, a short-term study abroad program could be the more expensive option. It is also important to keep transportation in mind when selecting a program location, as flights and visas are typically not included in program fees.

3.) LOCATION

Another important thing to take into consideration is the location of your study abroad program. Whether you’re a big city gal or you prefer a quaint small town, it is important to consider the environment you will be living in when selecting a program. Language and culture may also play a role in your selection. If you’re learning a language, study abroad is a great opportunity to live in a country where it is spoken, or if foreign languages aren’t your thing, maybe an English-speaking country might be the right option for you.

4.) ACADEMICS

Contrary to popular believe, study abroad does actually involve studying. That means it is extremely important to select a program that is compatible with your coursework. Whether you work on your major, minor, or general education courses, it is important to make sure that studying abroad won’t set you back academically and that your program offers courses that will benefit your college experience.

5.) PERSONAL GOALS

Possibly the most important question to ask yourself when selecting a study abroad program is “What am I hoping to gain from this experience?” Are you hoping to become more independent or discover more about yourself? Is traveling a dream of yours? Do you want to learn a new language or experience a culture entirely unlike your own? Whatever your motivation, take some time to consider your personal goals and aspirations for study abroad, and find a program that best aligns with them.

Deciding on a study abroad program is a huge decision to make, and can often feel daunting. Luckily, you are not alone! Throughout the process, the Rollins International Programs Office and your academic advisors are available to help you find a program that best suits you.

You can find out more information about all the study abroad programs Rollins has to offer at https://www.rollins.edu/international-programs/.