How to Decide Where to Study Abroad

Choosing to study abroad is a big step, and choosing where to go is an even bigger step. With over 400 programs to choose from it can definitely get overwhelming, and often students will ask themselves, “Am I making the right choice?”

Choosing where to spend the next 5 months or year of your life can be tricky, but here are some tips to help minimize anxiety and maximize excitement!

 

1.  Consider the Language

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When looking at places to go, consider the language they speak predominately, and the languages you speak. Yes, most countries speak English as well as their native language, but you shouldn’t rely on that. For me, I chose to study in England for multiple reasons, but being an English speaking country was definitely a huge factor. But, if your heart is set on a country that speaks a different language, don’t worry, most programs will have a language immersion program to help you when you arrive.

 

2. City or Small Town  

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In many places you have the option of either studying in a city or studying in a less crowded small town. This is definitely a huge factor to consider, as the city usually means many things to do, but also more crowded, loud, and hectic, while a small town means less things to do, but more relaxed, beautiful scenery, and quiet. You have to decide what kind of atmosphere appeals to you and your goals the most.

 

3. Major Requirements

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A big question to ask yourself is, “Will this count toward my major or graduation requirements?” There is nothing worse than going abroad and coming back and realizing none of your classes will transfer back to your home university. Double check with your host university’s program and make sure to get classes approved by your home university before departing on your new adventure.

 

4. Financials

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There is no denying that going abroad can be expensive, but it can also end up being cheaper than your home university. When making this decision, consider the cost of living in other countries, as well as how strong their currency is to the dollar. Going to most European countries will be more expensive than going to Asia or South America. Considering your financial situation is incredibly important because it’s no fun returning home with zero money in your bank account.

 

5. Climate

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Are you a person who thrives in warm weather, or someone who loves rain and snow? Climate is another huge deciding factor, as that will determine the types of activities you get to do while abroad.

 

6. Homestay, Apartment, or Dorm

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Some programs will require you to live with a family, while others may have university housing, and some may even not have housing at all and require you to find your own. Consider what kind of living experience you want while studying abroad, and go from there.

 

There are many factors that go into deciding where to study abroad, but it’s really no different than deciding which university to go to after high school. Weigh all the pros and cons, and decide which program is right for you and your goals, and I guarantee it will be a time that you will never forget!