The more clearly you can articulate what you hope to gain from the experience, the easier it will be to narrow your program options. Consider the following questions:
- Is the program academically suited to you, given your chosen major and/or minor?
- What do you want or need to study to meet academic objectives?
- Are there specific academic requirements that you need to fulfill during study abroad?
- Are you fluent enough in a foreign language to take classes, write papers and take notes, or will you need to take some or all of your coursework in English?
- Are you interested in taking courses on the language and culture of the host country?
- How will study abroad positively affect your academic program?
- Where do you want to go and why?
- Do you want to study in a less-developed or more-developed country?
- Do you want to be in a big city or a small town/rural area?
- To what extent do you wish to integrate yourself into the host culture?
- How much contact do you want with other American students?
- Would you feel more comfortable with the services of a resident director or are you confident you can handle problems on your own?
- Do you prefer to participate in planned excursions included in the program or to arrange your own sightseeing and travel?
- Do you want to live in a university dormitory?
- Would you prefer to live in an apartment?
- Do you want to live with other Americans or with local students?
- Do you want to live with a local family?
- Does the program require proficiency in a foreign language?
- For how long do you want to study abroad (academic year, semester, summer, special short term program)?