Choosing an overseas program can be overwhelming. Consider these five factors to help you figure out which program and provider best fit your needs.
The cost of a study abroad program can be a deal breaker for budget-conscious students. If this is the case for you, find out which study abroad programs work well with your budget. No matter the program type, don’t be shocked by the initial sticker price. Most programs offer scholarships or tuition credits for students who attend member universities, such as our Diversity Consortium Summer Scholarship! Also, talk to the financial aid office at your home institution. Your university may allow you to take some, or all, of your financial aid package when you go ahead. All-in-all, studying abroad doesn’t have to be expensive! Diversity Abroad has already debunked that myth.
Even if the price is right, the program might not have the location that you want! Narrow down your options by asking yourself the following questions: What language would I like to learn? Or, do I want to live in a big or small city? These questions are sure to help you figure out a location that would be a great fit for you. After figuring out what your preferences, read a few of our destination guides to see which locations match up to your preferences.
AREA OF STUDY
To make sure your semester abroad credits count towards your major, look for programs that offer classes in your area of study. You can also use your semester abroad to fulfill basic university credit requirements. In both cases, double check with your academic advisor to make sure the credits will transfer seamlessly.
TIME OF YEAR
Consider which programs don’t fit into your academic course load. Outside of spring and fall semesters, many study abroad providers also offer programs during summer and winter or spring break to accommodate busy students’ schedules. If you have a lot of commitments during the academic year, try one of these short-term programs instead.
Think about what type of living arrangement is best for you. A home stay allows you to be fully immersed in the the local culture, whereas living in an apartment is extremely independent. Keep in mind that a study abroad program may only offer one of these options and an additional option like staying in a dorm on a university’s campus. Knowing your preference upfront will help you sort through potential programs.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER…
Finally, one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a program is how you feel about it. There may be more than program that appeals to you. Go with the program that speaks most to you and you won’t go wrong!
Authored by: Trixie Cordova