front page Choosing a study abroad program
Choosing a study abroad program is now easier - and harder - than ever. With more than 1500 educational programs to choose from, almost every student is sure to find something that fulfils his or her needs. But with so many options, how does one find the right program? Here are some common questions that arise.
How do I choose a program?
In order to choose the ideal program you will first need to define the goals you would like to achieve through the experience. For example, would you like to learn a language? If so, then you should not choose a program in which the courses are taught in your native language. Are you looking for an opportunity to travel? Then finding a program in a location with good transportation system and enough time off to travel plays an important role for you.
You should also explore how the content of a program apply to your education as a whole. Does the program give you the opportunity to take courses you might not otherwise have the chance to take at home?
Finally, depending on your degree of personal independence and comfort with the idea of going abroad, you may prefer a program that has an on-site support for international students.
Where should I go to study abroad?
Deciding where to study is just as important as choosing a study program and it depends on personal factors. Different factors are important to different people. If you think that integrating the experience with your degree is important, you should consider a location that also offers experiences in your field of interest outside the classroom. If there is a language that especially interests you for either personal or professional reasons, this can help you narrow down the choice of countries. Or perhaps you just want to get to know a specific culture.
The majority of students choose to study in Denmark or UK, in part because those programs are well-established and there are a lot of possibilities to choose from. But there are great advantages of taking the less travelled path. Any study abroad experience is in your favour for your academic accomplishments or future employment.
Also remember that while large cities offer many social and intellectual opportunities, they are also more cosmopolitan. Your options may seem more limited in a smaller town but there you can learn more about traditional ways of life and communicate more closely with the natives.
When should I study abroad?
Though students tend to study abroad straight after high school, it is also possible to go abroad after acquiring a bachelor's degree in your home country. If you want to become fluent in a language while abroad then it is useful to take some language lessons before you leave.
Considering your own personal situation and the goals you want to achieve can help you determine the best time to go.
How long should I study abroad?
The longer your stay the more personal, academic, and professional benefits you will get from the experience. A full degree abroad has the deepest impact in terms of personal growth, academic value, and career preparation. However, any study abroad experience is very useful.
What features of a program are important to consider?
While the answer to this question would largely depend on your goals, we can tell you what typically provides the most rewarding experiences with the longest-lasting benefits:
- The program gives you the opportunity to interact with natives both in and outside the school.
- There are students from at least five different countries in your classes.
- There should not be more than 35 students in your class.
- There is support to help you adjust to living and studying abroad.
- There is support for language development.
- There are opportunities available to participate in field trips and other cultural activities.
- There are opportunities available to contact former and current students allowing you to ask questions directly from them.