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Mentor Advice

Question

Since there are numerous study abroad programs offered how do I know which program best fits my needs?

6 Replies from Mentors

  • mentor picture Peter
     
    Peter
    Junior Year Student
    Fairfield University
    It is only up to you to decide that. However, one should look at the courses that are offered and...
    It is only up to you to decide that. However, one should look at the courses that are offered and then try to talk with students who’ve previously participated in them. By doing so you will see what type of people the program typically attracts and whether or not you'd like to be one of them.
  • mentor picture LaNitra Berger
     
    LaNitra Berger
    Senior Manager of Research and Policy
    NAFEO
    Once you decided where you want to go, you will probably have many different programs to...
    Once you decided where you want to go, you will probably have many different programs to choose from. The quality of the program should be the most important factor in choosing a program. Check with your study abroad or academic advisor to see if they have any recommendations. If you don’t have a study abroad office, make sure to check with someone in your major department to determine whether the courses and credits offered by your selected program will be accepted at your institution. You should also look at how much the program costs and whether your financial aid will transfer. If so, find out early what you have to do to make sure your tuition bills are paid on time. If your financial aid does not transfer, does the program provide scholarships that cover tuition and living expenses? Are you eligible for outside scholarships that can cover the difference? Because there are so many study abroad programs, most students should be able to find an affordable program that satisfies their interests without busting their budgets. It’s worth spending a little extra time doing research and asking for advice beforehand to make sure that the right study abroad opportunity is also cost efficient.
  • mentor picture Kenya Casey
     
    Kenya Casey
    Study Abroad Advisor
    Emory University
    Do your research! Compare and contrast your program options. Meet with your academic advisor...
    Do your research! Compare and contrast your program options. Meet with your academic advisor and study abroad advisor to determine if your credits and grades will transfer. When comparing programs, it is helpful to compare cost, language requirements, academics, living arrangements, location, travel, sports/extracurricular activities, research and service opportunities.
  • mentor picture Tony Laing
     
    Tony Laing
    Ph.D. Candidate at Education Policy Studies and AFRO Studies
    University of Illinois – Urbana, Champaign
    After deciding between the various types of study abroad options, if possible, talk with...
    After deciding between the various types of study abroad options, if possible, talk with other students who have participated on the same program(s), and apply for all types of scholarships. When I studied abroad at the University of Ghana-Legion, I received a scholarship from the Council on International Educational Program (CIEE). This was a great draw. I went with this Third party provider because it offered the best financial package to a country I wanted to visit, coupled with positive feedback from students who had participated the semester prior.
  • mentor picture Amy
     
    Amy
    Graduate Student
    UCLA
    Several study abroad programs are organized for particular disciplines, language levels, and age...
    Several study abroad programs are organized for particular disciplines, language levels, and age groups. You can check your school’s study abroad website, or the website of other affiliate programs for opportunities that match your academic interests, skill level and career goals. There are several funding opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds to study abroad as well as some particular study abroad programs that target underrepresented students for travel to the Caribbean, Asia and Latin America especially, so you may have the opportunity to study abroad with several students with similar backgrounds and reflect on your experience abroad together. Since many students enjoy their time abroad so much they look into graduate study or work abroad, it might also be helpful to study at a particular university that would allow you to make connections or gain familiarity with coursework, research and perspectives common outside of the US relevant to your particular field of study.
  • mentor picture Anthony Yuen
     
    Anthony Yuen
    Outreach, Communications & Marketing
    Summer Sessions, Study Abroad & Lifelong Learning
    Consider programs offered by your home institution first. Generally, these programs have...
    Consider programs offered by your home institution first. Generally, these programs have the strongest institutional support in terms of academics, financial aid, advising, etc., and are usually most compatible with your college/university's academic programs. However, not every college/university offers its own programs or programs for every student's interest, so you may wish to look at outside programs, directly enrolling in a foreign institution, and other options, making sure to check with the appropriate offices (study abroad/international office, admissions, financial aid, academic department) at your home institution regarding credits and financial aid.

    When you've identified several programs, evaluate those programs--talk to past participants, program representatives, research the foreign institutions, see what's included in the program fee. Try to avoid selecting a program based solely on price--a lower price doesn't necessarily mean a better program. This may be one of a few opportunities you have to live abroad, so choose right the first time!

 
 
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