Monday, September 12, 2011

Deciding Where to Go!

Making the decision on where to study abroad can seem like a daunting task, so here are a few tips which can make the decision a little easier!

#1: Do you want to study a language? Even if you have not yet begun studying a foreign language, I would recommend to anyone to try to pick one up! Studying abroad is an incredible way to pick up a language rapidly, because you can surround yourself entirely with that language- and it is fun. If you are studying Spanish, look at what you would like to do with your Spanish in the future. For me, I have interned with a Hispanic marketing firm in KC, which works primarily with the Mexican and Latin American populations within the US. For this, studying in a South American or Latin American country was much more practical for picking up the language than going to Spain, because the dialect, accent and many words/phrases are much different!

#2: Are you studying with a program? Look at the program options included with many different programs. All are great, but many offer different things. Choose what seems to best fit you and what you want from the experience.

#3: What traveling do you want to do? Check out the excursions which are either included in the program that you chose, or the options available for you to do some traveling on your own! The traveling is a huge part of what will make your study abroad experience so incredible. Is there any place that you just have to visit -like a bucket list item? For me, this was Machu Picchu! I knew that if I wanted to study abroad and was going to South America, I had to visit Machu Picchu! It helped me narrow down my options to Peru.

#4: What universities are available and what classes do they offer? I would suggest to any student with background in their foreign language, to take classes in that language- it is the best way to continue to learn that language. The university websites are a resource to use in checking what is offered. Also, make sure that your classes will transfer back to your home university ahead of time.

#5: Always keep in mind cost! It seems that some countries are more expensive than others to study/live in. At the same time, within the place that you are studying, the different universities can differ greatly in cost.

Narrowing your options to 2-3 and then deciding can be helpful as well. No matter where you study, the experience will be unlike anything you can ever do againn! You can't go wrong while studying abroad!

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