Things to Consider When Studying Abroad
You have your own wants, needs, and goals when considering an education abroad program. The Education Abroad office at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville suggests you ask yourself the following questions. Then, we can work with you to find a program that is the perfect fit.
Location and Host Institution
- What country or region am I most interested in? Why do I want to study abroad in this country or region in particular?
- Is the country's location geographically significant for my major?
- Is the culture and current political situation of the country safe?
- Is there public transportation available to help me get around?
- What is the size of the institution abroad? Is this too big or small for me?
- Are there many international students? Is there many U.S. study abroad students?
Academics and Programs
- Are there classes that will be offered to fulfill degree requirements or electives?
- Who do I want to take classes with: fellow international students or locals?
- How much time do I feel comfortable spending abroad?
- How much time can I afford to spend abroad?
Structure and Support
- How much structure and guidance do I need? How much tolerance do I have for ambiguity?
- Do I want to be with a group, or am I mature and capable enough to go on my own?
- Will I be met at the airport?
- Is there an on-site coordinator?
- How much will the program cost (tuition, accommodations, etc.), and how much should I bring for personal expenses?
- What is included in the program cost? For example, will I incur out-of-pocket costs, or is it an all-inclusive program?
- How much is the cost of living?
- Is the dollar strong or weak compared to the currency of the country I am considering?
- Are there program-specific scholarships?
- What form of living situation is the most cost effective for me?
- How much does a flight cost to travel to the country I am considering?
- Is there pre-arranged accommodation with the program? If there is pre-arranged accommodation, is it close to the institution I’m studying at? The city center? Public transportation?
- Do I need to arrange my own accommodation with the program, and if so, am I comfortable doing that?
- With whom do I want to live: other students, a host family, or on my own?
- Is there a meal plan included in the program cost, or available if I pay out of pocket?
- Am I fluent enough in the local language to take classes delivered in it, or will it be necessary to take some or all of my coursework in English?
- Am I ready to speak the local language daily?
- Are the people in the country or city able to speak English? How well?
Independent Travel and Excursions
- Are there pre-arranged excursions or activities built into the program? If so, are they included in the program cost?
- Is there on-site staff available to help me with my independent travel plans?
- What sort of volunteer work is available to me in my host country?
- Does my program offer any community service or volunteer projects?