Things to Consider

Florence

Each student has their own wants, needs, and goals to consider when selecting an education abroad program. The Education Abroad office suggests that students ask themselves the following questions to help find a program that is the perfect fit:

Location

• 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?

Host Institution

• What is the size of the institution abroad? Is this too big or small for me?
• Are there many international students? Are there many U.S. study abroad students?

Academics

• 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?
*UW-Platteville students can check out the Education Abroad by Major page.

Length of Program

• 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 or need to be with a group, or am I mature and capable of going on my own?
• Will I be met at the airport?
• Is there an on-site coordinator?

Cost

• How much will the program cost (tuition, accommodations, etc.), and how much should I bring for personal expenses?
• What all is included in the program cost? (Example: Does the program 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?

Accommodations

• 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?  Am I comfortable arranging my own accommodation if needed?
• Who do I want to live with, 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?

Foreign Language

• Am I already fluent enough in a foreign language to take classes in it, or will it be necessary to take some or all of my coursework in English? Am I ready to speak that foreign 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?

Service Learning

• What sort of volunteer work is available to me in my host country?
• Does my program offer any community service or volunteering projects?

 

Need more information or don't know where to start? See below for the Education Abroad Checklist to give you insight into what you should do!