How to choose the right study abroad program for you?

Choosing the right study abroad program can be a difficult task, and it may require some extensive research on your part. Perhaps you are concerned about potential costs. Or perhaps you are looking at other programs outside your university. Here are some tips to keep in mind while considering the vast choices you have.

1. Consider your goals.
What do you want to accomplish on a study abroad? Are you hoping to learn another language? Or deepen your understanding of art history? Or do you want to have an internship-based experience? If you have clear goals of what you want to accomplish, you will be able to effectively narrow your search.
2. Know which foreign environments that you would be comfortable in.
Could you spend several months living in a remote village without modern conveniences? Would you rather live in a small town or in a large city? Would you be comfortable living with a family whom you have not met before? These are all questions that you need to honestly ask yourself before applying anywhere. If you know that you need Internet accessibility, for example, living in an Ethiopian village may not be the right fit for you. Look at the program carefully and think if you would be content living the described conditions for several months.
3. Be aware of cost
This is an area that many students are especially worried about. However, if you think carefully about your goals, you may be able to effectively decrease your expenses. If you want to study French, for example, perhaps doing a study abroad in Cameroon could help you accomplish that goal and spend less money than going to Paris. You should also check your desired program for any scholarships and fellowships, and be aware of those application dates.
4. Be realistic about where you could be accepted.
Some study abroad programs are much more competitive than others. Others are looking for students with certain majors or work experience. Be sure that you have a GPA and background that is commensurate with what they are looking for.

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