Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Study Abroad Location

For some, picking a study abroad location is a tough choice. Below are some questions to ask yourself before committing to your city or town! 

1. What is your major?

Often, you can find a study abroad location specific to your major. For example, there are amazing engineering programs in Australia and Germany. If you’re a marine biology major, Costa Rica and Ecuador are great places to find a program simply because of the atmosphere.

I recommend using to assist you in choosing your program!

2. Which continent?

Do you want to travel outside of your study abroad country? If so, I would recommend studying abroad in any European country as it is easy to travel throughout the European Union.

Maybe traveling outside of the country isn’t at the top of your list. Look into countries in South America or Asia. For the most part, these countries are much larger, so you most likely will not feel the need to leave the country. Plus, it would be more expensive and more time-consuming. 

3. What is your budget?

Set a budget for your time abroad. Some countries or cities are much more expensive than others. Make sure to research currency exchange rates before choosing your location. Living in London or Sydney for five months will most likely be more expensive than living in Rio or Porto.

5. Are you learning a language?

Studying abroad is one of the best ways to increase your fluency in a language. This is an important decision-maker for a lot of college study abroad students.

6. Fall or Spring semester?

Do you like to be at your home University during Homecoming and Thanksgiving break? Or, do you love going on Spring break with your family or friends? These are important questions to ask yourself when deciding between Fall or Spring semester.

Some locations may have wonderful weather during the Fall semester but experience a rain season during the Spring, or visa versa. Research the monthly climate of your study abroad location to help with your decision!

7. Do you prefer urban or rural areas?

Studying abroad in an urban area is a completely different experience than studying abroad in a rural area. If you go to college in a city, maybe try studying abroad in a small town. If you go to college in a small town, I definitely suggest studying abroad in a city!

Studying abroad is a time for growth of independence, change and adventure. Take advantage of this growing experience and choose a location that challenges you in the best ways!

How did I pick my past study abroad locations?

☾ I had traveled to Florence in high school and really fell in love with the city. I felt safe and inspired. I even took an Italian class my senior year of high school because I knew I wanted to study abroad in Florence from my past travels! I found a highly recommended program through Academic Programs International (API). 

☾ I chose my next study abroad location: Buenos Aires, Argentina, because I am a Spanish major and knew I wanted to live with a host family to help with my language-skills. I found the perfect program for my timeline and major through International Studies Abroad (ISA). 

☾ My third study abroad location: Málaga, Spain, was chosen for similar reasons to Buenos Aires. I wanted to continue to enhance my Spanish skills while returning to the EU. I also used ISA for this study abroad as well. 

Regardless of the location, studying abroad will open your mind to an unknown world. Stay posted for my upcoming article on API, ISA and the pros/cons to studying abroad within a program. 

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