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What To Consider When Picking a Study Abroad Location

This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Alex Johnson in a CollegeVine Livestream. You can watch the full Livestream for more info.


What’s Covered:



If you’ve never left the country, studying abroad may be a great opportunity for you! 


The Type of Study Abroad Program


You have many options when it comes to study abroad. Some schools have their own study abroad programs like the Middlebury Language Programs in different countries or the Harvard Beijing Academy Programs. 


Some of these programs are exclusively for students who attend that school, but other programs will accept students from other schools as well. Additionally, there are programs that are universally available to college students and separate from the actual school itself. Make sure to research all of the options that are available to you.


What Language Does the Country Speak?


Language can also play a factor in making your decision. For example, if you don’t know a foreign language and aren’t interested in learning one, then you may want to focus on studying in a country where English is the first language of most citizens. However, if you’re learning French in high school, going to a French speaking country is a good idea. Fully immersing yourself in a language is one of the best ways for you to learn! 


Keep in mind, however, that this doesn’t mean you have to go to Paris. Remember that there are many smaller cities that also have universities which will accept study abroad students. Therefore, don’t feel limited to big cities, like Paris or London or Madrid. 


Does the Program Have Multiple Locations?


One thing to look for as you research programs is whether the program takes place in multiple locations. While some study abroad programs expect you to stay at a single school or university for the entire duration, there are also programs that let you travel to multiple locations. For example, there are programs where you can go to multiple countries in Latin America to practice Spanish. If traveling is something that interests you, then such programs might be a good fit.


How Close is the Program to Other Destinations?


Another factor to consider is proximity of your study abroad location to other places you want to visit. If you have always wanted to travel within a specific continent, you may want to focus your research on programs within that continent. This is why many students chose to go to Europe – so they can take the weekends to travel and see other cities and countries. 


Another benefit to being able to travel to other destinations while studying abroad is to experience different cultures and tourist attractions. A common travel destination is Oktoberfest for students who are studying in Europe during the fall semester. If you’re studying abroad in the Spring semester, however, you can consider visiting Ireland for St. Patrick’s day.