Selecting a Program

Choosing a study abroad program can be daunting, but with careful research and planning, students can find a program that meets their academic and cultural goals.

Study abroad programs offer a wide spectrum of cultural immersion. On one side of the spectrum are island programs in which students primarily live and study with other study abroad students from the U.S. These programs are appropriate for students who need a high level of on-site support in order to be successful. Island programs allow students to ease in to local culture as they become comfortable.

On the other end of the spectrum are fully integrated programs. Students in fully integrated programs live and study with local students, often using the local language. While fully integrated programs may have minimal on-site support and require students to be more independent, they also offer the greatest opportunity for cultural integration.

In the middle are hybrid programs. Hybrid programs offer students many choices. Some allow students to take one course at a local university and remaining courses with other study abroad students; some arrange for students to live with other study abroad students but take all courses at a local university; and still others arrange for students to participate in an internship program but study with study abroad students.

Students are encouraged to challenge themselves but to choose a program that best fits their academic and cultural goals.

Common questions to help you set goals before looking into program options are:

  • What do you want to accomplish? Start identifying the purpose of a semester abroad.
  • How will you know when these goals are achieved?
  • Are there programs that meet your academic needs?
  • What additional financial resources do you need?
  • What are you willing to put towards reaching this goal?


Meet with a Study Abroad Advisor to create an action plan and learn about all your program options within a region. 

Peer Advisors in the Office for Study Abroad are recent returnees from a semester abroad who are happy to share their experiences. Check in with your study abroad advisor to get in touch with a Peer Advisor or alumni.  

Make an appointment with an academic advisor to make sure your program aligns with your academic requirements.

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