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Best Place to Study Abroad

Instructor: Eric Campos

Eric has tutored in English, writing, history, and other subjects.

Studying abroad can be one of the most educational and fulfilling experiences in your life, but how do you choose the best place to go? Below are some tips to help you decide.

Finding the Ideal Study Abroad Experience

Studying abroad can be one of the highlights of the college experience. It's an opportunity to not only explore the world, but also yourself. Studying abroad is inherently designed to benefit you, both as a student and an individual. You owe it to yourself to find the program location that most aligns with your interests and goals. Below are a few things you might want to consider when making this decision.

Language Immersion

For some students, studying abroad is a way for them to put their linguistic skills to the test by taking courses in the foreign country whose language they've been studying. Studying abroad offers the opportunity to interact with native speakers and experience language outside of the classroom. If you're majoring in Spanish, perhaps the best location for you to study abroad would be Spain or a South American nation. If you're more comfortable just speaking English, that's also something to consider when choosing a country.

Academics

Studying abroad is meant to build upon and enrich your college education; therefore, you may want to look at what courses each location offers. This could be a unique opportunity to take specialized courses in a different learning environment. If you're more interested in getting outside the classroom, you might consider a study abroad program that allows you to engage in field work, conduct independent research, or participate in a service learning project or internship.

It's also crucial you go somewhere that will allow you to remain on track to graduate. Keep in mind that you might need to earn academic credit during your time overseas to keep your financial aid.

Additionally, you might consider how these academic opportunities could benefit any graduate research you're interested in conducting or improve your career prospects. Think about the ways in which your experience might complement your major or minor and enhance your resume.

Culture and Environment

When considering study abroad locations, remember that you'll be entering a totally different environment than what you're used to. While this is all part of the experience, you have control over where you spend your months overseas. It's a good idea to determine what kind of culture you're curious about. Another thing to consider is whether you'd like to be in a major city or perhaps a smaller setting. Climate could play a role in your choice of program as well.

You might also look at the size of the school providing instruction in order to gauge how much time you'll spend interacting with faculty. Additional considerations include the percentage of students from American and international universities as well as the host country.

Resources for Further Research

Researching your options with clear objectives in mind can make the process of choosing a program much easier. To get additional help in this area, check out Study.com's What is Study Abroad? lesson for more in-depth info on the benefits of these programs. You can also get a better idea of study abroad timelines and expenses in How to Study Abroad.

Earning College Credit

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Transferring credit to the school of your choice

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