One of the most exciting and enriching experiences a student can enjoy is studying abroad. If you are searching for schools where you can study abroad, there are many resources available to you. The following is a list of steps you can take to find the best school for your study abroad adventure.
- Check with your school's study abroad advisor. If you are a college student, your university may very well have a staff or faculty member who manages the school's study abroad program. He or she is probably the best person to consult for information about how to study abroad as a student at your school. Even if you are not interested in your own college's specific study abroad opportunities (say they go to Italy and you want to go to Latin America), consulting this advisor may be the best way to start your search for more information. So, for starters, seek this person out with your questions.
- Talk to your advisor or to faculty in your department. Many professors know their students are interested in studying abroad, and have had experience helping students weigh their options. Whether you consult the art history professor about studying in Rome or talk to your advisor about taking summer courses overseas to complete your major, you are likely to get some sound advice. Your teacher may in fact have connections at the exact school you'd like to attend, or may be able to tell you which school is best for your academic purposes.
- Talk to other students. Most students study abroad during their junior year, so if you are currently a sophomore, there are some seniors on your campus who have already been through the same process. Find them--they may share your major or your extracurricular interests--and ask them about the schools they attended and the value of those programs. Ask them what they would recommend. They will probably have a lot of information to share. Their advice may not ultimately be relevant for you, but it could help you as you search for a place to land abroad. You might also find it helpful to consult students who are from the country you'd like to visit. If you want to go to Japan, consider asking some of the Japanese international students about their home colleges and life in their home country.
- Search the Internet. Of course on the Internet you can find considerable information about programs offering placement abroad for students. Some of these programs might be attached to other American colleges and universities. Preliminary online research can be a useful step to take before talking to faculty and other students as well--if you are familiar with some of the offerings available to students, you can ask more informed questions about specific programs of interest.
- Check the websites of your colleges of interest. If you already know the country and the university you'd like to attend, you can find more information about their academic programs, extracurricular activities and application process.