Study Abroad

Colleges with the Best Study Abroad Programs

Selecting a college with a strong Study Abroad program may be the most important factor.

Going to college is a huge milestone. You have worked so hard to get to this point in your life, and now you have the whole world at your feet, ready for you to jump into this next phase. There are many options for college, more than you might think. You can go to a school in your home state or country, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore other places as well. As long as you choose a college with a fantastic study abroad program, you can expand your horizons.

Studying abroad is a choice that many students make. In fact, from 2016 to 2017, more than 332,000 American students chose to study abroad. Why? Because it’s an exciting opportunity that can enrich your life in so many ways. There are traditional exchange programs that allow you to go to another country for a semester or an entire school year, and there are summer study abroad programs. You can even choose to go to a language school in another country to improve your skills in their language. 

Why Study Abroad

When you choose a study abroad program, you have the opportunity to get your degree close to home, yet still, experience some time studying in another country. It’s like the best of both worlds. There are so many reasons to participate in a study abroad program, including having the chance to:

  • Experience another culture and see another part of the world
  • Learn a new language
  • Meet new people and make new friends that you will keep for a lifetime
  • Improve your skills in travel and at school
  • Improve your career opportunities – companies are more apt to hire people who have had international educational and career experience
  • Improve your chances of getting into graduate studies
  • Develop on a personal and professional level
  • Gain more life experience

There are plenty of good reasons to join a study abroad program. The key is to do your research and choose the right program for you.

What to Look for in a Study Abroad Program

Many colleges have their own study abroad program, or they are associated with an organization that offers this type of program. They will help you while spending at least some of your college education in another country.

When considering a college study abroad program, it is a good idea to connect with alumni of the program. These are the people who have had first-hand experience with the program, and maybe the country to which you want to go. They can tell you everything you need to know about the program.

You also need to consider your wants and needs with the program carefully. You might have an idea of where you want to study, or you might be open to any location. You will need to consider when you want to go, for how long, and how much it will cost. When you take these considerations into account, you can research your options carefully.

Here are some other things to consider when choosing a study abroad program:

  • Make sure the college offers the type of study abroad program you want – semester, entire year, summer, or language.
  • Research the financial aid that is available to you, such as scholarships.
  • Make sure you choose a program that takes to where you really want to go. Don’t go to London or Stockholm when you want to go to Paris.
  • Find out if the programs you are considering include extras, such as weekend excursions and field trips. Are they included in the price of the exchange, or do they cost extra?
  • Check out the options for accommodations. Will you be living in residence with a host family, or in special housing with other exchange students?
  • Is the program offered at the right time for you? It won’t do you any good if you can only get a summer program when that’s the time you work to earn money for your next year in college.
  • Make sure you are old enough and in the right year of college to qualify for the exchange.
  • Determine the level of support the study abroad program offers while you are away. From supporting the visa application process to having someone meet you when you arrive, you need to be sure they will give you the support you need.
  • Ensure the program is engaged with the local culture. Do they give you a chance to be involved in the local community or go to local events that will help you immerse yourself?
  • Does the program have a good track record when it comes to safety and the health of their students? You want to be sure you will be in good hands while abroad.

Ultimately, not all colleges with study abroad programs are the right fit. You need to do your research and carefully consider all your options. The colleges with the best study abroad programs will provide you with the diversity of programs and support you need to make your time away a complete success. The very best will even have their own campuses in other countries, so you can still be enrolled with them while you study abroad.

If you are considering a study abroad program, take the time to learn as much as you can about the available programs. Then you can make an informed decision about where you will go and how you will enrich your life.

The Nth Degree

Is an online magazine created by Newman University to provide valuable content to all students bound for undergraduate and graduate college.