Mapping Your Future: Four questions to answer before enrolling in study abroad

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Four questions to answer before enrolling in study abroad

By Catherine Mueller

November 02, 2019

One of the great things about education after high school is all the opportunities for new experiences and challenges.

One of those opportunities is study abroad. However, is study abroad right for you? Here are some questions to consider before signing up for a study abroad program:

  • How will the study abroad program align with your overall educational goals? For example, if you are majoring in retail merchandising, will you learn about foreign retail markets or foreign suppliers to the U.S. market?
  • Does the benefit exceed the cost? I am tend to believe the benefit of any study abroad program exceeds the cost - that is, if the program is well designed and adds to your program of study.
  • Are you prepared to be away from your home for an extended time? Once you land in your study abroad location, you're going to be there for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Be prepared for some homesickness and know hope to cope. Even if you are a seasoned traveler, homesickness can strike anyone.
  • Are there any travel advisories for the location of the study abroad program? The U.S. Department of State maintains travel advisories on its website.  You’ll have to decide about your comfort level for traveling to the country based on the information on the site. By the way, the site also provides other facts about traveling to various country, such as passport requirements and vaccinations needed.

Some colleges or universities only offer study abroad programs to juniors or seniors. In addition, some programs have prerequisites the student must complete before enrolling in study abroad.

If study abroad is a good fit for you and for your program, research and plan for it early so you won't miss a great educational opportunity.