Deciding to study abroad is a big decision, deciding on which program to study abroad with is an even bigger decision! There are literally SO many programs to choose from. I strongly recommend attending the Study Abroad fair because it gives you the flexibility to explore a variety of destinations in one place at one time as opposed to trying to schedule multiple appointments on multiple days. We all know that isn’t fun.
Here are 3 tips to start narrowing down your study abroad destination!
First and probably the most important, go opened minded. Even if you don’t think study abroad is an option for you, still go to the fair. The UI Study Abroad Office has amazing advisors that are very passionate about international education. Give them the opportunity to inform you about the endless opportunities available. Even if you are set on one place, take some time to consider all of your options because you never know!
Secondly, consider the type of classes that you would want to take abroad. If you need to fulfill specific language requirements, it is a much easier to narrow down where you could go. If you have classes specific to your major, again pretty easy to narrow down your options. However, if you just want to take general education requirements, awesome, but figure out which ones so you have a foundation to start from. Trying to figure out where to go with no direction is super overwhelming, so developing an idea of what classes you want to take abroad will give you a great starting point.
Lastly, think of your finances. Study abroad can be expensive, I won’t sugar coat it. Doing research in where you can get the most bang for your buck will definitely help you narrow down your search for a study abroad destination. The UI Study Abroad office alone offers a multitude of scholarships. Additionally, some of the scholarships offered are specific to certain countries/areas in the world. Taking some time to look into these types of things will help you figure out programs that fit within your needs.
I hope this helps you get started in narrowing down your study abroad destination! In the end, it really is about how you feel about where you are going. Trust your gut and take the leap to an experience of a lifetime.
Katherine Agey is an enterprise leadership major at the University of Iowa. A Des Moines, IA native, she's spending her semester in Italy on the USAC Reggio Emilia program.
Student blog entries posted to this International Accents page may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UI Study Abroad and International Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.