Choosing the Right Program

How do you decide which study abroad program is right for you?

With so many options, it may be daunting to select the program that best meets your goals. Ask yourself the following: Why do you want to study abroad?

Where will you go?

  • Do you have preferred countries or regions in mind?
  • Do you want to study in a big city or in a rural, developing area?
  • Do you have a preference regarding climate?

What will you study?

  • Are you looking for an English-only curriculum, or would you like to study in another language?
  • Do you want or need to continue or complete a foreign language requirement?
  • Do you want to take classes within your major or courses fulfilling general education requirements?
  • Are you able to take a class on campus before participating in a program over winter or spring break?

How will you live abroad?

  • Would you prefer a program that takes place over winter break, spring break or May, or one that lasts a semester or longer?
  • Would you prefer to live and study with other Ohio State students and faculty or live and study independently?
  • Do you want to take classes and live with students from the host culture or with foreign students only?
  • Would you prefer to live in a residence hall, apartment or with a host family?
  • Are you comfortable with minimal accommodations in a developing country?

Academics

  • Would you like to take courses in your major? AND/OR
  • GECs/language requirement courses?
  • Are the subjects you want and/or need offered by a study abroad program?

Location 

  • Have you considered the geography, language, population, economic/industrial development, cost of living, climate, and ease of transportation in host country?
  • Do you prefer a large cosmopolitan city, medium - sized city, or small town community?
  • Will a particular destination require that you obtain a student visa in order to participate on the program?

Language of instruction

  • Do you prefer to take courses in English or another language?
  • Would you consider taking courses taught in English, but in a non - English speaking country?

Program costs

  • What fees are charged by the program provider/host institution?
  • What i s not included in the program fee?
  • Do you understand the fees you will owe to Ohio State?
  • What is the average cost of international airfare to your host country?
  • What will you need to budget for items not include d in the program fee?

Host institution

  • Do you want an immersion experience, studying alongside local students?
  • Do you want to take courses on the campus of an international university, but take courses with other international students?
  • Do you prefer a small, medium, or large sized institution?
  • Would you like to attend an institution in an urban setting, or one with a more enclosed campus?

Living arrangements

Would you prefer ...

  • A residence hall with local students?
  • A residence hall with other Americans and international students? 
  • An apartment with local students?
  • An apartment with other Americans and international students?
  • A homestay with a local family?

Time of year

  • What time of year and terms would you like to study abroad?
  • What will the weather be like in your host country/city?

Program services

  • Do you prefer to have the services provided b y a third party provider, or a program requiring more independence (i.e. direct enrollment) ?

Location

  • Do you have preferred countries or regions in mind?
  • Do you want to be in a big city or in a rural, developing area?
  • Do you have a preference regarding climate?

Academics

  • Are you looking for an English-only curriculum, or would you like to study in another language?
  • Do you want to take classes within your major or courses fulfilling general education requirements?
  • Do you want or need to continue or complete a foreign language requirement?
  • Are you able to take a class on campus before participating in a winter break or spring break program?

Structure

  • Would you prefer a program that takes place over winter break, spring break or May, or one that lasts a semester or longer?
  • Would you prefer to live and study with Ohio State students and faculty or live and study independently?
  • Do you want to take classes with students from the host culture or with foreign students only?
  • Are you comfortable living abroad independently?
  • Do you want to have an Ohio State faculty member (or resident director) available?

Housing

  • Do you prefer to live in residence halls, apartments or with a host family?
  • Do you want to live with other international students or with local students from the host country?
  • Are you comfortable with minimal accommodations in a developing country?

Take a look at your answers, and use them to set priorities based on your goals, expectations and comfort level. Use these priorities as you search for the study abroad program that's right for you, and remember that may need to be flexible with some factors.