How to pick a study abroad program that is perfect for you

Choosing the right country to study abroad can be an exciting yet challenging decision. There are several factors to consider when choosing. Where do I want to travel? What events do I want to experience… Oktoberfest or St.Patricks day? Do I want to go skiing or swimming (or both)?? Do I want to be gone a few weeks or a few months?!


Consider your academic goals, budget, personal interests, and cultural experiences you want to gain. This will help you determine what you’re looking for in a study abroad destination(s). Also ask yourself if you want to stay in one country the whole time and travel on the weekends or a program that goes to many different countries that are pre-planned.

How long should I study abroad for?

Decide on the duration of the study abroad program that suits your needs. Programs can range from short-term options, such as winter or summer programs, to semester or year-long programs. If you don’t want to miss time away from your home university or are uncomfortable being away for a long period of time, you can look more into winter, summer, or spring break programs. Also consider what you want to gain in terms of experiences, the longer you stay, the more experience you gain.

What should I make sure I look into in a study abroad program?

Look for programs that offer classes in your field of study or can count towards your required credits for your major at your home university.

Should I be worried about a language barrier?

You can pick a program that will be in one country for the whole duration of your study abroad and immerse yourself in a different language. If you are fluent in a particular language, studying in a country where that language is spoken might enhance your cultural immersion and academic experience. If that’s not a priority on an interest you have, you can do a program that goes to many countries or is based in a country you would love to live in while you study abroad. Do not worry too much, most universities offer programs in English!

How does cost differ while studying abroad?

Consider the cost of living and tuition fees in the countries you’re considering. For example, Switzerland has the highest cost of living while Portugal is one of the lowest. Factor in your budget and explore scholarship opportunities, financial aid, or part-time job prospects. (You can earn some cash by becoming an ambassador for Stoke Travel!!)

What are some ways study abroad programs are offered?

Evaluate the structure of the study abroad program. Some programs are offered through exchange agreements between universities, while others may be organized by a third-party organization. 

How to know if you want to study abroad?

Seek feedback from previous participants or alumni of the study abroad program you are considering. Read blogs or watch youtube videos to gain insights into their experiences and see if that is something you would love to do!

What can I do after I know I want to study abroad?

Talk to academic advisors, study abroad offices, or professionals in the field of study abroad. They can provide guidance, answer your questions, and help you navigate the study abroad selection process!


Studying abroad is one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences in an academic career. Whether you want to pet a kangaroo down under or go skiing in the Swiss Alps, you can create endless experiences and memories and explore a new country while taking classes. They’re hundreds of study abroad programs all over the world and you can find the perfect option for you that aligns with your goals, interests, and preferences!

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