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Choosing a Program

With the thousands of programs available to students, choosing a program for you can be overwhelming. Below are some things to consider when choosing a program.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What kind of courses are you looking to take?
  • What courses will your academic department let you take away from Texas A&M?
  • Are you able to take courses taught in a language other than English?
  • What is your budget?
    • The cost of a program can vary greatly depending on the type of program, the location, the amount of travel, and a variety of other factors.
  • Will you be paying out of pocket, using student loans, using scholarships, using grants, using other aid programs, or a combination?
    • Remember that you can only depend on the scholarships you’ve already been awarded when you confirm your participation with a program.
  • Is there a particular location you would like to go?
  • Do you prefer a large city, a small city, or a town?
  • What term or terms do you want to go abroad? Academic year, fall, winter, spring,  or summer?
  • How do you feel about a homestay (living with a local family)?
  • Do you want to live in an apartment or a dorm?
  • Do you want to arrange your own housing or would you like someone to arrange it for you?
  • Do you have any medical conditions that might require accommodations?
  • Do you have any dietary restrictions?
  • Do you have any cultural or religious considerations?

Things to remember during the process:

  • There are a variety of program types
  • Often students must choose between the locations they want to go to and the courses they want to take
    • You may not find a program that meets all of your criteria. That’s okay! Chances are you’re going to have the experience of a life time.
  • Be open to different locations
  • Consider what courses might complement your career goals
  •  Most programs are taught in English and many other programs allow you to learn the local language.
  •  Knowing a foreign language may open up additional options for you, but there are hundreds of English language programs available.
  • Everyone who studies abroad has different goals, different requirements, and a different background. Finding something that fits your needs takes some work, but it is worth it.
    • You will have to talk with your academic advisor and the Study Abroad Programs Office (possibly several times).
  • If for some reason your first program choice becomes unavailable you will save time if you have a secondary program in mind.
  • You need to be aware of application deadlines, payment deadlines, and any other dates related to you program. It is recommended to start planning 10-12 months in advance. Once you have chosen a program it is time to apply.