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?
- Are you considering an international experience that does not require course credit?
- 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, spring, or summer? Or, are you looking for a shorter program during winter break, spring break, in May or in August?
- 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 participates in education abroad experiences 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 Education Abroad (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.