Smart Tips for Studying Abroad

(Family Features) Study abroad programs offer the opportunity to learn more about other cultures, the world, and ourselves. But there are so many programs available - how do you choose the right one for you?

Study Abroad Programs

First you need to decide what types of program you're interested in. There are three basic kinds of study abroad programs: direct enroll, island, and field-based. Directly enrolling into a foreign university allows you to be considered a student just like anyone else there. You take integrated classes and live in dorms.

An island program can offer separate classes and spaces for foreign students. These classes are usually sponsored by a university here in the States, and they're often highly structured.

Field-based programs can allow students to learn in the classroom with study-abroad and home campus students, and through hands-on learning outside of class.

Academic Goals

Think about what it is you want to get out of your studies. You can study something that you can't study at your home institution, or try something  completely new to see if you like it. You can dive deeper into your specific area of interest, researching art or history up close, for example. Make sure the program you choose lets you accomplish those goals.


Next, you need to choose where you want to go. If you love all things French, Paris might seem like the perfect fit. But don't forget there are many other French-speaking countries around the world that could really broaden your horizons. Do you want to live in a bustling city, or do you prefer quieter or more rural locales? Do you want to go where you can easily understand the language, or do you want to immerse yourself in something totally new? Do you want to live with a homestay family, or in a dorm or apartment? 


You really can find a quality program that's affordable. Do your homework, and know that there are study abroad scholarships* available. Keep in mind that basic fees don't always include insurance, housing, meals, trips or medical needs, so be sure to factor those into your budget as well.

For more about study abroad programs, visit

*University grants or scholarships are based on established criteria as published in the University's catalog and are awarded after verification that the conditions of eligibility have been met.

AIU cannot guarantee employment or salary.  Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at

American Intercontinental University