Wednesday’s Parent: Choosing a Study Abroad Program


study abroadNot all study abroad programs are alike. Some are for a semester while in college. Others are during the summer months. And still others offer study abroad for a year or more. With so many program types and destinations, it can be difficult to decide which program best fits your student’s needs.

Here are five things your student should consider when choosing a study abroad program:

Is study abroad right for your student?

Study abroad offers an opportunity to travel, explore other cultures, and gain experiences that can enhance your future career. But studying abroad is not necessarily a good fit for every student. Studying abroad is a unique and adventurous opportunity but can also be challenging for a student who isn’t comfortable being far away from home and away from their support system.

Where and when would your student like to study abroad?

There are so many destinations to choose from and so many options available. Do the research. Study the countries. Ask yourself questions about the length of study and whether or not you want to be in an english-speaking country. Follow student bloggers who are studying abroad and ask questions about the countries they are living in.

What programs best fit your student’s needs?

Once you decide when and where you want to study, it’s time to decide on a program. offers an interactive tool to help you pick the right program that best suits your interests and needs.

What types of programs are offered through your college?

Colleges typically offer study abroad programs to their students. Discuss with the program director the courses you will be taking abroad and how the study will affect your degree plan. Full year, semester and summer programs are typically available. Determine which program will compliment your degree focus and which program will provide you with not only the cultural experience but academic benefit.

How much will the program cost?

Many colleges allow students to apply their current financial aid package toward their study abroad programs. There are, however, additional costs involved: travel to the country of study and travel to other countries while abroad, daily living expenses, and of course any entertainment and souvenirs.

Studying abroad is worth exploring. Not only does it offer your student a wonderful cultural experience, it prepares them to work in a global community. This is a valued aspect of their final resume as employers are looking for attributes that set the applicant apart from others.

Read Wendy’s Post: 5 Ways to Maximize Studying Abroad


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Wendy and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Wendy and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

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