Choices Matter

Studying or doing an internship abroad doesn’t have to be an expensive venture, but where you go can dramatically impact the cost.  Answer the following questions before deciding on a program, and be sure to share your thoughts with your Education Abroad Advisor.

Why go abroad?  What do you hope to accomplish? 

  • “I would like to work with a Spanish-speaking population, so I need to make sure my Spanish is top notch before graduating.” You can look at a variety of options.  Spain is not the only place to learn Spanish, nor is every program in Spain priced similarly.
  • “My family came from [X country] and I’ve always wanted to see it.”  You’ve made a decision for personal reasons, so only you know if it’s financially ‘worthwhile’ to do it.  You might consider someplace cheaper that is nearby, and spend some time before, after, or during a break in your experience abroad touring the country of your heritage.
  • “I want to work internationally some day, so I want to gain cross-cultural experience.” This reason to study abroad allows for the most flexibility.   Location isn’t as important as the experience itself, so you have a lot to choose from, and have the freedom to make a decision based on cost.

What are your restrictions on going abroad?

  • “I can only go in the summer.” There are fewer options available during the summer, with varying price tags.  Generally, studying abroad in the summer is proportionally more expensive, although the final cost may be smaller because the time is shorter. There are also fewer scholarships available, and financial aid may be limited.  Remember that you may use financial aid on your experience abroad, even during the summer! 
  • “I only speak English, so I have to go to England.” This is false!  In addition to Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, we offer programs in many places where you can start learning the language once you arrive. Select English as the language in our program search engine to see all of your options!
  • “I can’t afford to go more than a couple of weeks.”  In many cases, the shortest programs often cost the most per day.  If you’re willing to pay $300/day for a four week program in France, why not $200/day for an entire term?  

In general, it’s important to be honest with yourself about whether there is another, less expensive place to accomplish your same goals.  If your criteria are pretty rigid, you have to be the one to decide if it’s worth the price.  Your advisor might have some great suggestions for less expensive options if you can be flexible!