The Top 10 Questions to ask about Study Abroad Programs

globe with graduation capStudying abroad is one of the most exciting experiences that you will have in college and these questions are some you should ask when meeting with a college or university off-campus director during your college visit.

  1. What types of trips are offered?
    Shorter trips, over spring break and summer, do not offer as many academic credits as semester-long programs but can give you an opportunity to travel to more locations.
  2. Is there a study abroad program for _____ majors?
    Investigate specialized programs that complement the major you are considering.
  3. Are language requirements fulfilled while abroad?
    Immersion programs are one of the most beneficial learning opportunities a student can experience, especially for those who want to be fluent in the language.
  4. Does the program have a GPA requirement?
    Use studying abroad as another motivator to stay on top of your grades during your first two years of college.
  5. How much more (or less!) is the abroad tuition?
    The price tag for off-campus programs can increase anywhere from a couple of hundred to several thousand dollars more when compared to regular tuition fees.
  6. Is financial aid applicable to traveling abroad?
    Payments not made straight to your university may raise complications with financial aid or scholarship that you receive.
  7. Can all years study abroad?
    Most colleges require students to be at least in their junior or senior year to participate in study abroad.
  8. Does the program fit into my graduation plan?
    This question is a good one to ask both to the director of the study abroad program and to the advisor for the major department you are considering.
  9. What is the school’s most popular study abroad program?
    Some schools have developed a relationship with one particular study abroad location.
  10. Is the study abroad program run by your university or an outside organization?
    Find out who to contact in case of emergency to put parents at ease.

If traveling is your priority in college, asking these 10 questions about college study abroad programs will give you a good sense of the school’s commitment to send students abroad. The links below are to help you once you start preparing to travel. Good luck!

TopUniversities (Study Abroad)

Staying Safe While Studying Abroad

How to Pack for a Semester Studying Abroad

If you’ve had experience with study abroad as a parent, college student, or program advisor, please feel free to share your insight by commenting to this post.


Emily Moore answers college student conundrums at  RedheadTalkyOne  and will receive her Bachelor’s in Professional Writing from Taylor University in the spring of 2011. She has been to Uganda, Korea, and has interned in Washington, D.C. twice. Find and follow her on Twitter @emilysaramoore.

Author: Z. Kelly Queijo

Kelly is founder of Smart College Visit and Smart College Consulting. When she's not creating content for the blog or clients, tweeting, or hosting #CampusChat, she's planning her next mobile move.

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