University of the Pacific
International Programs and Services
Stockton, CA 95211
(209) 946-2246
ips@pacific.edu
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Deadlines
Fall: February 22
Spring: September 24
Academic Year: February 22
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How to Choose an Education Abroad Program that fits YOUR Needs

PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS:

    • Why do you want to experience education abroad? (To acquire foreign language skills, to experience a different academic environment, to contribute to career development, to foster personal growth, to have the opportunity to travel, etc.) What do you hope to gain?
  • What personal experiences can you draw upon that would contribute to your success abroad? Have you had an overseas experience? How familiar are you with the country you are considering
    • How well do you adjust to new situations? Do you need an extensive support network?
  • Which countries, regions, climates, etc. would you be comfortable living or studying in, and where would you definitely be unwilling to go? To what extent do you want to become more familiar with your own cultural heritage? How much do you want to build on what you already know and how much do you want to experience something completely different?

 

ACADEMIC CONSIDERATIONS:

    • Do you want/need to pursue coursework primarily in your major or minor? GE requirements? A combination? Do you want to emphasize study of the language/culture of the host country?
    • Would you prefer a traditional university-based academic program, or one involving an internship, fieldwork, or independent study?
    • Do you want to be fully immersed in the academic life of the host country, studying alongside students of that country? Or would you prefer to study with a combination of host country students and American students? Or with only other Americans?
    • Who will teach you? University professors from the host institution? Other host country nationals? US faculty members?

 

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS:

    • Do you want to be in a large, cosmopolitan city, or would you prefer a small town or rural environment? Do you want to be in more than one location? What are the advantages/disadvantages of that?
    • How long do you want to be abroad? A year, semester, summer?
    • Would you like to live only with people from your host country, or would you be more comfortable with other Americans? Do you want to live with a family? In a boarding house? In a residence hall? In an apartment?
    • Will you need to know another language to live and study successfully in your host country? Which language skills do you have or will you acquire before going overseas? Are you willing and able to pursue an academic program completely in another language?
    • How much money do you have at your disposal to participate in a program abroad? Do you have other resources that you can use if necessary? Can you qualify for financial aid? Are you willing to research and apply for special scholarships?
    • Do you want to experience education abroad in the context of a program where housing, meals, and administrative arrangements are taken care of for you, or would you prefer to work things out on your own? Is there program staff on site to help with these issues and who are they (US faculty, host country faculty, or administrative staff)?
    • Do you have health concerns or special needs that must be considered (medical conditions, learning disabilities, and dietary restrictions)?
    • Are there opportunities for community service and/or work in the host country? Are you interested in such an experience?
    • What medical care facilities will be available overseas? Will you need additional health insurance? Does the program include insurance?






University of the Pacific Education Abroad Office