Things to Think About When Choosing a Study Abroad Program:
1. Consider your budget. London is a very popular study abroad destination but it is also one of the world's most expensive cities. Consider someplace like Buenos Aires where the cost of living is nearly 50% less than Boston. Many students don't think they can afford to go abroad, but if you do your research and consider a less expensive city, living abroad could actually be cheaper than living in Boston!
2. Determine your academic needs. Look for schools with the course offerings you need. Consult the Office of International Services for a guidance on schools that are a good fit for your major.
3. Do you want to study a language? Think about your future career goals. Would having knowledge of another language be an asset in your industry? If so, first consider which language, then plan a study abroad experience that will provide you with the oppotunity to learn that language.
4. What type of university setting are you looking for? Do you want to be on a suburban campus like Lasell or would you prefer to be right in the middle of the city like Boston University or Suffolk University?
5. What size institution do you want to study at? Many of the schools on the Lasell College Approved Program list are big schools (25,000 + students). Do you want your study abroad experience to be at a school that is the opposite of Lasell or similar to Lasell in size? What environment do you learn best in?
6. Consider your housing options - do you want to live in an apartment, a residence hall or a homestay? If learning a language is important to you, consider a homestay where you will be immersed in the language and have plenty of opportunity to practice.
7. Is a having a meal plan important to you? Many programs do not offer meal plans but a select few do. If you do not like to cook or would prefer to pay for all your meals upfront then a meal plan may be the best choice for you. Students who do not have a meal plan with their program will live in an apartment or residence hall with a fully furnished kitchen (you do the grocery shopping, but all pots, pans, and dishes are provided).
8. Consider the dates of the semester and the length of the program. Programs in the Southern Hemisphere tend to have different semester start and end dates. A typical fall semester runs July-November and a typical spring semester runs from February to June. Some programs also run on trimester academic calendars making the time abroad a bit shorter than other programs. A shorter program can work well for budgeting reasons, but can also be disappointing if you are trying to maximize your time abroad.
9. Do your homework! Finding the right study abroad destination and school requires some research on your part. It is never too early to start planning your study abroad experience, so start an internet search today!