International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

How do I choose a program?

Choosing a program can be daunting. Here are some tips and resources to help you narrow down your options and find the program that best suits your personal, academic, and professional goals.


Chances are you have a sense of what countries or geographic regions you'd like to experience. Here are some things to consider when choosing a study abroad site by location:

  • Language. You have options. You can immerse yourself in your foreign language studies. Or you can choose to study abroad in an English-speaking country. It's also possible to study abroad in a location where English is not spoken, but where courses are offered in English.
  • City-size. Do you like big cities or smaller college-towns? Do you want access to world-class museums and historic sites or do you prefer rugged landscapes and natural wonders?
  • Cost of living. While it is true that a semester abroad can cost about the same as (and occasionally even less than) a semester at your home university, the cost of living varies greatly from city to city.
  • Housing. Whether you are looking for cultural immersion through a family homestay, want to experience student life in a residence hall, or prefer living like a local in a shared apartment, we offer a range of housing types.
  • Culture shock. Are you looking to experience something entirely unlike everything you have ever known or do you want something that feels a bit more familiar? Again, you have options.
  • Health and Safety. As with any U.S. city, there are safety risks associated with program locations abroad. Prior to going abroad, students should familiarize themselves with local customs and laws as well as risks associated with their desired program locations. We encourage all students to visit the U.S. Department of State's information for Students Abroad and country specific information for their desired program locations as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) traveler's information for the program country. Further, we recommend that all students refer to the health and safety section of the ISA website. Here students can find detailed information regarding ISA's pre-departure and on-site support, ISA Travel Restrictions, and more. All students will receive an in-depth online orientation prior to departing and a comprehensive Bridging Cultures Program orientation upon arrival.


Think that your major makes study abroad impossible? Are you searching for a program that offers the courses you need to stay on track with your degree plan? We can help. When searching for a good academic fit, consider these questions:

  1. What are your study abroad goals (cultural immersion, language acquisition, coursework, research?)
  2. What courses do you need to take while abroad?

We've created some resources to make searching for the best program to meet your academic needs a bit easier.

  • Academic Advising Guides - recommended programs by academic major.
  • Program Search - a search tool that can help you find the courses you need.
  • Accreditation chart - does your university require specialized accreditation (such as AACSB for Business or ABET for Engineering)? This chart can help you find a program.

Still have questions? No worries! You can always reach out to a Student Services Advisor. We are always happy to identify programs that offer the courses you need to fulfill your major requirements!