Some students have known for years the country where they would most like to study abroad. For others, it can be very difficult deciding when the whole world seems fascinating.
If you are having trouble deciding where, think about the following things:
- Do you have experience with a language other than English?
- Does your family have any history in any particular country that you would like to explore?
- Are there more options to take classes that go along with your major with programs in certain countries more than others?
- If studying in one of your top countries is prohibitively expensive, are you open to studying in a place that is more affordable?
- What type of city do you want to live in? A big metropolis, or a small college-town?
One technique that you could use is to decide your country is to make a list of all the countries that you are interested in. Then, learn as much as you can about that country. You can either do research on your own, or you can flip through the pages of study abroad catalogs given by third-party providers (we will give you as many catalogs as you would like once you come in for your first advising appointment). Eventually, one country will stick out to you, and you will be off to decide your program.
Think about the following:
- What types of courses would you like to study?
- Do you want to take courses specifically for your major or take core requirements?
- Do you need to take specific courses in order to graduate on time?
- Are you studying a language?
Personal and professional objectives:
- What would you like to get out of your experience abroad?
- Are you looking to challenge yourself?
- Do you want to learn about a culture?
- How will your chosen country or program fit into your career goals?
You should be asking yourself these questions as you decide on your provider.
Living in another country where you don't speak the language can be intimidating, but your study abroad provider should be there to help you when you need it. Most providers will have on-site staff that are fluent in English to orient you and assist you when you are too frustrated to remember how to say "Where can I buy toothpaste?" in Spanish.*
Having said that, it is a good idea to prepare before you go abroad in the language of your destination country. Here are some tips to do just that:
- Take a language class offered at CU Denver
- Take a class offered by another college or university, or by Colorado Free University
- Use one of the many web resources to learn a language, like Verbling, Livemocha, Busuu, or Italki
- Buy a travel book, which should not only have great information about your country, but also helpful phrases
*¿Dónde se puede comprar pasta de dientes?
The type of housing you will have can vary greatly depending on the culture and economics of your study abroad location. Here are a few of the possibilities:
- Host family, which could be a "traditional" family with two parents and young children, or an older divorced or widows woman.
- Dorms or community residences, which could be a mix of foreign students with locals, or entirely Americans
- Apartment or independent housing
In all of these cases, it is important to ask your provider exactly what they offer so you can decide what is best for you. Are you looking to immerse yourself in the culture and practice the language? Are you more independent and want to cook for yourself? Whenever possible, you should match your personality and study abroad goals to the type of housing you choose.
Prices between programs can vary drastically between different third-party programs, even within the same city. When looking at the price of a program, you should consider what is included in the cost of a program.
Tuition at your institution is almost always included in the price. The difference between program costs may be due to the chosen institution of the program.
Besides tuition, here are some things to look for to possibly be included in the cost:
- International Health Insurance
- Housing (host-stay, campus, apartments, etc.)
- Meals (how many per day, weekend, etc.)
- Visa fees
- On-site support
- Excursions (where are the excursions, how many are included in the price, etc.)
- Textbooks and materials
If any of these things are not included in the price, you should plan on paying for this on your own. Keep in mind that a cheaper program might mean you pay more for things on your own, but not necessarily. We have had students find that their cheaper program actually included more than students with more expensive programs that went to the same foreign institution.
For more information about paying for your program, visit our Funding section.
Program fees are something to carefully contemplate. If you don’t have the financial means, loans will be a good option. Also, some programs have lower fees, but that does not necessarily mean it’s the best choice. They may only include tuition, but leave out housing and other necessities that other programs will provide.
a. If you are interested in Financial Aid, please contact Jennifer Helgeson at Jennifer.Helgeson@ucdenver.edu or 303-556-2886. The most common form of financial assistance is student loans, but grants and scholarships are also available. You can find scholarship information from our website. Additional resources: goabroad.com or iiepassport.org and DiversityAbroad.com.
5. Approved Study Abroad programs will receive credit toward your degree at the University of Colorado Denver, however, you will have to get approval from your college advisor as well as your major or minor advisor to determine exactly whether and how the courses/credits will apply to your degree. Take the attached form to your advisors and ask them to review the courses and sign-off on the courses you wish to take. Please provide them with all the information of your chosen program and course descriptions. We recommend that you get course approvals for at least three additional classes because course schedules may change upon arrival.
a. Please stay in touch with the Study Abroad Office with any further questions or concerns about credits and the legitimacy of study abroad programs.
Third-party provider search engines:
Keep in mind that any program you choose must be approved through our office if you would like to receive credit and financial aid. Make an appointment or send us an email for more information.