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International Education

How to Pick a Program

With so many education abroad options available, selecting a program can seem like a daunting task. It is important to consider all possibilities, with each student taking their own personal interests and academic needs into account. What works for one students might not work for another, so students should avoid selecting programs based on preferences of friends or classmates. Pursuing an education abroad experience is exciting, yet also something that requires serious planning and consideration.

Below are some guidelines to help students get started.

Determine your interests

Do I want to continue a language I have previously or am currently studying? Do I want to learn a new language?


of undergraduate study abroad students enroll in a foreign language course abroad.


ACADEMICS What type of coursework do I want/need to take before I go abroad? While I am abroad? After I return from abroad?

  • Major/minor/LSM coursework?
  • GBs or other General Education requirements?
  • Electives?

EXPERIENTIAL FEATURES Do I want a program that includes Service–Learning? Do I want to undertake an internship?

UNIVERSITY SETTING Do I want an urban, suburban or small town campus?

INSTITUTION SIZE Do I prefer a small, medium or large host institution?

HOUSING What type of housing would I prefer?

  • Homestay 
  • Student residence 
  • Apartment

LENGTH OF PROGRAM How much time do I want to spend abroad? 

  • Semester/Year 
  • Summer (3 to 7 weeks) 
  • Faculty Led International Course (1 to 3 weeks)

What type of program best suits my needs and expectations?

Review Bentley's list of undergraduate study abroad programs using the guidelines above to help narrow your search.