Joseph Sevigny: Hi, I'm Joseph Sevigny with IES Abroad. Today I'm talking to you about how to choose a study abroad program. I'm now going to discuss how to focus on your academic goals. When choosing a study abroad program it is important to determine, if the program will meet all your academic needs. You should find out if the credits you want on a program will transfer to your home-school and apply towards your degree requirements. You should also think about what courses you need for your degree requirements.
Most programs offer many course options in dozens of disciplines, including many English language options if you need them. You may also be able to take courses outside your degree and apply them to your elective or distribution credits at your home-school.
When studying abroad you have many choices including different types of programs that offer different academic experiences. The three main models are - The Island model, the Hybrid model, and the Direct Enrollment model. Each model offer something a little different.
The Island model offers a set curriculum of courses specifically for students on that particular program. The Hybrid model utilizes a similar small group experience and also offers opportunities for coursework at local universities. Direct Enrollment model programs allow students to enroll directly in a local university and study with local students.
Taking courses at a local university through either a Hybrid or Direct Enrollment Program may be the best way to combine earning academic credit with experiencing a local culture. No matter what you're studying in college or what courses you take while abroad, studying in abroad will help set you apart in competitive job market.
Research indicates that in employers in many fields seek to hire employee who have had international experience or who can speak in other language. By living and studying in another country, while in college you gain cultural competence, which is extremely valuable in our global economy.
There are many questions to ask when you first start thinking about study abroad, and I hope that I've helped clarify some of the academic options, you should consider when choosing your programs.