Joseph Sevigny: Hi! I am Joseph Sevigny with IES abroad; today I am talking to you about how to choose to study abroad program. I am now, going to discuss getting the best quality, value and price for your program.
As with many things in our world, you often get what you pay for the same is true for study abroad programs. Sometimes less expensive study abroad programs offer fewer services and less support, higher quality programs that cost a bit more often offers students more opportunities for cultural experiences, more housing options and extensive student support services.
Though you may not realize that when you are in the research stage, paying for those opportunities and experiences can be the difference between having an okay time studying abroad and having a life changing experience.
Price is not the sole measure of the program's quality however; one of the first things you should look for is a study abroad provider with years of experience and a solid reputation in the field. You should also ask whether the program provider is designated by the Forum on Education Abroad.
The Forum on Education Abroad is recognized by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as the standards development organization for education abroad. The forum establishes standards of best practice for third-party study abroad providers and may designate those that meet or exceed it standards.
One main challenge when weighing the value and quality of differently priced programs is that expensive programs can simply be out of reach for many students. An important area to research is whether a study abroad provider offers grants, scholarships or other financial aid to students studying on its programs.
Your home school may also be able to help with financial support or transfer any federal, state or institutional aid you may be receiving to your study abroad program. Some study abroad providers are not for profit organizations; meaning that they dedicate their resources to their main business of providing students opportunities for living and learning abroad. They may also have financial aid programs much like your home school does.
There are many qualities and services to consider when choosing your study abroad program provider, but I hope that I have provided you some tips on choosing a program that's worth the price you pay.