Guide to Work, Study, Travel and Living Abroad  FacebookTwitterGoogle+  
As seen in Transitions Abroad Magazine March/April 2001
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Study Abroad
Student to Student

Study Abroad in London or Belize?

The Options

The options for studying abroad continue to multiply. Want to trek in Tibet or excavate a Turkish burial ground? Paint in Provence or investigate coral reefs in Australia? The possibilities are nearly limitless, and most likely you never again will have the opportunity to spend three months to a year undisturbed in a far-off land. So don’t let the daunting task of finding the perfect program overwhelm you. Make a list of what you want in a study abroad program and then go search for it

The combined reference, Academic Year Abroad and Vacation Study Abroad, both published by the Institute for International Education, is an ideal starting point for your research. Basic information about every study abroad program and is indexed by location, field of study, and cost. Compare the list you’ve made to the descriptions in the book. When you find a match, note the program’s website. (Both books are also available on a completely searchable database, iepassport.org.)

I was torn between the attractions of big city life in London and the natural wonders of Belize. After calling the sponsoring organizations and contacting alumni of both the programs I was interested in, I decided to do a semester in each. The contrast added a whole other dimension to my time abroad. Not only does reading up and learning about the region that will be your temporary home enhance your excitement, it also prepares you for the changes you will encounter.

Guidebooks are incredibly helpful on the hot spots and highlights of the area, but they are designed for tourists. Look for travel accounts and ethnographies that give you a glimpse into everyday life in your future home.

Study abroad is about self discovery and the adventures of cultural immersion, but that discovery will be more intense when you go prepared and have picked the program that contains the features you’ve selected for yourself based upon your own criteria.

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