When it comes to how to choose a study abroad destination, there are many factors to be weighed. From costs to language, program offerings for your major, cultural immersion opportunities, internship-abroad offerings, and even more specific considerations such as transportation and weather, there’s a lot to consider when you’re choosing where to study abroad.

But pared down to the basics, how do you decide on a study abroad destination? Here are a few tips and factors to keep in mind before you apply.

What’s Your Major?

Your major will determine lots of things, including what locations offer study abroad programs that align with the classes you need. Based on your major, CEA Study Abroad offers programs to match with your studies and career interests. Use the CEA Program Finder to filter programs based on the variables including destination, program length, price, subject area and more. Perhaps you’re an engineering student—try an engineering program abroad in Buenos Aires or Paris. Or, maybe you’re considering taking your business studies to Dublin or Barcelona. For language immersion, take your Spanish to Bogotá or your French to Grenoble. Whether you’re a psychology, marketing, STEM or liberal arts major, there are options to suit your studies and transfer credits back through CEA Study Abroad.

Consider Cost

Depending on your study abroad destination and program length, the cost of your adventure will vary. Browse CEA’s funding options during your program search, and weigh the programs you’re looking at against budget, location, duration, etc.

Exploring

Speaking of budgeting: want to cut up to $1,000 off your flight when you go abroad? You’d better take a look at CEA’s Current Offers to see how you can make your budget stretch further. And, of course, always check for student and youth discounts on flights with StudentUniverse.

Is Language Fluency Important to You?

If you’re working on improving your Spanish, consider CEA’s programs in Colombia, Costa Rica, Spain or Chile. Learning French? Check out language-intensive programs in the French Riviera, Paris, Aix-en-Provence or the French Alps. For Italian language fluency, try Florence or Rome program options. 

If honing your foreign language skills isn’t a top focus for you, there are plenty of programs in English that allow you to still absorb life as a local in your study abroad city and take your education to a new level. 

Summer or Semester?

As you work with your advisor to lay out your study or internship abroad options, consider the length of the program. Do you want to do a short-term program, a summer or a full semester? Also make sure you’re on track credit-wise to make the program fit your university requirements for graduation.

Across 15 countries and 26 cities, CEA offers a range of program lengths. From two-week to eight-week summer sessions to full spring or fall semesters abroad, there’s plenty of options. Try a two-week summer offering in Amsterdam or a two-week “Living Landscapes in the West of Ireland” ecology program in Galway. Or, check out CEA’s “Medical Spanish and Health Sciences” to take your pre-med degree and Spanish skills to Costa Rica. Maybe Shanghai, a bustling global finance hub, could be your destination for a study or internship abroad program. There, you’ll dive into programs such as International Marketing, International Business or Intensive Chinese Language.

study abroad

CEA’s newly unveiled summer internship opportunities in Sydney, Australia, and Milan, Italy allow you to apply yourself in a foreign work environment. Plus, you can gain valuable hands-on experience for your resume. 

Depending on your university coursework, your advisor might recommend one program length over another after checking your class credits. Best of all? When it comes to how to choose your study abroad location, CEA offers a range of program options to keep you on track toward your expected graduation date—while, of course, lending a life-changing opportunity in your new home-away-from-home.

Interning Abroad?

To take your professional portfolio to new heights, consider an internship abroad (or study + internship hybrid program) with CEA. You’ll get the unique opportunity to build your resume and foster valuable professional networks. Plus, you can directly apply your major and interests to a work environment abroad and have plenty of highlights to talk about in future job interviews. 

CEA’s internships abroad feature a specially tailored placement process, designed to align you with an internship that will help further your career.

Remember What’s Important to You

If factors such as weather (i.e., a summer in Costa Rica versus a fall semester in Dublin), ease of transportation, or local cuisine are of import to you, take those into consideration when choosing your study abroad location. 

It all comes down to stepping outside your comfort zone and experiencing another culture while furthering your education. Search CEA study and/or internship abroad programs today! Need more ideas about where to study abroad? Check out some of our favorite study abroad destinations.

Written in partnership with CEA Study Abroad.