Choosing a Program Based on Your Goals

What Is Important to You?

Use the following sample questions to learn what is important to you in your study abroad experience. Thinking about your goals is important, as it will help you choose a program that matches your interests and goals. After deciding which of these questions are important to you, try to summarize your findings in a few sentences. Bring this information with you to a Learning Abroad Center advising appointment if you are having trouble selecting a program. 

An example goals statement might be; "I want to find a semester-length, affordable study abroad program taught in French that will allow me to complete credits toward my psychology major and do an internship or research."

Questions for Identifying Your Goals


Learning Style

Career Path

Geographic Interests

Personal Identity


 You may have other ideas; include them all!

Identify Challenges

To really hone in on your statement also think about what, if anything, might prevent you from studying abroad. Use the same sort of brainstorming technique to record the challenges. Consider how these factors affect studying abroad. The aim of this is to list the real challenges along with your goals. Identify the factors you'll have to consider:


Once you have your ideas written down, you can start setting priorities. Try ranking your responses in order of importance. You may place the number 1 beside a geographic location that is extremely important to you, and then the number 2 next to money if affordability is a major factor. Remember, you aren't making final life decisions here, just setting down on paper where your priorities lie. Be honest with yourself.