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Choosing a Program: What to Consider

Before making a decision in which program you should participate, it is important to consider what type of program would fit you best.  Each type of program has certain facets that make it different from other programs. 

Below are some of the things that most students look for when choosing a program:

  • Location – Consider what countries you’ve been to and which countries have always interested you.  Research countries' laws and customs to make sure you are comfortable with them. Additionally, there may be various scholarships or academic opportunities that will be associated with particular countries or regions that may not be available in other countries.
  • Dates and Duration of the Program – The duration of a program is an important thing to consider as it may coincide or conflict with dates for the following semester or other plans (internships, family vacations, etc).  Additionally, most programs vary in the length of time abroad and this could greatly affect your eligibility for various scholarships.
  • Educational Aspects – While study abroad is a chance to gain cultural understanding through travel, it is important to consider what classes you will take abroad and how it will count into your degree program.  More and more programs have started offering courses that will count toward your declared major and electives.  Also consider what requirements you have left for your degree and see whether the classes fulfill your general education requirements.
  • Independent vs. Group Setting – A big difference in many programs is whether there is a group aspect to the program.  In some cases, students will be the only PSU student on that program or there could be 30 or more PSU students in a group.  This could greatly affect your experience abroad and how you interpret your experiences.
  • Cost – It is important to know what your program fee includes prior to making a decision on your program as most programs will vary in price based on length, the number of courses, housing, insurance, etc. 
  • Housing, Excursions, Meals, etc. – Some programs will include many other things beyond your course fees.  Make sure to examine the cost breakdown to see what all is included in your program fee and know what you may have to arrange on your own.

Navigate our side menu to learn about the different types of programs available to you.

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