How to: Find the perfect study abroad program in 5 steps

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Follow these 5 helpful steps to find the right study abroad program for you

You have decided to participate in a study abroad program, but you struggle to decide where to go and which program to choose? Decision making can be tough when you are a student in a world of endless opportunities. Some students have envisioned their dream exchange already, while others don’t see the forest for the trees. Luckily, we know your struggles. Thus, we have shared our top 5 tips which will support you in your decision making.

Step 1. Brainstorm your dream study abroad program

Firstly, become aware of what you are looking for. Therefore, ask yourself what you truly want from this experience. For instance, if you want to enjoy yourself and have the time of your life, your decision might turn out differently than if your focus is on academical growth. Just follow your intuition, because usually, you know what is best for you. Is there a foreign country or city you have always wanted to live in? Do you want to learn or improve a language? Have you dreamed of studying at a specific University? Are you interested in learning a new skill, like diving or surfing, while being abroad? You should at least have an idea of what you are looking for before starting your research. Otherwise, you might get overwhelmed by the variety of study programs.

Step 2. Research study abroad destinations and programs

Usually, the second step is checking your university’s partnerships for potential programs. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to the presented options. An exchange semester is a once in a lifetime experience, therefore don’t settle for compromises or easy options at this point. To get the most out of your exchange experience, do your research and get inspired! Ask your friends and fellow students about their opinion, search the internet, watch documentaries about fascinating countries or look for YouTube videos of people sharing their study abroad story.

Nowadays, companies like Asia Exchange or Beyond Abroad offer unique study destinations and programs. Companies like these make it easier and more affordable than ever to study in the most amazing places worldwide. The application process is easy and fast, the programs are dedicated to all international students and the universities are accredited well.

Click here to find out more about the study programs!

a man and a girl is sitting on the ground holding a book and a laptop in Bali
Inform yourself about possible study abroad options to fulfil your dream

Step 3. Minimize your selection of study abroad options

The third step will prevent so-called ‘overchoice‘. Before starting the final decision-making process, eliminate all brainstormed and researched options that are not viable. Start with obvious reasons, such as compatibility of semester dates, transferability of courses, affordability, unfulfilled qualifications, or even visa matters.

Moreover, let go of the idea of the “perfect” choice and the fear of making the “wrong” choice. Again, when narrowing down your options, go with your gut instinct. Lastly, you should be able to choose from at least a few realistic study programs. 

Read more:

Studying abroad in Finland

Step 4. Book a counselling session

Additionally, booking a counselling session can give you more clarity. The research might give you many insights but it often leads to unanswered questions. Therefore, we recommend contacting the student mobility professionals of the provider or university running the study abroad program. You will have the opportunity to ask detailed questions and share your worries in a personal dialogue with an expert. So, don’t be shy and take advantage of the services offered.

Click here to book a counselling session with Asia Exchange or Beyond Abroad!

study abroad programs counselling
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and book a counselling session

Step 5. Make a pros and cons list with your favourite study programs

After you have gone through all steps, it is time to make your final decision. At this point, you have gathered all the considerable information. Not only should you make a well-informed decision but also trust your intuition. It will minimize the fear of regret and boost your excitement towards your exchange experience. Thus, we swear by pros and cons lists for big decisions.

Consequently, write down all vital categories that might affect your choice. For instance, courses offered, educational standards, program price, living standards in the country, cultural aspects, language spoken or personal interests, just to name a few. Based on those, write down your list. Then, assign a value to each point you are writing down. But don’t force it, let your mind wander. Finally, you will have a structured overview of emotional and objective arguments for and against your favourite study programs. Lastly, make your final choice and let the journey begin.

We hope this blog post was helpful for your decision-making process.

a map a kamera and a book
A pros and cons list will help to finalize your decision

Do you want to study abroad? Find out more information here!

Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities inAsia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tipsand new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to ourmonthly newsletter!If you have any questions about studyingabroad, feel free tocontact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

This blog post was written by our Social Media Marketing Specialist Nele!