Step 3: Research Your Options

Wondering where to begin? Think about what aspects are most important to you in your study abroad experience. Is it the location? Duration of study? The curriculum? Living with a host family? Internship or community engagement opportunities?

There are many types of study abroad programs, both W&M and non W&M.

Take advantage of the resources available to you, both on campus and online, to find a program that matches your interests. Talk to people - a peer or staff advisor in the Global Education Office at the Reves Center, your friends, your family, your faculty advisor - and take the time you need to choose a program that's right for you! We recommend you begin researching program options one year before the intended semester abroad.

We suggest you attend a Study Abroad 101 workshop which will offer tips on finding programs to fit your academic goals and interests.

  • Visit the Global Education Office  on the second floor of the Reves Center, and read more about W&M programs and other study abroad options. Our peer advisors are happy to answer any questions you may have.  The office is open from 11 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday.
  • Browse the programs on our website to see what different options are available.
  • Attend the Study Abroad Fair, held every fall during Family Weekend. Meet with faculty program directors and students to hear about the experience firsthand.
  • Talk to students who have participated in the programs you are considering.
How To Choose the Right Program For You

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What are your goals for studying abroad?
  • What kinds of expereinces are you seeking?
  • Are you open to an entirely new culture?
  • Are there aspects of W&M or your culture that you want to maintain while studying abroad?
  • Do you need special accomodation due to a documented learning, mobility or physical disability?
  • Would you be comfotable being in a country where the beliefs, values and views differ from yours?
  • How engaged do you want to be on campus and.or in the community?  In the country?

What kind of experience are you looking for?

  • Cultural immersion or time spent with other American students?
  • People you know already or completly new people?
  • English speaking or a different language?
  • University classes or field experience?
  • Staying in one location or a program that travels? 
  • Large university or small school/program?
  • Theme based study or a wide variety of course options?
  • Urban or more campus setting?
  • Travel on your own or travel with a program group?
  • Home stay, university accomodation or independent living?
  • Internships and community engagement opportunities while studying abroad?

 Financial Considerations:

  • Are you an in-state or out-of-state student?
  • Do you plan to use to use GI benefits?
  • Consider the cost of various programs and what is included. Programs that cost more may include excursions, meals, internship placements, etc
  • Consider the cost of living in a location. Living in a major city will be more expensive than outside of a city or in a rural area.
  • The dollar is always stronger in some countries than in others.

 Acadmic Considerations:

  • Are you open to a new teaching style and classroom expectations?
  • Are you open to different kinds of assignments and assessments?
  • Are you choosing a university/program that offers the same acadmic standards as W&M?  The GPA requirnment is a good gage.
  • Look carefully at the programs dates to make sure they will work for you. Some programs, espeically in the southern hemisphere end in July (spring semester) and begin in July (fall semester).
  • Are you flexible with the courses you can take while abroad or do you need specific courses?
Online Resources