Choosing a Program
Determine your Goals for your Global Experience
Regardless of your major or interest, there is a program opportunity out there for you! With hundreds of potential study abroad/away experiences, the hardest part can be figuring out what is the "right" program for you. We encourage you to start by setting your goals/priorities for your global experience. Think about what you would like to accomplish while you're abroad or away. Are you looking to:
- Earn credit to progress towards graduation or take unique classes you may not be able to take at Ohio University?
- Gain practical experience in your field?
- Study a foreign language?
- Study in a specific location or region of the world?
- Go away for a short or long period of time?
- Live with a host family in another country or experience living in a different setting?
Whatever your motivation - we are here to help you narrow down your options to find your ideal program.
If you are looking to earn credit while on your program, we recommend you talk with your Academic Advisor or a Success Advisor early on. Together, you can review your DARS to plan (1) what term would be best for studying away and (2) what graduation requirements you might be able to meet through studying away.
- Do you need to earn academic credit? While most students participate in Study Abroad programs, there are many opportunities to travel without earning credit (such as intern or volunteer experiences).
- Are you hoping to fulfill course requirements for a major/minor, BRICKs requirements, or another type of credit? Many OHIO Credit programs are designed to meet either major/minor-specific coursework OR have courses that can help fulfill BRICKS requirements. If you are looking for unique courses you may not be able to take at OHIO - Exchange and Affiliated-Provider programs allow you to take a wider variety of courses for transfer credit.
- Are you looking to fulfill a language requirement? Depending on the language you are interested in/level of study, you may be able to find an OHIO Credit program (Spanish in Toledo), Exchange Program (Japanese at Musashi). Additionally, there are many opportunities available to study language at varying levels through the Ohio International Consortium, Affiliated-Provider, and other third-party providers.
- Are there specific courses or activities that are important for your future career? Going global can help you in any career aspirations (Benefits of Study Abroad), but depending on your field there may be certain destinations that are better suited for your career path. One way to narrow down locations is to look for options that are a leader in your field. For example, choosing a location near the ocean may be more beneficial for a future marine biologist, while an art-history student may instead prioritize locations based on their museum/gallery offerings.
- Do you want to go with a group or travel more independently? If you'd prefer to travel with other OHIO students and an OHIO faculty member, select an OHIO program. If you're open to studying abroad with students from other universities in the U.S. without a faculty member present, an affiliate, OIC or Non-Ohio University program may be right for you.
- When do you want to go abroad? How long do you want to be away -- a week, month or year? There are options for every timeframe you may wish to travel. OHIO Credit programs are typically shorter in length, offered over winter break, spring break, and summer. If you are open to studying abroad for a semester or full academic year, check out Exchange or Affiliated-Provider Programs. Summer options range in length from one week to the full summer, and are available through OHIO Credit, Exchange, Affiliated-Provider or even Non-OHIO providers.
- What do you need to succeed day-to day? Studying abroad is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and explore, but you'll want to make sure you're prioritizing program offerings that can meet your needs day to day. Do you need free time/space by yourself? Do you have strict dietary needs? Are you a gym-enthusiast who needs a space for their cardio? Some locations may be better equipped to your identity than others.
- Is there a specific region of the world you are interested in? You may already have a city or a country in mind, and then find out that the programs available there aren't really an ideal fit for your other priorities. That's okay! By narrowing down the region you are interested in, we can explore nearby cities/countries and find opportunities that may better align with your goals, while still being close to the city/country you want to visit.
- How do you envision your living arrangements? Do you want to live with a family in a homestay or would you rather live in a dorm or an apartment? Do you want to live with other Americans or with students from the host culture? Homestays are common on language programs and on some affiliate programs. Short-term OHIO programs (like spring break or winter break) generally stay in hotels. Students on semester-long OHIO exchange programs normally live in either dorms or apartments with students from the host culture.
- What is your budget for this experience? Global experiences come in a wide-range of program costs, which vary due to length, location, time of year, etc. While cost is the number one factor students ask about, there are more affordable program opportunities out there by going to non-traditional locations OR by choosing longer programs. In fact, there's even options available to you that are cheaper than a standard semester at OHIO!
- Are you dependent upon financial aid to fund your experience? If so, you may want to consider studying abroad during the academic year. Financial aid works differently during the summer and is generally less plentiful.
- Do you currently receive Ohio University scholarships? If yes, remember that your OHIO scholarship can only be applied to Ohio-Credit, Exchange, and Affiliated provider programs. You may not use OHIO scholarships on other third-party programs.