Choosing a Program

There are endless possibilities for incorporating study abroad into your Hampshire academic program. To find your best fit, we recommend asking yourself these questions. This is not an exhaustive list, but can help you get started on making your decision.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Why do I want to study abroad?  
  • What are my academic interests and career goals, and what can I do abroad to support these interests? How long do I need to spend abroad to meet my goals?
  • Where would I like to go? Do I want to spend most of my time in one location or travel to several places?  Do I prefer cities or small towns? Large universities or small programs?
  • Is foreign language proficiency necessary? If so, do I have the necessary proficiency, or do I have plans to gain it before I go?
  • How do I want to be immersed in the culture? Do I want a more field-based or course-based program?
  • What do I want to do in addition to studying while abroad? Learn a language? Participate in an internship? Independent research? Service-learning project? Travel?
  • How much in-country support or independence do I want during my time abroad?
  • How long can I afford (financially) to be abroad?
  • What challenges would I face spending time away from my family and friends? Have I discussed my plans with them?
  • What questions do I have about identity and study abroad?
  • Do I have health-related concerns?
  • What accessibility and disability concerns should I take into consideration when thinking about study abroad?

Questions to Ask About the Country

  • What health and safety risks exist?
  • Is this a safe location for students of my ethnic, racial, or national background?
  • What are the “Western” accommodations (toilets, drinkable water, Wi-Fi)? How comfortable would I be living in a country where access to Wi-Fi is limited?
  • What are the religious and cultural values?
  • What are the cultural and legal attitudes towards gender, disability, mental health, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation?
  • How accessible and legal are the medications that I take to manage my health?
  • What is considered appropriate behavior for friendship and dating?
  • How far will $1 USD take me in the local currency?
  • How easy will it be to meet my dietary needs?

Questions to Ask About the Program

  • Am I eligible to go on the program? Do I meet the language requirements?
  • What types of courses can I take on the program? How do the course offerings fit into my area of study?
  • How do I envision my housing arrangements? Dorm with students from the host country? Host family? Independent apartment?
  • Does the program integrate community engagement opportunities into the curriculum?
  • If I am a student with accessibility and disability concerns, what kind of accommodations can be made?
  • What are the dates for the program and do they fit into my other plans?
  • What is the student make-up of the program? Students from the same school or a mix of students?
  • What student services are available to me through the program? What support systems (student clubs, organizations, groups) are available that can help me adjust to the host culture?