Choosing the Right Program For You
Take time to research our various study abroad programs to find the perfect fit. Factors like price, timing, location, or course offering will help inform your decision. If you need additional support, schedule a meeting with your Study Abroad Counselor or Academic Advisor to explore all of your options.
Location is an important determining factor for students considering study abroad. Do you want to become fluent in a specific language? Are there distant family members or ancestral roots abroad you wish to reconnect with? What are the cultural, academic, or professional opportunities available in your host city? These are useful questions to ask.
Prices for study abroad are often determined by location. Certain cities may have a higher cost of living, impacted tourist seasons, or more limited housing options all of which impact price.
Outside of cost, you will want to explore the surrounding environment of your host city. What do their safety practices look like? Consider your identity (race, gender, sexuality, religion, etc.) to better understand how you may need to navigate through that space safely. See what has been happening politically and research local governance.
Academic factors are also necessary to consider. Students should review course offerings to determine if enrolling in study abroad will help them accrue credit for GEs, major requirements, or for transfer. Classes vary every semester as does the faculty teaching.
Courses and faculty are always selected a semester before departure. Even if courses may not be published online yet, speak with your Study Abroad Counselor. They may have more information on course offerings and faculty selection.
Speaking with an Academic Advisor will also be helpful to determine the right semester to study abroad. For example, some freshmen may be prepared to live in another country while certain individuals rather save studying abroad for their final semester at Mt. SAC. Decide what is best for you and be confident in that choice.
Students can also look into all the other educational opportunities their host city offers. Are there local workshops to help prepare for a future career you are interested in? Is there a graduate school you wish to visit in person? Make the most of your time there.
Personal preparations must be made before leaving to study abroad. Securing medications, obtaining prescriptions, setting up remote therapy appointments, or arranging for child care are all necessary steps for responsible travel. Take time to write down a list of your responsibilities and needs. Use this list to create a plan and tackle each item. Do not leave this until the last minute to figure out as these action items may require time, money, and other individuals to coordinate with.
Often students struggle with the personal sacrifices required to study abroad. Leaving for an entire semester may pose a challenge if you are a parent, a caregiver, financially contribute to your household, or look after siblings. Study Abroad Counselors are here to offer support and strategize with you. This may look like ramping up your fundraising plan, looking into off campus resources, or speaking to your employers to ensure they hold your job upon return. There is a team of people who want you to succeed and by planning properly, your time abroad can be significantly less stressful.