Studying abroad is one of the best experiences you can have in college.  It provides an opportunity to meet new people, see a new country (or maybe multiple new countries), and experience a different culture in a way that normal travel cannot.  Deciding to study abroad is one of the best decisions you can make, but it can also be a difficult one.  You want to make sure you choose the right program that will make you never want to leave once you get there.  Here are some tips to do just that.

Daintree Rainforest | Nathan Legault

When, Where, and What                        

The first big questions you need to answer are “when do you want to study abroad, where do you want to study abroad, and what do you want to study abroad.”  You should look at the classes you need to take at your college to determine if you want to do a semester abroad or look for a summer program.  Semesters abroad usually allow you more time abroad, but they can potentially overlap with classes you may need to take at home.  Summer programs let you study abroad with no fear of missing a semester of class.  Once you know when you want to study, determine where.  Europe?  Asia?  Australia?  Antarctica?  (Yes, that is a thing)  Maybe your location is influenced by what you want to study or maybe you’ve always wanted to go somewhere.  Really into koalas?  Looks like you’re headed to Australia.  Always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower?  Try Paris.  I truly don’t think there is a wrong answer to the question of where.  Each place will have its own unique experience.  Once you know where, figure out what you want to study there.  Many programs will provide you an array of classes to choose from, but some may only have one class, like TEAN’s Australian Environment, Wildlife, and Conservation.  I place “what” after “where” because “where” is likely influenced by you interests anyways.  And, in all honesty, studying abroad is more about there “where” than the “what” in most cases.

Byron Bay | Nathan Legault

Do Research

Once you’ve answered those big three questions, do some research.  Do some googling.  Study abroad websites like or can help you find programs by location, subject, and timeframe.  They also have reviews of programs from past study abroad students.  Look directly at organization’s websites, as they will have the most thorough information, such as about what classes you can take while abroad.  Think about your budget as well.  It may influence what programs you can do.  However, don’t rule out a program that looks perfect just because it’s too expensive.  You can always apply for scholarships or possibly apply financial aid to bring the cost down.  Your university’s study abroad office may also be helpful in your search for the perfect program.  They can help connect you with other students who have studied abroad, as well as help you plan out the financial side and make sure credit will transfer to your home university.

Sydney | Nathan Legault

Connect with the program

Once you find that perfect program, reach out to organization that administers it.  Ask for more information, get to know them a little better.  Make sure it’s a reputable organization that runs a well-organized program, who can help you should anything go wrong.  They may also be able to connect you to a past participant of the program, like TEAN’s Global Ambassadors.  Reading the information and reviews of a program are helpful, but nothing compares to talking directly with someone who experienced it already.

Once you find the perfect program, apply for it.  You won’t regret it.

TEAN Alum, Nathan Legault, Northwestern University, studied abroad in Australia with TEAN.