When researching study abroad programs it can be difficult to differentiate between all your options. Program descriptions often look quite similar online so how can you get realistic insight into which is right for you?
Enter study abroad review websites.
There are a number of websites where past study abroad students can write a review of their experience. Most students use these study abroad review websites after they have already narrowed down their options by:
- checking with their campus study abroad office for a list of school-approved study abroad programs (there’s no point finding the program of your dreams if your school won’t accept the credit!)
- speaking with their study abroad advisor and/or peer advisors
- contacting the study abroad provider directly when considering an external program
Once you’ve narrowed down the search to a few different programs, then it’s time to go to the study abroad review sites. Search for the specific programs to see what others have to say.
Study Abroad Review Websites for U.S. Students
These websites include study abroad reviews relevant to U.S. college students:
Additionally, most program providers allow study abroad reviews to be posted on their Facebook pages. You can see TEAN study abroad reviews on our Facebook page here.
How to Use Study Abroad Review Sites
Study abroad review sites can be helpful resources but, as with any review site, you may need to do a little digging and use your media savvy to make the most of them.
Understanding the rankings
Sites don’t necessarily list programs in order of the highest ranked. It’s important to pay careful attention to how programs are listed. For example, when filtering a search list to see the highest ranked first, you may see a program listed that has top marks…but was only reviewed by one student. While technically the ranking is high, it doesn’t really give an accurate overview as it’s based on just one person’s opinion.
Conversely, programs that have had a lot of students go on them may get placed higher up the rankings just by sheer number of students.
number of reviews
The sites listed above are also mainly used by U.S. students. If a program has a lot of reviews, it’s pretty safe to assume there’s a lot of Americans on the program. So if you’re interested in a study abroad program where you’ll be surrounded by local students and fewer Americans, the rankings may not really apply to what you’re looking for.
If the program you’re considering only has a handful of reviews this can often mean it’s a smaller program with less American students. In this situation, we recommend connecting with the program you’re considering and asking if there are any student alumni available to talk with you. Most study abroad offices and private study abroad program providers have a list of alumni who are happy to chat and answer your questions.
Finally, as with any review apps or websites, you don’t know the people writing the review and what might be a good experience for one person may not suit the other.
TEAN’s Study Abroad Reviews
You can find reviews for TEAN programs at these links:
To find the best study abroad program to fit your interests, use all the resources available to you to make your decision. Speak with your school’s study abroad advisor. Search the study abroad review sites. Call the programs you’re considering with prepared questions. Ask advisors if they’ve visited the programs themselves for personal insight and ask to speak with program alumni directly!Connect with TEAN Alumni
You can also contact us with any questions!