Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session MyCIPE

Matching a Program to Your Interests

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What are Your Goals?

Take ownership of your study abroad experience and be confident in choosing your own path. Think about the specific goals you have now to guide you as you research program options.

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Student walking in the Atacama Desert of Chile.

Choosing a Program 

Before you start looking at programs take some time to consider things like location, academic focus, living arrangements, and your budget. By going through the guided questions in this section, you will better understand the options for study abroad, and identify what type of experience aligns with your interests and goals.

Tip: International Students: Check with Yale's Office of International Students & Scholars to determine the ways in which study abroad might impact your visa status.

Tip: Undocumented Students: Review our section on DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Use your answers to:

FAQ: Where and when do you want to go?

  • Which region or country are you interested in academically? Personally?
  • Would you prefer to live in an urban or rural environment, or would you like to explore multiple locations?
  • When will you be eligible to study abroad? You can study abroad during any term listed below, including multiple terms (for example, summer + spring or fall + summer):
    • Any Summer
    • Sophomore Spring
    • Junior Fall
    • Junior Spring
  • Do you have certain courses that you must take in sequence at Yale? Discuss a plan with the DUS of your major that allows you to take those required courses before or after you study abroad.
  • Think about aspects of your identity, such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, and/or disability. Are there certain countries and/or cultures that would be more challenging or supportive based on your identities? Learn more in Identity Considerations.

Keep in mind that some programs do not align with Yale’s calendar, so your program's start and end dates may be earlier or later than Yale's. Pay close attention to program dates, particularly for university enrollment in the Southern Hemisphere, Germany, Taiwan, and the UK.

FAQ: What, and with whom, do you want to study?

  • Consider what your academic focus will be abroad. For example, do you hope to complete major or distributional requirements? Talk with your Residential College Dean and your DUS about your study abroad plan early and often. Learn more about earning general Yale credit in Get Credit.
  • Do you hope to conduct research abroad? Many programs offer research options as part of a full time course load. When reviewing program descriptions, take note of those that offer:
    • Field-based independent study projects
    • Library-based research with a faculty member
    • Issue-based research done while working with a community organization

If you complete an independent study and/or research project as part of your approved study abroad program and think you might use the project for further research at Yale (e.g. senior essay), review the instructions outlined in the Human Subjects Review Guidebook - Guidance of Student Projects. While the study abroad program will likely review the HSR process, you may also have to complete Yale's review process to use a project completed abroad toward work here on campus.

  • With whom do you want to take classes? If one of your priorities is to meet and spend time with locals, consider how the classroom environment will influence this engagement. Options include:
    • Other study abroad students
    • International students
    • Host-country students
    • Combination
  • In what language do you want to study? Do you want to take most or all of your courses in the host-country language? Does the program offer host family options for continued language practice? If you plan to study in a non-English speaking country, make yourself aware of Yale's minimum language requirements for study abroad. These are found in the Apply section, by program type. 

If you hope to use language courses abroad to fulfill Yale's language requirement, or to place into a higher level upon return, you may need to take a placement exam, or other assessment, when you return to campus. Be sure to contact the language department for additional information about this requirement.

FAQ: Where do you want to live? 

  • Which housing arrangement would you prefer, and is it offered by your program of interest? Where you live abroad will have a significant impact on your overall experience. Many students find that their living arrangement influenced language learning, their friend group, and even their cooking skills.
    • With a host family
    • In student housing
    • With students from the host country
    • With other study abroad students
    • Living on your own
  • How far is the housing from the program center and/or university? Commuting to and from class is very common in some locations. 
  • Are meals provided, or will you be cooking for yourself? Do you have any special housing or dietary needs?

If you receive academic or disability related accommodations at Yale, talk with a study abroad adviser and Yale's Resource Office on Disabilities to learn about what reasonable accommodation is possible abroad.

FAQ: How much structure and support do you want? 

  • Would you prefer a high level of involvement from a study abroad program, or would you like a more independent experience? When talking with programs, ask what kind of support they have onsite so that you know what to expect. 
  • Would you prefer a large university or small program setting? Study-center, field based, and hybrid programs generally have in-country staff, pre-arranged housing and excursions, and offer pre-departure support. Other programs, such as universities in which you directly enroll, might not offer organized activities and excursions, or you might have to arrange your own housing.
  • What type of learning environment would you prefer? Students often explore a different learning style while abroad to build upon current skills, or to complement the Yale academic experience. These include:
    • Traditional classroom
    • Field station
    • Conducting an independent study project or research
    • Large lecture-style classes
    • Small seminar-style classes
    • Combination

Review Program Types and Structures to learn more about how these differences can influence the kind of support you'll receive onsite.

FAQ: What is your budget? 

  • What is the program tuition and estimated additional expenses? These fees are published on the program specific websites. Remember that study abroad program costs and additional expenses can be more or less than what you would spend at Yale.
  • What does the program cost include (housing, meals, program sponsored activities, cell phones, health insurance, books, etc.)?
  • What other costs might you have to cover that are not included in the program fees, such as travel to and from your host country, laundry, public transportation, toiletries, phone, internet, etc.?

More details about creating a budget for study abroad, including a budget calculator, are are found in Finances.