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What are Your Goals?

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Consider your Goals

While the Study Abroad office is here to advise you, we expect you to take ownership of your study abroad experience and to be confident in choosing your own path – one that builds on your previous experiences at Yale and helps you reach toward your academic or personal goals. The initial question you should ask yourself about study abroad is the first one an adviser is likely to pose: What are the goals you have for your study abroad experience?

Most students can easily identify one or two goals they have for their study abroad experience. For example, you might want to:  

  • Explore a particular culture or new region
  • Immerse yourself in language study
  • Take courses in an area which could become your major
  • Learn more about a possible career path

Thinking about the specific goals you have now will help guide you in selecting the most appropriate program.

Measurable Goals

Whatever your goals, make sure that they are specific and measurable. For example, taking one of the broader goals above and turning it into actionable steps can help you better direct your efforts – especially if you only have a short time abroad.

  • If your goal is becoming more proficient in a language, perhaps you will choose to initiate a weekly conversation about local politics with a homestay parent.
  • If your goal is to build relationships with host-nationals you might join an extracurricular group with similar interests, such as an athletic team, or musical ensemble. 

Remember that although it's important to think about these concrete steps you can take to reach your goals, it's equally important to remember that your goals might change once abroad.

Next Steps

After you've considered your goals, review Matching a Program to Your Interests before researching programs.