Before choosing a study abroad program, think about what you hope to accomplish in your time abroad:
Are you interested in:
- a summer study abroad experience?
- an academic term study abroad experience?
- an academic year study abroad experience?
What are your main reasons for study abroad?
- to learn a foreign language, or improve a foreign language proficiency?
- to live in a particular region or country that you have always wanted to visit?
- to pursue an intellectual path within a chosen field, or a well-known academic department?
Would you prefer:
- a rural or urban setting?
- to enroll directly into a foreign university, or to participate on a third-party provider program
with other students from US institutions?
- a large or small program or university?
- to live with a host family, university dorm, or independent apartment?
- The academic calendars of universities around the world vary. Study abroad programs
designed for US college students usually follow the most common US academic calendar,
running from September-December (fall term), January-May (spring term), and
June-August (summer), but exceptions do occur.
- Some university calendars require that students who study abroad in the fall take mid-year
exams in January.
- Harvard College typically requires that study abroad students take final exams for foreign
university on-site at the study abroad institution.
- United Kingdom & Ireland
At most institutions in the UK and Ireland, the academic year is divided into three terms.
The fall term is usually too short for a semester's worth of transfer credit, so full academic
year or spring semester (2 spring trimesters) are available options for your study abroad
- Australia, New Zealand, and the Southern Cone of Latin America
In these regions of the world, the academic year starts in February or March, pauses for a
short break in July, then continues with the second semester from August through
November, or early December.
Keeping the above information in mind while researching study abroad programs will help you
decide on a program that is best suited for you.