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?*
    - a study abroad experience for one academic term?
    - a study abroad experience for an academic year?

    What are your main reasons for study abroad?
    - to learn a foreign language, or improve upon your 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?

It is also helpful to have an understanding of the different program types available so that you choose a program that is best suited for you academically, socially, and/or culturally. Click here for examples and student perspectives.

Direct Enrollment 
Allows students to enroll directly in a local university in the study abroad host country, and study alongside local students
    - Offers a culturally immersive experience
    - Students work with the study abroad institution for student visa application processes,
      course selection and registration, housing, etc. 

Facilitated Direct Enrollment 
Allows students to use the services of a pre-approved program that facilitates direct enrollment in local university classes, but offers housing and student support services to program participants 

Third-Party Provider, or Island Programs
Allows students to take courses only offered by the study abroad program, alongside other US college students participating on the program
    - Designed for US college students
    - Follow US academic calendars
    - Specific thematic, language, cultural, or academic focus
    - Course offerings generally more restricted/ less flexibility in course options; may not
      serve all academic concentrations equally

Allows students to participate on a third-party provider/island program, and combine courses taught by the program with local university courses
    - Offers more student support than a direct enroll program
    - Typically more flexibility in course offerings/options

* If you are interested in a Harvard Summer Study Abroad Program, please contact the Harvard Summer School directly.