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Study Abroad: With Other Students or Alone?

First decide what you want out of your study abroad experience.

When you study abroad, you can choose where you want to go and how long you want to be gone.

You also can choose who — if anyone — you want to study abroad with.

Many universities offer students the opportunity to study abroad with a group of their classmates in addition to traditional study abroad programs where students are largely on their own.

How are study abroad programs with other students different?

Many of the programs are shorter.

For example, your college or university might offer a class in which you study the history and culture of London, England, for a semester and then visit the city for two weeks. Or perhaps you can sign up for a program that will pair you with a classmate for a three-month homestay in Mexico.

If you study abroad on your own in a country, you will probably need to be more independent. Your college or university certainly will help, but you likely won’t have someone to lean on for every single question you may have while you are abroad.

Why study abroad with other students?

Traveling with other study abroad students allows all of you to explore a new country together and both share and compare your experiences.

When you study abroad with other students, you always will have someone from your own country nearby.

This thought may make you more comfortable and less homesick. Not to mention that you can worry a little less about your burgeoning foreign language skills!

Studying abroad with a group of students is a very different experience than study abroad programs where you are by yourself. Depending on what you want out of your study abroad experience, however, traveling abroad with a group of students can be equally fulfilling.

Next: Picking a School or Program

Previous: Year, Semester or Summer?