Selecting a Program
How do you decide where you want to go, when there are so many programs in so many countries to choose from?
Maybe you’ve always wanted to live in Japan or perhaps you are fluent in Spanish; these are ways to narrow your choices. It might be easy to imagine yourself in Paris or another iconic city, but are there parts of the world that you have not considered? Try investigating regions that you may not have imagined yourself in before. Perhaps Scandinavia, South America or New Zealand might offer you opportunities or a lifestyle that fits.
What are my reasons for wanting to go abroad? What are my goals?
These are the two most important questions to ask. Here are some follow up questions to help focus your reflection:
- Are you interested in a particular subject that's best studied abroad?
- Are you trying to learn or perfect a language?
- Are you looking for lab experience in a different country?
- Are you trying to gain experience in your field?
- Are you looking for work or volunteer experience abroad?
- Are you interested in studying with a particular professor who works at an institution abroad?
- Are you interested in studying with a particular U of T professor in a smaller environment abroad?
- Can you take a semester or year off from your degree, or is it really important for you to finish in a certain amount of time?
- What costs can you afford? Do you need to earn an income or support yourself through study scholarships?
- Are you looking to network for your future career or graduate school?
- Do you want to make new friends?
- Is travel important to you?
- Is developing your independence a central goal for you?
- Are you trying to decide what you want to do after university?
Take some time to think about your goals, and talk to your friends and family. Prioritizing what you'd like to get out of the experience will help you decide which International Opportunity is right for you.
For information on determining whether or not you are ready to go overseas and for more information about things to consider when choosing a program, please visit the Choosing a CIE Program page.
Sometimes it helps to talk to other exchange students when you are deciding where to go. Join our Facebook page so that you can connect with other students who have been abroad.