Most students’ first impulse, when deciding where to study abroad, is to narrow the choice down by country. But there is more to location than that. Here are some things to think about:
Do I want to study abroad in a common or less conventional destination?
Most students in the past have chosen to study in Western Europe, and for good reason. Western Europe offers a tantalizing mix of history, culture, languages, food, and familiar amenities.
Less conventional destinations include the areas of the world—Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America —where fewer students have studied abroad over the years. Any place you choose to study abroad will offer a rich variety of experiences, and each will present its own challenges. But all will provide priceless rewards, if it is the place you truly wish to learn about.
Do I prefer to study in a large city or small town?
As a New Yorker, you may believe that big cities have it all: people, access to cultural institutions, and activities going on all night. But small towns also offer benefits such as experiencing a more traditional way of life and extra practice in the local language.
Do I want to experience a culture that is somewhat familiar or completely foreign to me?
Like most Baruch students, you may identify yourself as a member of an ethnic group, but you may never have been to the country of your ethnic heritage, nor experienced it in a culturally meaningful way. Studying abroad is an excellent way to do this. Yet you may wish to encounter a culture that is far removed from that of your own ethnic heritage. The “right” choice of a study abroad destination is the choice that best fits your aims.
Do I want to challenge myself in a non-English-speaking environment?
Many Baruch students are multilingual, affording them a wider choice of destinations. But you are not restricted to studying abroad in countries whose language you speak. Baruch’s exchange partners as well as dozens of study abroad programs offer a wide range of courses taught in English.
But if you do want to study in an English-speaking country, remember that Great Britain and Australia are not your only choices!