The International Students and Scholars office and Education Abroad office are in their new location in the Student Services Building, 2nd Floor.

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Find an Education Abroad Program

Identifying Your Goals for Learning Abroad

We will work with you to identify your goals, academic factors, and any practical considerations for deciding which program to choose. As you’re exploring, use the questions below to help guide you.

There are no right or wrong answers.

  • Personal 
    1. Why do you want to learn abroad?
      • What do you hope to gain from the experience?
      • What kind of abroad experience do you want?
    2. What personal experiences have you already had that could make your time abroad more successful or productive?
      • Have you already had an overseas experience?
      • Have you had friends from or exposure to other cultures and languages?
      • How familiar are you with the country/countries you are considering?
      • Have you lived or traveled in a developing country?
    3. How well do you adjust to new situations?
      • Do you need an extensive support network?
      • Do you have friends who are planning to be abroad at the same time?
    4. Which countries, regions, climates, etc. would you be comfortable living or studying in?
      • Where would you definitely be unwilling to go?
      • To what extent do you want to become more familiar with your own cultural heritage?
      • How much do you want to build on what you already know culturally, and how much do you want to experience something altogether different?
  • Academic
    1. How important is it for you to receive academic credit for your course work abroad?
    2. Would you be interested in getting work experience and academic credit through an internship?
    3. Do you want/need to pursue coursework primarily or exclusively toward your major?
      • Your minor?
      • General education requirements?
      • A combination?
      • Do you want/need to emphasize study of the language and culture of your host country or something else?
    4. Would you rather pursue a traditional university-based academic program, or a program involving practical experience, research, fieldwork, or independent study?
    5. Do you want to be fully immersed in the academic life of your host country, studying alongside students of that country?
      • Or would you rather study with a combination of host country students and foreign students?
      • With only other foreign students?
      • With only other Americans?
    6. Who will teach you?
      • University professors from the host institution?
      • Other host country nationals?
      • U.S. faculty members?
      • What should your teacher's qualifications be?
    7. When in your academic career would it be most logical or practical for you to study overseas?
    8. How will this experience assist you in attaining graduate school and/or career goals?
  • Practical
    1. Which country or countries interest you?
      • City or cities?
      • Do you want to be in a large, cosmopolitan city, or would you prefer a small town or rural environment?
      • Are you looking for challenge and adventure, or a more predictable experience?
      • How healthy is the location (air, water, personal safety)?
      • Do you want to be in more than one location?
    2. How long are you interested in being abroad?
      • A year, semester, quarter, summer, a few weeks?
      • How long are you willing to be away from your family and/or friends?
    3. Would you like to live only with people from your host country, or would you be more comfortable with other foreigners and/or Americans?
      • Do you want to live with a family?
      • In a dormitory?
      • In an apartment?
      • Are you willing to live in less luxurious conditions than those in California?
    4. Will you need to know a foreign language to live and study successfully in your host country?
      • What foreign language skills do you have or will you develop by the time you are abroad?
      • Are you willing and able to pursue an academic program completely in a foreign language?
      • Would you prefer to combine language studies with other coursework in English?
    5. How much money do you have at your disposal to participate in a program abroad?
      • Do you have other resources that you can use if necessary?
      • Can you qualify for financial aid?
      • Are you willing to spend some time and energy applying for special scholarships? Or to work extra hours before going abroad?
    6. Do you want to study abroad in the context of a "program" where housing, meals, and administrative arrangements are taken care of for you, or would you prefer to work things out on your own?
    7. Do you have health concerns or special needs that must be considered (current health conditions that could pose problems while abroad, physical disability, learning disability, eating disorder)?
    8. Are there opportunities for community service and/or work in the host country?
      • Are you interested in such an experience?
    9. What medical care facilities will be available overseas?
      • Will you need additional health insurance?
      • Do the programs you are considering include insurance as part of their program fees?

Three Program Types - and hundreds of programs to choose from!

Education Abroad works with our faculty to teach UCR classes on a global stage through Faculty Led Education Abroad Program (FLEAP), our UC systemwide network through (UCEAP), and other organizations to make sure your credits transfer and you stay safe abroad through the Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP).

We’re here to work with you to help you figure out what you want to do and how to get there. Contact us today to get in touch with an Education Abroad advisor.

Faculty Led Education Abroad Program (FLEAP)


UCR faculty. UCR classes. Global classroom.

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UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP)


UC’s global network at your fingertips

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Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP)


Courses and internships through other universities and institutions

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Let us help you with your search