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Study Abroad Ambassadors have regular office hours and you'll see at events on campus. Ask them about how they chose their study abroad program.

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Abroad101: Study Abroad Reviews and Feedback

Please note that Abroad101.com is not a Brandeis sponsored website, but is an independent website that publishes student reviews of study abroad programs around the world.

Choosing A Program


There are many reasons to choose a study abroad program and given the large number of approved programs you should expect this process to take some time. It might be helpful to think of the determining factors that helped you select Brandeis and apply those to your study abroad program search. We recommend you review this page and the following resources when compiling your research on study abroad programs.


Abroad 101 Evaluations

Brandeis University partners with www.Abroad101.com to host all returnee student evaluations of approved study abroad programs. This resource allows you to search evaluations of your Brandeis peers as well as other students from across the United States. Please visit this page and if you create an account, use your "@brandeis.edu" e-mail address. This will allow you to search by Brandeis approved programs and when you return from abroad you'll use this account to leave your own evaluation.

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Returnees, Returnee Contact List, and Study Abroad Ambassadors

Speaking with a program returnee can be very helpful to get feedback about the programs you're interested in and allow you to ask those detailed questions that only someone who participated in a program can tell you. However, please always keep in mind that someone else's experience will not be the same as your experience. There are a number of ways you can connect with returnees:

  • Asking friends and connecting through word of mouth.
  • Does your programs of interest have a returnee database or alumni program? Reach out to the program to ask if they can connect you.
  • Brandeis' Returnee Contact List: This list consists of Brandeis returnee students' names, e-mails, programs, program locations, and majors/minors. You can view this list and contact any of the students on it to ask about their program. Please be respectful when contacting these students as they've volunteered to be contacted.
  • Study Abroad Ambassadors: The Study Abroad Ambassadors are a great resource for students. They plan programs, help in the office, offer peer advising during their office hours, and are available to be contacted by e-mail as well. Check out this year's ambassadors and stop by their drop-in hours to learn more about their experiences.

Using the Approved Programs List

The Office of Study Abroad manages an approved programs list for students to assist with searching for appropriate study abroad programs. Please utilize the advanced search options and brochure pages to learn more about each program.

The following tips are helpful when using this database:

  • To learn more about the different types of programs you should visit the Types of Programs section.
  • Review the "Brandeis Specific Notes" at the bottom of each brochure page.
  • Go to each programs "Homepage" by clicking "Click to Visit" in the top section of each brochure page. More information is available at these pages.

Things to consider when choosing a program

Below is a list of things to consider when researching and choosing a study abroad program, followed by some reasons not to consider. If you feel lost or need guidance when researching your programs, please make an appointment with an advisor to talk over your options.

  • Academics: major/minor coursework. Many students want to study similar subjects to those they're studying at Brandeis while abroad or hope to fulfill major/minor requirements. Study abroad can also be a good time to take elective courses and pursue academic interests outside your major/minor. Think about what you expect from your program and research whether they offer courses in subjects you need to take or want to take. To learn more about how your program/department considers study abroad, visit the Major/Minor section of our website.
  • Eligibility requirements. Brandeis University has specific eligibility requirements for semester/year study abroad. You must meet these requirements as well as the eligibility requirements listed on your program's website. Please review both to ensure that you'll be accepted by Brandeis as well as your program.
  • Costs of the program and country. Each program will list their housing/board costs on their website, they will also list an estimated budget. Keep these numbers in mind when you're selection programs. Sometimes the more popular locations cost more or the cost of living is higher. If you keep cost in mind, you should be able to select a program that works with your budget and with what you hope to accomplish abroad.
  • Heritage connection. Study abroad can be an opportunity to explore your family's heritage. Many students consider locations where their family may have originated from as a location to consider. This can allow for a great connection to family and for an opportunity to research family lineage first-hand.
  • Language acquisition. There is no better way to learn or advance in a language than by being fully immersed in that language. Students who study abroad in a foreign language make leaps and bounds in their language skills by the time they return to Brandeis. In this more globally connected world, language skills are more sought after by employers than ever.
  • Classroom and learning style. Please review the Types of Programs page, as it gives you a general idea of the academic setup of particular programs. Keep in mind how you learn better and what you expect from a classroom experience abroad.
  • Exploring a new environment and culture. One of the main purposes for study abroad is to immerse yourself in a new culture. Try and think outside the box, explore some locations you know nothing about. You might be surprised what you find and your level of interest in locations you haven't thought about before.
  • Services offered by the program. Whether you're enrolling directly in a university or participating in a student center program, each will offer varying level of services. Review the programs' websites to find out what kinds of resources, excursions, and cultural connections exist. Is there an orientation? Are there group trips? Do they have tutors? Can you connect with local culture?

What NOT to consider when choosing a program

There are also many reasons NOT to choose a study abroad program. Below are some of these suggested reasons, while they need to encompass all of your planning and thinking, none of them should be the sole reason you choose a program.

  • My friends are going there and I want to be with my friends. Each study abroad program and location is different and not a perfect fit for everyone. It's best to look for a program that works for you, not someone else.
  • I know someone who went there and they really liked it, so I will too. Similar to the previous statement, programs change every year and your reasons for studying abroad are likely not exactly the same as someone who went their previously.
  • I hear it has a great party atmosphere. Study abroad is an academic pursuit. Your grades do matter and will affect your academic and professional goals. You'll have fun no matter where you go but picking a program based on that will likely lead to disappointment.
  • I want to intern at (insert name of specific company). Internship sites are never guaranteed, you shouldn't select a specific program based on a specific site. But you should select a program based on the types of internships they offer in a field interesting to you.
  • It's close to another country that I want to travel to. If that's the case, then why not study abroad in that country? Study abroad should allow you to become immersed in a local country and you can't do that if you're traveling all the time.
  • I don't speak that language well so I don't want to have to speak it while I'm abroad. Knowing another language is an important skill and more desired by companies than ever. If you don't know the language now, take a class, study abroad over the summer, or push back your study abroad so that you have a better grasp of the language. There are also many locations you can go to that you don't need to have prior experience in the language.
  • I want to travel while I'm abroad so I have to go to Europe. While traveling in Europe can be a great experience, there are many unique locations outside of Europe. Entire countries have lots to explore. Try not to think in terms of how many countries you can cross of your list. Think instead about how many unique experiences you can have in any place.
  • The only places worth going to, if I want to stand out for grad school or on a resume, are the most prestigious universities in the UK. While there are many prestigious institutions in the UK and other locations, grad schools and employers are often looking for individuals with unique or diverse experiences. They are also interested in knowing that you can operate in a new culture and can handle transitions well. The best way to prove that is to go somewhere off the beaten path.