Spend some time identifying your goals and objectives for studying abroad. Have you
determined what you wish to achieve during your time in abroad? What are your academic
goals? Your personal goals?
Before you can identify what it is you want to see, to do, to experience, you’ll need
to do know something about your host country (see Researching Your Destination). Once you’ve done some research, identify the following:
- At least one aspect of host-country history or culture you would like to learn more
about (e.g., take lessons in salsa dancing or learn about maori mythology).
- At least one off-the-beaten-track sight in your host location that you would like
to see or visit (e.g., the site of the Rose Theatre in London or Eyeglass City in
- At least one activity or event you want to attend or participate in (e.g., seeing
an opera at La Scala or playing soccer with a local team).
- At least one place outside your host city you would like to visit—and how you will
get there and what you will do while there (e.g., fly to Rome over Thanksgiving break
to see the Coliseum and eat real gelato or spend a weekend at a rural onsen in Japan).
If you plan to travel in your free time, identify two or three destinations now and
research them. Again, look at guidebooks, visit the International Office, and check
out the Web. (We recommend that you explore your host country during the term or
semester and reserve out-of-country travel for semester breaks or after your program