Setting Goals

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 Beijing).
  • 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 has ended.)