Hillsborough Community College
4001 W. Tampa Bay Blvd. DSSC 322
Tampa, FL 33614
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How to Choose a Study Abroad Program

Ask yourself these questions, and get a friend or family member to confer with you on these topics.
  1. What type of courses do you need to take (major requirements, major electives, general education requirements, lower-division courses or electives)?
  2. What academic topics do you need (and want) to study (only your major, or a mix of academic disciplines)?
  3. Does your program approve experiential courses (ie, internships, field study, independent study, independent research, service-learning, touring)?
  4. Can you take courses in another language / are you sufficiently fluent?
  5. Do you have beginning or intermediate foreign language skills?
  6. Would you feel comfortable living in a fast-paced city where it may be difficult to make friends and interact with locals?
  7. Do you feel comfortable using public transportation (buses, taxis, trains)?
  8. Would you prefer to live in a community where you can easily navigate your way, and meet local people?
  9. Does the weather bother you? Have you experienced the type of climate common to the host country you are considering?
  10. Are you a self-starter, outgoing, and self-motivated? Are you experienced in exploring new/different situations?
  11. Are you comfortable with a group with leaders and/or guides making decisions for you?
  12. Do you want to become a “specialist” in one location (language, culture, history and current events) or do you want a comparative perspective of several different places and perspectives?
  13. Have your friends or family ever called you “high maintenance”? Do you have a high level of attention to conveniences, personal appearance, the newest fads or specific activities?
  14. Do you enjoy camping, hiking, backpacking, “roughing it”?
  15. Do you have a good sense of how (and if) you will use alcohol in a mature setting? Have you ever been disruptive of others or put your well-being at risk with alcohol?
  16. Have you ever traveled before? Outside the U.S.? If yes, how long and where?
  17. How long have you ever been away from “home” before, away from family and friends?
  18. What type of leisure activities do you enjoy? What do you do with your “free time”?


Participate in a program administered by Hillsborough Community College and taught by a Hillsborough Community College Faculty Member. 

Direct Enrollment
Explore colleges and universities in other countries, and directly enroll in a program that allows “transient” or “international” students
Program provider
Participate in a program administered by an organization offering study abroad support services.
Location, geography, language, population, economic/industrial development, cost of living, food, health and safety conditions, climate, ease of transportation, etc.


Do you have beginner, intermediate, or advanced language skills in the host country primary language? What is the English language fluency of the local population?

Community / City size
 Cosmopolitan City, Urban City, Industrial City, Suburban City, Town, Rural Community
Host institution
Enrollment size, percentage of local students and international students, urban campus or enclosed campus, facilities available, teaching style, language of instruction, grading/assessment style, academic options, academic rigor, distance from housing
Living conditions
Homestay, residence hall, apartment, house, hotel, with all Americans, with all locals, distance to shopping, entertainment, school, transportation, shared or not, cost of living, where will you eat meals?
Hillsborough Community College Center for International Education