One of the first and most important decisions you will have to make when embarking on your study abroad journey is deciding whether to do a short or long-term program.  No matter how you look at it, neither one is better than the other in every case, or for every person. Deciding whether a full semester, a 2-3 week January term, or a 1-2 month Summer term is the best option is completely up to you. Being someone who has studied abroad 3 times for different program lengths (1 semester and 2 summer terms), We can personally attest to the fact that there are strengths and benefits to each duration.


We all have our different circumstances, be it money matters, relationships, or being only 4 credits away from graduating, so the right term abroad for someone else may very well not be the right term for you.


Short Term Study Abroad (Summer/J-Term):

  • Can be taken between regular full semesters at your college.

  • Has a lower sticker price than a full semester abroad.

  • You’re only gone for 2-6 weeks.

  • If the courses don’t fit within your degree requirements, it’s easier to justify 2 fun classes than it is a full course load of them.  (Though we're sure a full course load, if fun enough, is still very justifiable!)


Long Term Study Abroad (Semester/Academic Year):

  • There’s enough time to really understand and become part of the culture.

  • Generally speaking, the longer the term the more cost-effective it is.  You can usually use some or all of your financial aid for semester or year-long programs, and you usually get the hang of how to find savings the longer you are there (at-home cooking skills, expert weekend travel booking techniques, etc.)

  • More time to explore and see everything your host country has to offer.

  • Universities offer more classes during a regular semester, increasing your available transferrable courses.

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