Student Resources

Consider Your Identity, Goals and Interests

Studying abroad is often the single most important and rewarding activity a student engages in during their academic career. There are many ways for UIW students to go abroad. With two campuses in Mexico, UIW-Strasbourg, Faculty-Led Programs and over 140 Sister Schools, the possibilities are endless!

While the Study Abroad office is here to advise you, we expect you to take ownership of your study abroad experience and be confident in choosing where you'll fly – one that builds on your previous experiences at UIW and helps you reach toward your academic, professional, and/or personal goals. The initial question you should ask yourself about study abroad is the first one an adviser is likely to pose: What are the goals YOU have for YOUR  study abroad experience?

Matching a Program to Your Interests

Take some time to consider factors like location, academic focus and living arrangements along with your goals for the study abroad experience. Most students can easily identify one or two goals they have for their study abroad experience. For example, you might want to:  

  • Explore a particular culture or new region
  • Immerse yourself in language study
  • Take courses in an area which could become your major
  • Learn more about a possible career path
  • Become more open-minded and develop a greater appreciation of diversity
  • Understand the business environment of your host country

Thinking about the specific goals you have now will help guide you in selecting the most appropriate program.

Measurable Goals

Whatever your goals, make sure that they are specific and measurable. For example, taking one of the broader goals above and turning it into actionable steps can help you better direct your efforts – especially if you only have a short time abroad.

  • If your goal is becoming more proficient in a language, perhaps you will choose to initiate a weekly conversation about local politics with a home stay parent.
  • If your goal is to build relationships with host-nationals you might join an extracurricular group with similar interests, such as an athletic team, or musical ensemble. 

Remember that although it's important to think about these concrete steps you can take to reach your goals, it's equally important to remember that your goals might change once abroad.

Identity Considerations

Learn more about  diversity and inclusion abroad in order to consider how you may navigate cultural differences. Based on certain aspects of your identity, you may find that certain countries and/or cultures may be more challenging or supportive.

Speak with Advisers and Past Participants