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Choosing a Program

When considering program options, think about the following questions: 

When Should I Go?
  • Consider timing. Most students study away during their junior year (either a semester or a full academic year). 
  • Are there certain classes you need to take at Williams that you need to be on campus for? If so, that may help you determine the semester that is best to study away.
  • Do you want to study away for a full year or just a semester? Some students participate on two different programs (one for each semester) but need to be familiar with visa and immigration regulations before pursuing that. For students planning to apply to multiple programs, please be aware that the UK, Italy, France, and Spain have extensive visa processes. This can also affect the order of countries that you should study away in if you plan to study away for two semesters on two different programs. If you plan to study away on two different programs in the countries listed above, please contact the Office of Global Education and Study Away at so we can advise further.
  • Consider the academic calendar abroad. Some programs overlap with the U.S. summer calendar, especially in the southern hemisphere.
Where Should I Go?
  • Location can be one of the most important factors in deciding on a program. Research places, cultures, and regions of interest.
  • Do you want a city/urban setting or something more rural?
  • Would you prefer an English-speaking country? If not, what language skills do you have? What do you want to gain?
  • Meet with a member of the office of Global Education and Study Away to discuss.
What Kind of Program Should I Choose?
  • What are you looking for – Language immersion? Rigorous academics? Field experience? Independent research?
  • Do you want to live in apartments or a dorm? Do you want to live in a homestay or with a local family? What are the benefits?
  • Do you want to be at a university or in a study center with other U.S.-based students? Large or small university?
  • Do you want to take courses towards your major? If so, make sure to pay close attention to the courses offered and consult with your major department for approval.
We are here to help you navigate these questions. Schedule an appointment or attend an advising session here!