UKIC / Education Abroad & Exchanges / Brainstorm your Goals

Brainstorm your Goals

Participating in an education abroad program is exciting, but don't spend so much time thinking about epic Instagram captions that you forget to set goals for yourself.

You should start brainstorming your goals before you choose a program, but this process also needs to be on-going and requires regular reflection.{space} Start thinking about what you're hoping to achieve and gain from your experience abroad. The answers to these questions are useful in choosing an education abroad program. So, {insert comma} make sure to discuss your goals with your EA advisor, but don't forget about other contacts and support networks on campus as well.

Questions to ask yourself

  • Do I want to improve my language skills?
  • Do I want professional experience?
  • Do I want a sense of personal independence?

Academic Advisor

In addition to using the resources in the Education Abroad office, you should also make sure to spend some time talking to your academic advisor.

With your academic advisor, you can keep track of your overall progress toward graduation, and they can help you to identify which classes would be best for your take abroad. This is especially important if you are interested in going abroad for a semester and academic year, but all students should plan to talk to their advisors about going abroad.

Once you have an idea of which classes you need to take, you can use this information to help you select the best EA program for you.

Other campus partners or connections on campus

No matter the length of your program, you should make sure to share your plans! Some people you should consider talking with include:

  • Campus departments you work with regularly (Disability Resource Center, CARES, etc.)
  • Medical providers (Do you have any dentist appointments that need to be rescheduled?)
    • If you regularly take medication, you need to talk to your physician to make sure you'll have enough for the duration of your program. Also some medications are illegal overseas, so make sure you check with the consulate/embassy of your host country!
  • On or off campus mental health support
    • It's good to discuss your plans with a mental health professional, not only if you regularly talk to someone, but also if you are nervous or anxious about going abroad.
    • UK Counseling Center is a great resource. Check them out!
  • Student organizations both where you hold positions or are a regular member (sorority, fraternity, DanceBlue, Student Government, Intermural sports, etc.)
  • On or off campus employment (You don't want to just stop showing up!)
  • Roommates, landlord, housing & dining services (Are you breaking a lease? Do you need to find some to sublease your room? Do you need to cancel your contract or meal plan?)

Financial Planning

The earlier you start thinking about how you are going to save money to pay for your education abroad program, the better. Learning to make and stick to a budget is an important life skill (#adulting), and planning for your education abroad program is a great way to practice and develop this skill.

Check out our resources on fundraising for your program, but also make an appointment with your Financial Aid Counselor to discuss your plans to go abroad. Other resources to connect with would be a family member with strong financial knowledge and the MoneyCats program on campus.

Next: Find Your Program