“Which of your programs is the best” “Which program would you recommend for me?” “How do we choose?” These are questions SPI Study Abroad Program Advisors hear all the time from parents and students. It is their job to best answer any and all questions, walk you through the programs, and listen to your interests and needs, but how do YOU know which program is really going to be the best fit for YOU or your child? Fighting this indecision is hard. Of course you want to feel confident that you’re choosing the “right” destination and the “right” program for you. Well, really only YOU can make that decision– and it doesn’t have to be a stressful one! At SPI, we believe it should be a fun and exciting process – you’re going to study abroad!  

Here are a few recommendations from an SPI Program Advisor on how to choose the right high school study abroad experience for you:

Take the time to do your own research. These days, we are so accustomed to quick answers and instructions. We want things done the easy way, and we want it now. Choosing a study abroad program is not like deciding what you want for lunch. It is a big decision and a big step. This will hopefully be one of the most important and life-changing experiences in your high school career. So take the time to read about each program and destination. Take a moment to review the program’s website; Google the city and country; look at photos of each place. What speaks to you?

Pros vs. Cons. Not sure if you should do the 2 week or 4 week session? Trying to decide between Spain vs. Costa Rica? Not sure if you should go to San Sebastian or Santander, Spain? Make a list of some of your pros and cons, or have a program advisor point out some main differences and take it from there.

Contact References. It never hurts to reach out to a student/family that has done the program, so they can tell you about their firsthand experience and their feedback on the destination and overall program. Use them as a resource for gathering input, but keep in mind, some feedback like, “She absolutely loved Spain and loved the program, but hated the food,” does not mean that you will not like the food! Let these opinions be made for yourself – that is part of the fun!

Chat with your SPI Program Advisor. They are there to help guide you, answer your questions, address your concerns, and make sure the program is a good fit for you. Next step – pre-departure preparation! Get ready for the summer of a lifetime!