How to Choose a Study Abroad Program
There are different ways to study abroad. Students should think carefully about which type of program would make the greatest contribution to their growth, and assist in meeting their own goals. Generally, we have three types:
· Led by an on-site resident Guilford faculty member and tailored to groups of Guilford College students who take classes together. These programs are good for students who would like more guidance from a teacher while abroad and the company of fellow Guilford students. We have this type of programming in China (Kunming/Xianggelila/Geza), Germany (Munich), Guatemala (Antigua), and Italy (Brunnenburg and Siena).
· Coordinated by a non-resident Guilford faculty member who assists students in programs that integrate Guilford students with other international and local students. These programs are good for students who would like to study in the company of other Guilford students, but do not need on the onsite presence of a Guilford faculty member. We offer this kind of programming in Ghana, London, and Mexico.
· Independent programs offered by distinguished professional partners in which you would likely find other American students, but few or no Guilford students, and no Guilford faculty presence. These programs are ideal for more independent students who think first about the subject they’d like to study, rather than the location. Certainly, the location is an important part of the experience, but it is organized around the academic component.
· Each of the above program formats can be found in semesters, summers, and the J-term. For a specific list, go to “Program Search” and look under “Program Term.”
After familiarizing yourself with the different program options offered by Guilford, and considering your own goals, students should work to match their own needs with specific program options.
To help in this decision-making process, ask yourself the following questions about particular subjects.
Faculty Presence (pick the one statement that is most true for you):
-- I want to study with an onsite Guilford faculty presence (3 points)
-- I would be willing to study either with or without a Guilford faculty presence (2 points)
-- I want to study without an onsite Guilford faculty presence (1 point)
Student relationships (pick the one statement that is most true for you):
-- I want to study with other Guilford students (3 points)
-- I would be willing to study either with or without other Guilford students (2 points)
-- I want to study without other Guilford students (1 point)
Self-direction (pick the one statement that is most true for you):
-- I would prefer learning in a situation with leaders giving me directions and making decisions for the group (3 points)
-- I would prefer learning in a situation in which I supply my own motivation and self-direction while remaining responsible and connected to a group of other learners. (1 point)
Scoring Analysis: if your score is 3-4, then you are a good candidate for an affiliate program. If your score is 5-6, you are a good candidate for a Guilford faculty coordinated program. If your score is 7-9, you are a good candidate for Guilford faculty-led program.
Program focus (pick the one statement that is most true for you):
-- I am interested in an experience with classes in different subjects that introduce me broadly to a place and culture.
-- I am interested in an experience where the majority of the courses connect directly to my major or minor, using the location as a laboratory or field study site.
Analysis: if you picked the first statement, you will are a likely candidate for Guilford’s faculty-led and faculty-coordinated programs. However, you will also find many of our affiliates a good match; explore information on websites to see what works best. If you picked the second statement, you are a good candidate for many of our affiliate partners. Do an advanced search by discipline to find these programs. Check back often. Our catalog is growing!
Language (pick the one statement that is most true for you):
-- I would prefer an environment in which English is either the host culture’s language or is widely spoken by the general population. (1 point)
-- I want to take most classes in English. (1 point)
-- I am interested in fulfilling my language requirement on a study abroad program. (2 points)
-- I am interested in advancing my language skills and am ready for intermediate or advanced study. (3 points)
Analysis: we have all of the above options in our catalog. If you scored 1, then you’d want to include in your search countries in the United Kingdom, but also some of the many other nations in Europe, Africa, and Oceania where English is widely spoken. If you scored 2, you have many options including both Guilford faculty-led and affiliate programs. If you scored 3, you’ll be working almost exclusively with our partner affiliates. If language is a central concern for you, be sure to come to the Study Abroad office and confer with Daniel Diaz.
Setting (pick the one statement that is most true for you):
-- I want to study in a fast-paced metropolitan environment where the campus is spread out over several city blocks, and where I can experience some level of anonymity when not in class.
-- I want to study in a small social cluster inside a larger metropolitan environment.
-- I want to study near but not inside a metropolitan environment.
-- I want to study in a smaller environment that is cosmopolitan (if not metropolitan), but in which I will feel a part of a community.
-- I want to study in a smaller self-contained learning community where I will have easier access to the local population.
-- I want to study in a smaller self-contained learning community away from other people.
Analysis: we have programs in every type of setting you can imagine. You will want to know your own preferences and then research the nature of each site. Be sure to come to the Study Abroad Office for advice!