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The typical study abroad
experience is found in a year or semester abroad program. These programs are
very similar in many ways, the only major difference being the length of time
spent abroad. Academic year programs typically follow the traditional “junior
year abroad” model, where students spend a full academic year immersed in
another culture and language. All of your classes for that academic year are
conducted abroad and you live and work as though you have truly relocated your
education to that country. These programs are ideal for students who are
confident in their ability to thrive while living abroad and want to commit to
an eight to nine month program. If that length of time seems a bit daunting, a
semester abroad program may be a better fit for you.
Semester abroad programs are very
similar to year abroad programs; you’re classes for that semester are conducted
abroad and you live in your destination city for the entire semester. However,
these programs typically only last four to five months. This program type is
great for students who want to test the waters of studying abroad. If you
aren’t ready for the full commitment of an entire year, but you still want a
complete, enriched experience, than a semester program might be what you are
—Emily O’Hara, studied abroad in London, England
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