A Guide to Studying Abroad

Student in Snowy Locale

A Quick Look at Study Abroad

Studying Abroad is an amazing and life-changing experience! However, like all great adventures, study abroad requires a little extra planning and a lot of open mindedness. Because the International Education Center (IEC) offers students such a vast scope of program options throughout the world, the following is a brief outline of considerations to help you prepare for your international studies.


Students who need to fulfill specific course requirements, or who are pursuing programs of study with strictly outlined curricula, may have more defined program options in comparison to students with more flexibility in their course selections. Meeting first with the IEC staff and a Brookdale Academic Advisor will help students determine which program option may best suit their academic needs.


Before you resign yourself to thinking you cannot study abroad because you do not speak another language, please be aware that the majority of the study abroad programs offered by the IEC are conducted in English.  Our students complete coursework in English in countries such as Italy, Greece, and China.  For those who are interested in studying a language, most intensive language programs require little or no prior language training.


One’s timeline is very important in planning for study abroad.

Semester and long term summer programs allow students a more in-depth cultural experience and are especially recommended for those participating in language programs.

However, for those who cannot dedicate an entire semester or summer to studying abroad, Brookdale faculty-led short-term programs lasting from 10-14 days award 3-4 hours of academic credit, and even service learning opportunities in some cases.

For those requiring financial assistance or interested in applying for scholarships, semester or longer summer programs often provide more opportunities for obtaining such.

Regardless of when you want to study abroad, we recommend visiting the IEC as soon as possible.  It is never too early to start planning!


If you are interested in traveling during your studies, you may like to look at programs in a central location, or those that offer student field trips.  If the nearest major airport or bus station is a few hours away, you might find yourself limited in where you can go and what you can see. Some destinations may have an extensive network for traveling within the region, while other destinations may have better access to travel and transport to surrounding countries.


Be sure to consider all the costs of the program. Some of the programs include housing and meals; others do not. The cost of living also varies from country to country.  Basic personal expenses in Switzerland or Australia will be higher than those in Ecuador or Costa Rica.

The exchange rate can also impact program costs if the value of the dollar is low—even if the cost of living appears comparable.  Click here to view current exchange rates.  Any federal financial aid a student receives can be applied to study abroad programs and there are many scholarship opportunities available.  Study abroad is affordable.

Click here to find out more about funding study abroad.


If you hate rain and love snow, Costa Rica in December is not your best option! Climate and geography should not be the sole determinant in selecting a program, but if you have physical limitations or personal preferences it is something to consider. Don’t be intimidated by varying temperatures or a little extra walking, but be aware of conditions so you can plan accordingly to fit your needs and to find out what accommodations can be made.  Many programs offer a wide range of support services including disability services.

Personal Preferences

As always, personal preferences are paramount. If you are looking to avoid crowds, hotspot destinations generally have a higher population of travelers. If you are looking to taste a destination before devoting an entire semester to studying abroad, Brookdale short-term faculty-led programs are a great option.

Other issues to consider are orientation programs, onsite international student assistance, religious trends, views towards women, health concerns, and safety issues.

How to Apply

The IEC encourages students interested in studying abroad to set up an appointment with a member of the IEC staff to explore semester and summer programs offered by Brookdale through the College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS) as well as Brookdale short-term faculty-led programs.

We are located in MAC 114 on the Lincroft campus.  You can schedule an appointment by stopping by or calling 732-224-2799.  For questions, feel free to e-mail us at or call 732-224-2799.


Traveling outside of the USA requires a passport.  Applying to certain programs requires submitting a copy of the passport, so the sooner you have yours, the better.  Click here to learn more about obtaining a passport.