UCL Students Abroad

How to Decide Guide 2015

If you're having trouble making a decision about whether study abroad is right for you, you might want to download our handy 'How to Decide' Guide 2015

The guide is designed for all undergraduate students who intend to spend, or are considering spending, some time abroad as part of their degree programme. The information is intended as a brief guide to get you thinking about your time away, and to direct you to further resources on this site.

Setting your priorities

Before beginning your research, it is important to identify your priorities for your placement destination. Though you may think that this decision should be purely academic, neglecting your personal and social needs could lead to a less enjoyable experience overall. Use the themes and questions below to establish your main priorities. Perhaps also rank these according to importance to help guide your research.

Questions to ask yourself


  • Will you thrive best in a large city, small town or countryside village?
  • How far from home are you willing to go?
  • Will you be miserable in a freezing winter or blistering summer? Climate can have a big effect on many people’s moods!
  • Do you have friends or family overseas who could offer you support?


  • Which institutions have the most prestige in your area of interest?
  • What are the assessment methods at each institution – are you comfortable with these?
  • Are you competent in the language of instruction? Can you attend any additional language classes to boost your level when you arrive?


  • What can you reasonably afford on your year abroad?
  • What will your travel and visa costs be?
  • What will your sources of funding be?
  • What is the cost of living?

Find your match

Once you have thought about the things that are most important to you, get going on your research to find the best institution for you. Start with our Options Guide to find out where you can go.

Page last modified on 08 oct 13 14:19