18 April 2014


From all five aspects you have to take into account, mentioned in the previous article  (Program, Location, Institution, Accommodation and Tickets), usually this is the straightest forward. Why? Because your main motivator for you taking your studies abroad will be the one that is going determine the program.

The program is a crucial decision because based on this, all your life activities will be determined, the people that will surround you, the free time you will have for other activities such as sports or socializing… In general, your whole experience studying abroad will be defined by it.

One of the most common one is to learn a second language (English usually, if you are not from an English speaking country). This could be for many reasons (or motivations): One of them is because if nowadays you don’t tick this box on your CV, it is almost worthless to apply for the majority of the jobs in any professional field, or even because most of the Universities worldwide are asking you to speak English at the beginning of your degree or as a requirement for your graduation, or to successfully apply for an internship. So what program should you pick when interested in learning or improving a second language? (It doesn’t have to be English). French, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese are the most common ones and for sure you will find much offering on the market.

So, the first and most common program is a Language course, which could be taken in an Institute, College or University. Once again, budget is important here to determine where you want to take it, but we will go deeper on this topic on the article about the 3rd step, which is choosing your institution.

The biggest advantage of the language courses are the flexibility because most of them have start dates every week all year round and you can take the courses for as long as you want depending on the time availability you have or how much you want to improve (usually a minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 52). The intensity (hours per week of the course) can also be tailored according to your need and your budget; you can choose to study 10 hours a week or 40 hours a week, it’s just a matter of setting priorities as I said before. Also, you will be able to find them in almost any city of the world with very good locations into the major cities.

For learning another language, you can also take a look at much cheaper programs such as Au Pair, summer camps, Work and Travel or High school exchange year.  These are programs that provide less flexibility in terms of start dates and time management and there are also certain requirements you have to meet in order to apply such as previous experience (for au pair) or minimum level of the language (work and travel) or just age restrictions  (for summer camps and high school exchange programs). However, from my point of view, these are the kind of programs that will help you the most to really improve the language in a faster and more efficient way because usually they include a whole immersion to the culture and its rather difficult to find people talking to you in your native language. My personal experience learning English was when I was 16 years old and I went to Mississippi in United States as an exchange student for 9 months, living in an American host family attending to an American High School. It was a much cheaper program than a language course in a big city, also much less exciting and not fun at all but for sure the most effective way I could have chosen to learn English from scratch.

Moving forward to other kind of programs, more specific ones, such as Bachelor or Master degrees, specialized courses or internships things can get more complicated due to the numerous requirements you will need to provide in order to be accepted. As everything, it all depends! But be prepared to show your diplomas, present interviews on the phone, language knowledge evidence, motivation letters or essays, officially translated transcripts, references from teachers or previous bosses, translated CV, previous experience or just specific skills.

One last thing, TIME is very important when choosing your program. Especially for University studies, there are very strict deadlines you will have to take into account, which cannot be delayed. Some programs require more planning time than others and usually institutions are very rigid about it. Do your research with time to make sure you make the right decision and then just enjoy your Travelearn experience!

Here, let me introduce my lovely Master of Marketing and Innovation crew.

There is always time for a celebration at the pub in front of school after a successful presentation!


  1. Amazing article! a lot of helpful information to pick from.

  2. Thank you Felipe! Im glad you enjoyed it. More articles about this topic are coming these next days..

  3. Whatever you want to study, The most important is what can you learn from the lived experience. As you said "Traveling is the best learning experience."

    You learn not only what was to study, you learn from every person and every situation you live abroad. yfno