Though students have traditionally studied abroad during their junior year, it is increasingly possible to go abroad at just about any time during your studies. When you go is also dependent upon personal factors. If you need to be on campus later in your studies to take hard-core advanced courses in your major, for example, then it may be most convenient for you to go abroad in your sophomore year. If you intend to become fluent in a language while abroad, then it is important to have enough language instruction before you leave to provide a springboard for that development. If you don’t yet have a major and it is early in your studies, going abroad is a great way to discover new interests.
Considering your own personal situation and the goals you want to achieve can help you determine the best time to go.