While the answer to this question will largely depend on your goals, we can tell you which features typically create the most rewarding experiences with the longest-lasting benefits:
• The program is at least a semester in length.
• There is a well-developed pre-departure orientation and in-country support to help you adjust to living and studying abroad.
• The program gives you the opportunity to interact extensively with natives both in and outside of school. Housing with a host family can be ideal.
• There is ample support for language development (if applicable). If you are in a non-English- speaking country, a good program will provide you with intensive corollary language instruction before and during your stay.
• Instruction in other courses is in the native language, and not in English (if applicable).
• There is ample opportunity to participate in field trips and other cultural activities outside the classroom.
• Good programs allow you know without a doubt before you leave whether and for which courses you will be able to transfer academic credits to your home instution.
• Good programs provide opportunites to contact former and current participants to allow you to ask questions and get first-hand answers.
Visit one of the Horizon offices and ask if you can talk to some students who have recently returned from stays abroad. These students have a wealth of information, informed opinions, and experience-based advice. Take advantage!