Criteria to Facilitate Selecting a Host University
How Should I Best Choose a Host University?
- Language Skills: You should have intermediate to advanced language skills in the language of instruction spoken at your host university. However, even if you “only” speak English, you can still choose from programs available in non-English-speaking countries as well as countries located in northern and Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.
- Courses: As the point of an exchange program is to continue your university studies, it is important to learn more about the courses offered in your major. The differences between individual universities can range greatly!
- Academic Calendar Year: At many universities, the academic calendar year is not the same as in Linz. In Europe, the beginning of the academic year falls mostly during the second half of the year whereas in the southern hemisphere, the academic year begins in February or March. If you plan to spend a year abroad there, you would return during our Winter Semester. If you plan to just spend a semester abroad, we recommend you select a host university that does not begin its academic year in January otherwise you will find yourself having problems completing studies during the Winter Semester in Linz.
- The Financials: The costs vary from program to program and also according to location. When you are deciding where to study, factor in the various costs.
- Job Perspectives: Is London the city of your dreams? Is Mexico the land of your dreams? So….? What would prevent you from selecting Warsaw as your study abroad destination? Businesses are always looking for graduates who have studied in Eastern Europe and have learned more in depth about the culture and customs in these countries. Since you will be looking for a job at some point, these aspects are worth taking into consideration.
- The Big City vs. The Small Town: Big cities have much to offer in the way of cultural events, etc. but one tends to be more anonymous in a big city. Smaller cities and towns provide more of an opportunity to get to know people, especially the locals.
- Organization vs. Improvising: Some universities provide strong support programs for incoming exchange students (services to secure accommodation, an orientation program, etc.) and other universities provide little assistance, meaning you will have to organize much on your own. This is not necessarily a disadvantage as the experience one acquires through the process is priceless. You should decide which you prefer (and bear this in mind).
- The Beaten Path vs. Adventure: Taking part in a program that has hosted many students in the past is easy. Think about putting your skills to the test and trying something original. Go off the beaten path and discover something new!