The University of Wisconsin–Madison defines an adult student as someone who is 25 years of age or older. Adult students naturally face different concerns when considering a study abroad program. Adult students are often balancing their academic lives with major responsibilities at home such as having a part time or full time job and/or taking care of your children. No matter your situation, IAP is here to help find the best study abroad program for you!
Here are a few things to consider and questions to ask when choosing a program:
- Is it possible to take a minor child or a partner along with me when I study abroad?
- Can I request not to have a roommate, or to be placed with a host family that shares my interests and age?
- If I am not able to be away for very long due to family obligations, how do I get the most out of a short-term experience abroad?
- Will there be other adult students on my program?
- What skills do I want to gain or improve while I am abroad?
Be sure to research what people in your host country like to do and where they live. For example, do they work? Do they live with extended family or on their own? Sometimes you might feel that you do not fit in with other students on your program, but remember to get to know them & have them get to know you!
Penny Hazeltine, UW Spanish Language in Costa Rica, Winter
Recommended Books and Articles
No Age Limits for Study Abroad – an article about a 29-year-old woman’s study abroad experience in France.
“The Experiential Course: An Alternative to Study Abroad for Nontraditional Students.” 1997, Foreign Language Annals. Long, D.
“An Older, More Diverse Group of American Students is Expected to Participate in Study-Abroad Programs.” Desruisseaux. 1992, Nov 25. The Chronicle of Higher Education.
“Study Abroad: An Opportunity for Adult and Continuing Education Students to Study in the Hispanic World.” 1997, April. Sejut, M.P (Doctoral dissertation, The Union Institute, 1996). Dissertation Abstracts International.