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, we are 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(ren) or a partner along with me when I study abroad? If yes, here are additional things to consider:
- Costs for things like insurance, visas, immunizations, schooling and child care, housing, and flights.
- Where can the minor child(ren) or partner stay during excursions (potentially overnight), as they will not be allowed to join.
- If you have a job, what your employer’s expectations while you’re abroad? Are you able to take a leave of absence?
- Can I request not to have a roommate, or to be placed with a host family that shares my interests and age? Does the campus or partner housing have age requirements?
- 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?
- How might other parts of my identity affect my experience?
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!
Must Ask Questions for Adult Students Traveling Abroad
No Age Limits for Study Abroad – an article about a 29-year-old woman’s study abroad experience in France
The Unparalleled Benefits of Study Abroad Programs for Working Adults
We ask students to share their experiences on how various parts of their identity impacted them while they were abroad in their program evaluations. Below are tips and advice given by Badgers about their individual experiences and thoughts. These do not represent all experiences in a location. Our staff is happy to talk with you about any questions you may have.
“It was a little difficult at first to find someone to be a friend with in order to find activities outside of the classroom. However, once I had time to associate with the students who were the age of my oldest son, I found them to be fun and enjoyed their company. We ended up doing activities together and I enjoyed it a lot!” –Costa Rica past participant
“Don’t be afraid that you might stand out. Embrace the differences and connect on the similarities. You might have knowledge someone in your program would find helpful.” –Guatemala past participant
“My veteran/adult/vegetarian student identity actually enhanced my experience. Everyone was very welcoming and accommodating. Do not be afraid to share your life experiences. The locals and other students will be excited to hear them.” –Mexico past participant
“I was a couple of years older than most of the students in the program but my time spent out of college gave me a lot of valuable perspective to apply to my experience.” –USA (Washington D.C.) past participant
Return to Top