Preparing For Abroad: Finding IAU and Selecting A Program

By Noa Ran-Ressler, May 9, 2023

As a casual pastime, throughout the Fall 2022 semester and the subsequent winter break, I looked at programs to study abroad. I had already gone abroad the previous summer for a six-credit Hebrew language course at Tel Aviv University. The program was one month long, and was the perfect amount of time away without having to commit to a whole semester.

I knew I wanted to go away for the summer again, so I spent some of my free time researching locations, costs, classes and general programs. As someone who does not speak Spanish, Spain was not a location that crossed my mind. I had a friend who had gone to the Institute for American Universities’ main campus in Aix-en-Provence, France, so I looked into that. While scouring through the IAU website, I found their other programs: Madrid, Tangier and Barcelona.

When comparing costs and course offerings, Barcelona spoke to me most. There were options to take one or two courses, or do a full-time or part-time internship. I knew I wanted to take a course, so I looked into the part-time internship and course combination. From there, it was just a matter of doing my application.

I completed my application on a train ride along the Mediterranean coast in Israel and was put in contact with advisers and admissions hosts from both IAU and IC. I was able to ask all the questions I needed, like:

  • What does housing look like?

  • What kind of support do I get for finding food and resources?

  • What do I do for medical support if I need it?

If I have any advice for someone planning to go abroad, I would say to ask as many questions as possible as early on as possible. It is important to be able to plan for budgeting and logistics early on so if for some reason something is not feasible, you have time to figure it out.