Semester Abroad vs. Year Abroad: Which will benefit you the most?

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Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Will it matter if you pick a semester abroad vs. a year abroad?

Aside from their educational programs, students also need help choosing between semester abroad vs. year abroad. Though equally life-changing, picking the best is essential to reach their full potential.

Furthermore, besides distinguishing the differences between semester abroad vs. year abroad, we will also highlight critical factors to help you decide.

Important factors to consider

Before making your choice between semester abroad vs. year abroad, here are important considerations:

  • Does your educational program require a semester or a year to finish?
  • Can you complete your student visa application on time?
  • Can your budget cover the expenses in the country? To know the cost of studying overseas, click HERE.
  • Are you prepared for the language difference? If you plan to study in Korea, you can enroll in the top language programs in the country as early as possible. 
  • Is it safe to live in the area?
  • Does it offer travel opportunities during school breaks? Living at the best locations in Bali provides quick access to the country’s beaches and scenic areas.
  • Will you have access to assistance during emergencies?
  • Will you be comfortable with the climate?
  • Can you adjust to the lifestyle in the area?
  • Does the country offer opportunities for professional growth?

What is the difference between a Semester Abroad and a Year Abroad?

After answering the questions above, we will compare semester abroad vs. year abroad to assist you in deciding.

A semester abroad varies from five to six months. Although shorter, it is still a rewarding adventure that lets you explore and experience a country while upgrading your education.

On the other hand, a study year abroad lasts for ten months to a year. As it is longer, you can fully immerse in the culture, make friends, and have more life-changing experiences.

Advantages of a Semester Abroad and a Year Abroad

Though there is a rise in Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), more students are enrolling in universities abroad. In fact, there was a four percent increase in international enrollees in the US alone

Budgeting expenses is easier when you study for a semester abroad!

To further understand the difference between semester and year abroad, we highlighted their benefits equally.


  • If your budget for tuition fees significantly influences choosing semester abroad vs. year abroad, pick the former, as it is more affordable.
  • Additionally, your accommodation, food, and other expenses are less costly.
  • Enrolling in a semester allows you to test if studying abroad is ideal.
  • For some, homesickness affects their well-being; thus, a semester abroad is preferable.
  • You don’t need to adjust to learning the culture and language since it will only be for a few months.

Read more:

Semester Abroad at Udayana University, Bali

semester abroad vs. year abroad
Studying a year abroad allows you to create a long-lasting bond with your classmates!


  • Build stronger connections with the locals and learn their perspectives. You can even adopt some of their ideals to make your views on specific issues unbiased.
  • A year in the country allows you to learn their language. Employers value an applicant’s ability to converse in another dialect as it shows intelligence and adaptability.
  • You will have more time to explore beautiful areas in the region. Locate hidden spots and enjoy memorable moments the country has to offer!
  • You also have time to learn and enjoy the area’s recreational activities. Be it arts, sports, or something new, you can discover a new passion!
  • It helps you transition from being a teen to a mature individual with set goals and professional ambitions.
  • You will be surprised by the difference a year can make. Your decision-making, independence, resilience, and other essential skills will improve! 


As you have limited time in a semester abroad compared to a year abroad, plan and take advantage of all the exciting opportunities in your preferred study abroad destination!

Try different meals, communicate with the locals, and reach out to classmates from other parts of the world.

Furthermore, schedule a time to visit scenic spots in the country. Fully embrace the culture and make the most out of a semester abroad!

You can enjoy more activities while studying longer abroad!


Our Budgeting guide can help you plan your expenses. Download the budgeting spreadsheet to know the estimated cost of living in your preferred study location.  

Packing clothes and other necessities is essential as it lessens the cost of your airfare. To learn how to prepare things you must bring overseas effectively, click HERE.

Additionally, getting insurance is a must, as it covers lost luggage, stolen personal belongings, assistance in case of emergency or catastrophic events, etc.

Expect the best version of yourself after finishing an educational program abroad!


Choosing between semester abroad vs. year abroad depends on various factors, but ultimately, the goal is to be the best version of yourself!

Enjoy your stay in the country and make every moment count regardless of which study length you choose.

Apply now and start making memories! If you have questions, book a free counseling session, and our team of experts will assist you.

You may also visit our virtual booth for more information about the best universities worldwide!


Mark has been a professional content writer for four years. He is an expert in creating articles about education and studying abroad. His writings don’t only inform; he also wants to establish emotional connections with readers.