Perhaps the most difficult part of the study abroad process is finding appropriate courses at an institution. You may have already found the program of your dreams, but don't know what courses it offers. Or you may have no idea where you want to go, but know that you want to preference academics first. Either way, you'll have to find courses.
1) Understand that each university or program abroad is different. Colleges in Europe, for example, often call departments "faculties" or organize courses by "programme." Don't be too frustrated if you're confused! After all, part of the fun and excitement about studying abroad is learning about how other people think about the world. Just recognize that cultures have different terms for the same concepts.
2) Find course listings for the program in which you're interested. When you search our online database, you will find that each program brochure contains a link to the program's homepage. Follow that link, then explore the program's website for course information. Some websites may be in another language, so you may want to use Google Translate or other translation software to help you navigate the program's site.
3) Look for the most recent academic term. You may not be able to find courses available for the term when you plan to study abroad. That's ok! Find the best options possible given the information you can find. Try looking at courses offered the previous spring, if you want to go abroad for a spring semester.
4) Make sure you're eligible to enroll in the courses listed. Find any information you can about the courses that interest you. Make sure that they're appropriate for undergraduates, if you are an undergraduate; or graduates, if you're a graduate student. See if the page contains any information about whether international students (which will include you) can enroll in the class.
5) Draw up a list of several courses--more than you will want to take--so that you have options. If you find a lot of courses that interest you, that's great! Make a list of them all, and when you meet with your Academic Advisor or Education Abroad Advisor, you can cut down your list to the ones that are most appropriate for your academic plan.
If you're stuck or frustrated, contact your Academic Advisor for some ideas and to start filling out an Academic Approval Form. He or she may know of some good programs that past students in your major or minor have enjoyed. As always, you may contact your Education Abroad Advisor and look for courses together.