How did you decide what country to study in?


Generally speaking, there are two broad categories for choosing a country to study in:
1: Choose a country that you have a personal connection to (ie. I studied in Ireland because I have a very strong Irish heritage and I wanted a first-hand experience of the culture that I was born from)
2: Choose a country that you'll never be able to go to again. 'Never' is a strong word, but you get the idea. Some countries are easier to travel to than others and studying abroad gives you a program and a support network for experiencing another country that you normally wouldn't think about visiting (ie. my friend studied in India because she decided she wanted to be somewhere that she would not have the chance to easily see later in life)
At the end of the day, you should choose based on your gut. Don't overthink it too much. You have ask yourself, if you have the chance to spend 6 months/1 year anywhere in the world, where would you go? The first place you think of is probably your best option.

My university had a study abroad fair with different programs in different countries being represented. I took packets from the places I thought I would like to go (English speaking places mostly!) and really researched those places. Then I talked to people I know who had at least visited those places. I ended up choosing New Zealand because I love being outside and hiking, which are things they are known for.
There is a great chance you have a study abroad office at your school and they will have a plethora of information about the programs.

My story is not very remarkable; I knew I wanted to study abroad and researched a few places through online websites, but my decision had a lot to do with finances and deadlines. All of my choices were linked to my school specific program which allowed me to use my financial aid. My top choice was Dublin, Ireland, but due to realizing a bit too late that the program required two letters of recommendation (that I had less than 2 weeks to acquire), I went with my second choice, the Czech Republic (which was also much cheaper due to not being a Euro country). In the end, I couldn't have been happier with my choice and took a weekend trip to Dublin on my own time.

What I am trying to say is, you will probably have an amazing time anywhere and it will be down to what you personally want to get out of the experience that helps you decide. Does the country fit into your budget? Does it have a program that compliments your major/career aspirations? Do you have a personal interest in a certain country's culture?

I chose the Salzburg, Austria because the time when the program was offered, how long it was offered and that I could take a German class there. I am a non-traditional student, single parent with two children (ages 11 and 14). I had to pick a program that was not a full semester and at a time where I would have family members that could take care of my children. Salzburg was not my first choice. I looked into Berlin, but the sessions in Berlin conflicted with other events for me. I was very pleased with my choice of Salzburg. I went during the 50th Anniversary of the Sound of Music. That musical was filmed in Salzburg and other parts of Austria. I turned 50 not long before going there. I was a music major and had sung one of the songs from the Sound of Music the previous semester (before I even thought of going to Austria). I had studied German in high school and a semester of my freshman year of college (right out of high school). I need 12 credits of foreign language for my degree. I am now an English Major. This summer I will be studying in Berlin for another 3 credits of German. My university does not have any German classes.
Though I had not originally planned to go to Salzburg, it ended up being the best choice at the time. It was a great experience. I learned a lot about myself and another culture.