Whether you’re looking to be a mountain climber in New Zealand, a food and wine connoisseur in Italy or a city dweller in China, there’s a study abroad program out there for you. It’s always wise to meet with your academic advisor to discuss ways in which units will transfer to make sure that you won’t fall behind schedule. But once the nuts and bolts are in place, look at a map and decide where you want to go. Consider weather, distance, currency rate, health and travel warnings when deciding where to go. Either your university has specific programs set up for you or you can choose an outside program like the ones below. The world is at your fingertips … now go see it.

American University in Cairo: Located at a state-of-the-art, 260-acre campus, American University in Cairo (AUC; aucegypt.edu/intstudents) brings students the opportunity to study in one of the oldest and most exciting cities in the world. Nowhere is the juxtaposition of the ancient and modern worlds displayed as colorfully as in Cairo, a city of 16 million inhabitants teeming with life and the sounds of car horns, markets, Arab pop music and muezzins summoning people to prayer. More than 500 students from around the world study at AUC each year; 17 percent of whom are international students. A diverse and active student body coupled with world-renowned faculty makes this program uniquely stimulating. Students either live in residences on campus or commute from dorms in the heart of Cairo, about 45 minutes away.

Don’t worry if you’re not fluent in Arabic. All courses are taught in English except for those in advanced Arabic literature or foreign language. However, this program is generally recommended for students interested in studying Arabic language, Middle East studies, Egyptology, gender studies, sociology Islamic art or architecture. Travel guides tell you that Egypt is best visited in the fall (September through November) and spring (February through April), when the weather is nice and the city is booming. So whether you decide to go first semester, second semester or all year, you’ll be in good hands.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Although the United States Department of State Travel Warning is currently in effect for Israel, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Rothberg International School (overseas.huji.ac.il) continues to host a fantastic program for study abroad students. Located in the northeast part of Jerusalem, “Hebrew U” is Israel’s leading university, home to 24,000 students of all races and religions. It’s hard to find another program that offers so many historical sites, tourist attractions, gorgeous city views and a melting pot of disparate rhythms and cultures. Even though Jerusalem is an ancient city filled with holy sites and museums, rest assured, it has plenty of cafes, dance clubs, art galleries, theaters and nightlife.

As far as academics go, all students must be somewhat proficient in Hebrew. However, all courses are taught in English, and there are a wide variety of disciplines and courses to choose from.

Students are housed adjacent to campus and have the opportunity to partake in extracurricular programs, including a Galilee/Golan weekend, a Sea-to-Sea hike, a trip to Eilat, meditation workshops, yoga and belly dancing classes and much more. As to be expected, there are numerous volunteer opportunities in Jerusalem such as nurses’ aides in a hospital, “big brothers” to disadvantaged children and English tutors.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong (cuhk.edu.hk) allows students to study and live in its politically, economically and culturally unique city. If you’ve never traveled to Asia, Hong Kong is a great starting point. The city has so many culturally and artistically enriching activities, such as art, history and space museums, a professional orchestra and an annual arts festival. While it’s a completely foreign lifestyle – different values, customs and behavior (Feng shui is not a laughing matter.) – it’s a booming city where East meets West.

Chinese University is located in the New Territories, a half-hour subway ride from the center of Hong Kong. The program offers courses taught in English designed to meet the needs of students from a wide variety of majors. Students have the opportunity to live in a dormitory shared with other international and local students.

Traveling through China and to other Asian countries is very convenient, inexpensive and integral to the educational experience abroad. Students often climb the Great Wall, take excursions to Buddhist monasteries and even travel to Thailand. The balance between working hard and embracing the country is apparent when studying abroad there.

Eating out is the most common option, since food is very inexpensive and diverse in Hong Kong. But make sure you have an open mind and amenable taste buds, because the food in Hong Kong is nothing like Panda Express.

Sao Paulo, Brazil: All you need to know is this: Soccer plus samba equals São Paulo. If you’re not already sold on the idea, I guess you should continue reading. São Paulo is a multicultural megalopolis of more than 17 million people. Public transportation is easy via their modern subway system. Distinct ethnic neighborhoods ensure diversity and contrast. And a vast array of visual and performing arts venues will keep you entertained all semester. In São Paulo, you get the bustling city vibe with some of the world’s most beautiful beaches just a few hours away.

The study abroad program provided by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE; ciee.org/study/programs) sends students to the Pontificia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC) campus. PUC is ranked among the top universities in Brazil and has 19,000 undergraduates. This program is targeted to students with at least two years of college-level Spanish or one year of Portuguese. If you meet those requirements, you can enroll in a broad range of liberal arts courses.

CIEE sets students up with Brazilian homestay where two meals per day are provided. This gives students the chance to experience family life and culture firsthand. It’s important to keep in mind that the seasons are flipped when you’re deciding which semester to go abroad. And be sure to consider all of the neighboring places you could visit: Rio de Janeiro, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

Milan, Italy: It’s the city where Leonardo da Vinci painted The Last Supper and Verdi composed music still heard at La Scala. It’s where supermodels get fitted in the finest clothes and architects find inspiration. It’s Milan – and it’s where you could study abroad.

The Institute for the International Education of Students Abroad (IES) sends students year-round to the Università Cattolica, located in the city’s historic center. Upon arrival students participate in an intensive language workshop, which determines course placement. If you’re proficient in Italian, you can take classes taught in Italian. But if you’re a beginner, don’t stress, courses are taught in English for the newbies as well.

Students are housed in furnished apartments located throughout Milan, shared typically among two to six international students. Like all IES study abroad programs, this one features excursions, nighttime activities, cultural events and guest lectures. Students often enjoy day trips to Tuscany and Sicily as well as a night at an opera or a ballet.

Since the Università Cattolica is IES’ main partner school, students have access to many of the amenities it offers, including one of Italy’s largest libraries, study rooms, a travel agency and cultural and sports activities. So, is the place of olive oil, pasta, wine, mafia, sunshine, Roman ruins and Renaissance palaces for you?

University of Auckland: Located on the North Island, Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, representing about a third of the country’s population. With 23 regional parks (think Lord of the Rings), two marine reserves, miles of coastline and a large urban area with entertainment, nightlife and shopping, Auckland offers the best of outdoor and urban lifestyles.

Needless to say, studying for a semester or a year at the University of Auckland (australearn.org) is an academic and cultural experience you will never forget. With more than 38,000 students, including more than 4,000 international students from over 93 countries, the University of Auckland offers diversity in the classroom and around campus. It’s famous for its research technology and leading academics “Down Under.”

If you love sailing, hiking, glacier climbing, bungee jumping, scuba diving or any other dangerous extracurricular activity, Auckland is the place for you. The locals love meeting Americans and welcoming them to New Zealand. They’ll tell you everything you need to know and send you on your way.

New Zealand is beautiful no matter what time of the year or season you visit. The best time to visit New Zealand is the semester that suits you best. Also, the currency rate is in your favor right now. The food is delicious, the culture is laid-back, the people are sweet as can be. You’ll understand why everything is “No dramas, mate” this and “No worries, mate” that. For the ultimate semester of relaxation and outdoor immersion, head to Auckland.

Semester at Sea: The University of Virginia sponsors an incomparable study abroad program: Semester at Sea (semesteratsea.org). Each year, adventurous students embark on a 590-foot ship for a once-in-a-lifetime journey around the world. The globe is their classroom as they form new perspectives about people, places and cultures, all while earning college credit.

Although the University of Virginia is the academic sponsor for the program, Semester at Sea is open to students from any university. Students attend classes in a variety of subjects and disciplines while the ship is at sea. These classes are typically humanities classes, taught by faculty members drawn from colleges throughout the United States. The curriculum is always connected with one or more of the countries on the itinerary.

Your ship is your home, your school, your gym and extracurricular hub for the four-month voyage. Consider it a floating all-inclusive hotel. When the ship is in a port, no classes are held. Students are then able to travel on Semester at Sea-organized trips or independently within the country.

Semester at Sea is what you make of it. With so much planned and organized for you, you can just sit back, relax and enjoy whatever is on the agenda. But you also have to be amenable to any changes in weather, route or travel plans. Whereas study abroad programs in one city allow you to become completely immersed in a new city, language and lifestyle, Semester at Sea gives you a quick taste of a dozen new places. You can come back home and say you’ve traveled the world!