Well, choosing the perfect school for you is a very important, if not the most important, before you leave to study abroad. You will spend a semester or an entire year away from home and it is very important that you stay in an environment and school that you will enjoy.
In my process, which is laborious but in the end makes you very confident that you made the right choice, I would recommend you start by creating filters.
For example, it is very important that you define and make clear what you are looking for in this exchange experience: do you want to stay in a huge city like New York City or a city in the interior of Utah? Do you want to go to a school with 5,000 students or to a smaller school with 500 students? The value of school and investment will certainly also have an influence on your decision. Do you want a colder place in the north like Chicago, Boston, and New Jersey than snow in the winter, or a place with a more “normal” climate for Brazilians like California, Alabama, Texas, or Florida? Are there any hobbies you enjoy? Or if there were other people from your culture around too? For example, I like basketball very much. One of the reasons I came to Indianapolis is because people breathe basketball 24 hours a day, 7 days a week here! In this selection process, there is no right or wrong, there is only what you want and what you do not want.
Well, once you've got what you want and what you don't want in your experience, it's time to dive into research.
Start by researching school options in your focus cities and nearby regions. Analyze if there are any schools that fit your profile, and then search further on the school's website, ratings, comments, YouTube videos, etc. Get the most information if possible to make sure you're going to the right school! However, don't limit yourself to just one school. Do this with several. Sometimes the openings for exchange students are limited or it doesn't work out with your dream school, so it's important to have a plan B or C.
Hope this is helpful in some way! Check out this cool search filter to help you decide what you want in a school 😊 School Search Link