We’re finishing our series on understanding the world of college this week by exploring study abroad and exchange programs.
1. Part-Time Study Abroad
If a student is interested in exploring the culture of another country, a short study abroad program is a perfect opportunity. It could be for a summer or for a semester or for a year.
When exploring colleges, look to see what study abroad options they have. A college might have its own study abroad program, on its own campus in another country or on the campus of a partner university in another country. Students typically go for one or both semesters during their junior year and take a full course load while there so they do not get behind in their progress toward graduation.
Or check out the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS), based in Stamford, Connecticut. AIFS operates a wide range of summer, semester-long, and year-long programs around the world for college students. Some summer programs are as short as three weeks—time enough to learn a lot, but not enough time to get homesick. (AIFS also offers wonderful summer programs for high school students, which we will talk about in a later episode.) In AIFS college programs, students take college courses taught in English and receive college credits, which can be transferred back to the student’s own college. If a student chooses to attend a program in a non-English-speaking country, then language courses are usually required. In just one semester, students can sometimes earn a full year of foreign language credit, which many liberal arts students need to fulfill bachelor’s degree requirements.
By the way, whatever financial aid students have can usually be used to cover the costs of attending a semester or two abroad, and AIFS has scholarships available for their programs as well.
2. Going to a Foreign College
So, a student wants to go to college outside the U.S. Of course, there are thousands of colleges available in many countries across the world. Admissions requirements, however, can be quite different from what U.S. colleges expect. And full-time study abroad means a lot of “red tape” for families—including complicated student visa applications at the U.S. consulates of foreign countries. (This is also true for many semester-long study abroad programs, though some U.S. colleges and AIFS help families handle that paperwork.) At foreign colleges, classes will not be taught in English unless, of course, the college is in an English-speaking country.
One unique choice for full-time study abroad is Richmond, the American International University in London. Richmond is accredited in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom so that admissions and potential transfer of credits back to U.S. colleges are simplified. Richmond offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs to students from over 100 countries. While it offers a beautiful campus in Richmond for freshmen and sophomores and a location in London for juniors, seniors, and graduate students, it also has two outstanding study abroad centers in Rome and Florence, Italy. Truly international!
Listen to the podcast to find out about…
- Exchange semesters at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs)
- Why it is not really more expensive to study abroad
- Why Richmond, the American International University in London is unique
Check out these higher education institutions and programs we mention…
In New York State
Outside of New York State
- American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) in Connecticut
- Morehouse College in Georgia
- Richmond, the American International University in London in the United Kingdom
- Spelman College in Georgia
- University of Puerto Rico (Universidad de Puerto Rico)
- University of Sacred Heart (Universidad del Sagrado Corazon) in Puerto Rico
- Xavier University of Louisiana
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