By Gabrielle Kratsas
Most students understand the benefits of studying abroad: you get to travel internationally while building a resume or earning academic credit; you step out of your comfort zone to experience a new culture and possibly learn a new language; you make lifelong friends across the globe; and you can discover new interests and career opportunities. But did you know that more and more, businesses and organizations are realizing the need to hire college graduates with international experience? Even Congress is working to help colleges make study abroad opportunities more easily accessible through the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act of 2017, which was reviewed and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions early March.
As the number of companies that target globally competent business men and women continues to grow, so does the percentage of students studying abroad. According to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) 2016 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released in November, the number of students receiving academic credit for study abroad is rising each year. More than 313,000 U.S. students earned credit through study abroad programs during 2014-15, about three percent more than the previous year. Open Doors 2016 also found that over 22,000 students participated in non-credit work, internships and volunteering abroad to gain practical skills and international experience while building their resumes.
For those of you wondering how to study abroad, the schools on this list provide ample opportunities to tailor a great study abroad program to your interests and goals. Whether you’re looking to gain new experiences by exploring the world or take part in an academically rigorous faculty-led study abroad program, these top colleges will allow you to satisfy that travel bug. As always, we focus on each college and program’s value. Through our ranking system, we aimed to highlight the best study abroad programs by considering schools that send students to the best countries to study abroad in, the affordability of both the school and its program, the programs’ benefits, whether the school offers scholarships for study abroad and more.
We sourced information from the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator Database, U.S. News & World Report, Wikipedia, the individual schools’ websites and other college resource websites listed at the end of this article.
We developed this ranking by starting with a list of 100 colleges and universities collected from various rankings and sources, including U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 list of schools with the highest percentage of students studying abroad. We want to find the best value for our readers, so we narrowed that list down to the 50 cheapest colleges, and we ranked the top 30 using the point system below. All colleges and universities on this list are accredited.
The point system we used in our ranking works as follows:
- Tuition Affordability: Net Cost is less than $15,000 (1); less than $10,000 (2)
- Percentage of Students Studying Abroad: 70 to 90 percent (1); above 90 percent (2)
- Program Types Available: Study abroad internship/research/volunteer program (1); class credit for studying abroad/faculty led programs (2); multifaceted programs (i.e. credit and internship) (3)
- Program Management: If a majority of the programs are managed by the school (1); 10 programs with different destinations offered by the university (2); more than 10 school-sanctioned study abroad destinations (3)
- Program Depth/Extent Traveling to multiple countries within one program (1); international campus (1); non-competitive programs available (1); additional unique program/school benefits (1 each)
- Program Length: Two weeks or less (1); three to eight weeks (2); semester long study abroad (3); full year abroad (4)
- Study Abroad Scholarships Available: Any (1); five or more (2)
- Awards and Recognition: International accolade (2), national accolade (1)
When two or more schools earned the same number of points, their rank order was determined by the schools’ affordability. The schools with lower net costs received the better ranking (lower net cost = lower number).
30. Goshen College in Goshen, IN
Points Awarded: 13
Net Cost: $18,878
Program Cost: Student fees, including travel costs, are the same as for a semester’s tuition, room and board on campus, according to the college, but summer terms differ
Affiliated with Mennonite Church USA and founded in 1894, Goshen College is a private, Christian liberal arts college with a 135-acre campus and 800 undergraduate students representing 31 states and 26 countries. Since 1968, Goshen’s Study Service Team (SST) has sent nearly 8,000 students to learn and serve in 24 countries around the world.
About 83 percent of the school’s students consistently participate in study abroad programs, according to U.S. News & World Report; the intercultural study requirement is an important component of Goshen’s core curriculum. In all study abroad destinations, students live with local families to experience as much cultural immersion as possible. Goshen’s 14-credit SST program consists of 13 weeks divided into intensive study with language instruction, usually in the country’s capital city, and a volunteer service project in an often remote/rural area. Examples of these excursions include living with indigenous peoples in the Amazon, learning sign language in Peru and learning about the effect of eco-tourism on everyday life in Tanzania. Students have access to Goshen’s May and Summer term trips, as well as other approved programs through affiliated organizations.
29. Bates College in Lewiston, ME
Points Awarded: 14
Net Cost: $24,956
Program Cost: Starting around $3,600 (international, short-term)
Founded by abolitionists in 1855, Bates College is a nonsectarian, private liberal arts college with 2,000 students, a 10:1 student-faculty ratio and 36 majors in picturesque southwest Maine. The Off-Campus Study Office is active and detailed in the resources it provides students who want to study abroad, from pre-departure planning information like how to vote abroad and country/currency data, to working through re-entry into campus life at Bates.
For 2017, Bates hosts its own faculty-led Fall Semester Abroad — Spain in addition to its short-term study abroad programs, which take students to China, the Galapagos archipelago, Germany and central Europe. The Bates Semester Abroad is an open program that takes students to Tarragona, Spain to immerse them in the Spanish language and culture for academic credit toward Spanish, history, European studies and/or Latin American Studies. Participants get to join academic excursions in and around Tarragona, including Barcelona, Madrid and Seville. The college offers 200+ opportunities for semester and year-long study abroad, as well as resources and advising for summer study abroad, but these trips are sourced through external organizations.
28. Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, CA
Points Awarded: 14
Net Cost: $12,295
Program Cost: All fees covered in regular tuition, regardless of program administration
Founded in upon Buddhist principles, Soka University of America is a private four-year liberal arts college and graduate school on 103 acres a short distance from the beach, offering an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, average class sizes of 12 and a non-sectarian curriculum open to students of all nationalities and beliefs. Study abroad is required and included in this university’s tuition, allowing 100 percent of Soka’s undergraduates to spend a semester living and learning another culture prior to graduation.
The Study Abroad & International Internships Office (SAII) facilitates study abroad courses at quality universities with international distinction and language programs in Chinese, French, Japanese or Spanish, as well as international internships. Out of the 32 destinations Soka’s website lists as study abroad options, the university administers four of the programs, which take students to cities Japan, and the rest are managed by eight different university-approved providers; programs from any other external providers are not accepted. Student lodging arrangements while abroad varies by program, but can be through a homestay, dormitory or off-campus housing. Students are required to earn a minimum of 12 and maximum of 16 credits abroad.
27. Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, MI
Points Awarded: 15
Net Cost: $25,906
Program Cost: Around the same cost as traditional tuition
Founded in 1833, Kalamazoo College, or K, is a private, highly selective liberal arts college among the 100 oldest in the country, offering a nationally-recognized curriculum called the K-Plan and experiential education to its 1,443 students. According to U.S. News & World Report, 75 percent of K’s students participates in the school’s study abroad programs, which have been in operation for over 50 years.
Most of K’s students study abroad during their junior year, often staying with a host family or local students in the dorm at the 24 different countries available through 42 programs. Some students who travel abroad partake in the school’s Integrative Cultural Research Projects by choosing an activity important to them and the local community and writing a reflective essay for one extra K-unit of academic credit. College-sponsored study abroad programs are available in Ecuador, France, Germany, Kenya, Sénégal, Spain, Thailand and Trinidad. The Center for International Programs (CIP) lists a number of scholarships for study abroad that are funded by the school of varying amounts. Short-term (quarter), long-term (two quarters) and extended-term (three quarters) program lengths are available, and while some allow up to 20 participants on a single trip, others are more competitive, accepting only one or two students.
26. University of Dallas in Irving, TX
Points Awarded: 17
Net Cost: $27,029
Program Cost: Starting around $2,500
Established in 1956, the University of Dallas is a private, independent Catholic university that offers bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and continuing education programs to its 2,500+ total students from across the world. Through the university’s Rome Program, along with other partnerships across the globe, UDallas students can study abroad in a variety of destinations like Italy, Greece, Costa Rica, Spain, Ecuador and France. Students can earn language credits by taking advantage of the abroad programs outside of Rome.
According to the university, more than 92 percent of UDallas undergraduate students participate in the school’s flagship Rome Program. UDallas has its own twelve-acre Eugene Constantin Campus, which rests in beautiful foothills about one hour southeast of Rome, where students work from as their home base for six weeks in the summer or for one full semester. Through the Rome semester program, students can earn up to 17 course credits via the Italian or liberal arts tracks, taking classes within the Due Santi campus, on archaeological sites and in museums.
25. Guilford College in Greensboro, NC
Points Awarded: 17
Net Cost: $26,577
Program Cost: At or below $11,500 plus tuition
Founded by Quakers in 1837, Guilford College is a small liberal arts college on a beautiful 300-acre wooded campus, offering its 2,000 students a five-tiered curriculum within each of its 41 undergraduate majors. The Guilford College Study Abroad Office coordinates faculty-led, faculty-coordinated and affiliate programs that send students overseas for less than three weeks up to a semester.
Although the college’s programs don’t cost much more than a traditional semester, Guilford offers several different school-funded opportunities for scholarships, and the study abroad office lists outside award sources to help offset the cost of study abroad. All federal, state and college financial assistance is applicable to the college’s semester and summer programs, with which students can travel to Germany, Italy, Spain, Ghana and India. The Brunnenburg Semester has earned this college a spot on a few “top study abroad programs” rankings. Through this faculty-led study abroad opportunity, 14 students live in the compound of a 13th century castle in the Italian Alps with its working farm and vineyard, where they study sustainable living with a focus on food systems. Participants get to attend Sunday teas to share poetry with Mary de Rachewiltz, Ezra Pound’s daughter; they also go on local excursions to important nearby cities.
24. Centre College in Danville, KY
Points Awarded: 18
Net Cost: $25,326
Program Cost: Starting around $1,000
Founded in 1819, Centre College is a small, private liberal arts college with a non-sectarian, Judeo-Christian heritage and approximately 1,400 students from 45 states and 11 foreign countries. For those students who meet the school’s social and academic expectations, the Centre Commitment guarantees an internship or research opportunity, study abroad and graduation within four years. If a student is lacking any of those components by the end of his/her four years, Centre will cover the tuition of a fifth year.
The Princeton Review awarded Centre the No. 2 spot on its 2017 list of most popular study abroad programs, and about 85 percent of this school’s students study abroad at least once with faculty traveling and living on site with students. Students have nine countries to choose from for a semester abroad like Northern Ireland and Spain, or during the three-week winter CentreTerm and summer study abroad, students can take trips to nearly every continent for competitive internships, courses and travel. To offset the carbon emissions that plane travel adds to the air, Centre’s Air Travel Mitigation Fund is built up and used for sustainable initiatives on campus. Centre also offers two unique “study abroad” options: “Study away” and non-Centre programs. Thanks to partnerships with Butler University and the ACM College Program, students have the opportunity to earn class credit while completing an internship during the fall and spring semesters through Centre-in-Washington and Centre-in-Chicago.
23. Lee University in Cleveland, TN
Points Awarded: 18
Net Cost: $18,139
Program Cost: About 75 percent of the tuition dollars paid are used to cover trip expenses; other pricing was not available online.
Founded in 1918, Lee University is a private liberal arts university historically affiliated with the evangelical Christian Church of God with rolling admissions, over 5,300 students, a 106-acre campus and 52 majors. Lee’s Global Perspectives program sends more than 90 percent of the school’s students are in study abroad programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Lee’s curriculum calls for a cross-cultural engagement of all students, and it offers options for fulfilling this requirements like a semester study abroad in the U.K., over 30 faculty-led trips across the world during the winter, spring and summer breaks, student-designed independent experiences and collaborative study abroad opportunities. These trips can be no less than seven days in length, not including travel, and up to a full semester. Institutional scholarships are applicable toward one study abroad program per student, and institutionally-funded aid may only be applied to programs directly sponsored by Lee. These Global Perspectives trips include destinations like Australia, Egypt, Israel, Honduras, Cuba and more. The Global Perspectives office hosts an annual World’s Fair, during which students can discover details about all of Lee’s travel programs and information to help them find the option best-suited for them.
22. Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL
Points Awarded: 18
Net Cost: $15,549
Program Cost: Starting around under $2,000
Established in 1895, Eastern Illinois University is a comprehensive state university with a 320-acre campus, 7,415 students enrolled and 51 available undergraduate degree programs. Study Abroad at EIU comes with 583 program options in 53 different countries through affiliate, faculty-led, direct enroll and foreign exchange programs.
Available study abroad experiences at EIU include approved short and long-term academic study and internships, as well as field and practical opportunities throughout the world, all of which contribute to students’ EIU degrees and GPA. The faculty-led programs take students to more than 10 different countries where they study subjects like art in Florence, archaeology in Belgium or politics in Ireland for anywhere from eight days to a full semester. Year-long direct enroll programs are available through affiliate providers, and EIU’s semester exchange programs occur in the fall, spring and summer. The university tries to help get students overseas by offering $100,000 a year in scholarship funds for students planning to study abroad. The Office of Study Abroad also works with the financial aid office to accept most students’ aid if they are completing 12 credits abroad. By applying to the OSA, students can create their own international internship programs and register for EIU credit through the academic area’s department.
21. University of Evansville in Evansville, IN
Points Awarded: 19
Net Cost: $22,041
Program Cost: Starting around $150 to $2,000 (not including airfare)
Opened in 1854, the University of Evansville is a small, independent, United Methodist-affiliated liberal arts university with an enrollment of 2,643 and average class size of 18. Abroad101 named just two American colleges in its list of top study abroad programs, to include Evansville because of its Harlaxton College in Grantham, England.
Harlaxton is a second home for EU students, where those traveling abroad can study in a 100-room Victorian manor house in the rolling countryside one hour north of London. Whether students are there for the semester or the summer program, courses are tailored to allow time for site visits and other experiential learning. If England isn’t your thing, Evansville partners with other universities around the world to offer semester abroad trips to Spain, Argentina, Costa Rica and Mexico, which are free with EU tuition and a small fee. University faculty also lead shorter, academically challenging or service-related trips, about 10 days or a few weeks, to the UK, South Korea, Cuba and more for a higher cost. While the university funds one study abroad scholarship for foreign language students, the study abroad webpage links to a multitude of resources for funding these trips.
20. University of Richmond in Richmond, VA
Points Awarded: 19
Net Cost: $21,744
Program Cost: Starting at $5,600 (Summer Abroad) *Not all program costs are listed online
Established in 1830, the University of Richmond is a private, nonsectarian, liberal arts college that offers the resources of a large research university, but the intimacy of a small college with over 60 undergraduate majors and 4,181 students. The Office of International Education offers comprehensive semester and academic year exchanges, the School of Professional and Continuing Studies offers summer study abroad programs and individual academic and athletic departments offer one- to three-week study abroad trips.
Through affiliate programs, UR can send its students around the world to earn as much as 18 credits per term by directly enrolling in a university abroad or participating in a foreign exchange program. The university personally hosts its summer abroad and short-term trips. In its Summer Study Abroad program, UR offers destinations to nine different countries where students can spend about one month earning academic credit and exploring the region. What’s included in the cost varies, and the Czech Republic trip also takes students to Latvia and Lithuania. UR helps its students afford these trips abroad by making available a multitude of university-sponsored and external scholarships, grants and other funding opportunities. To help simplify the program search process, UR created a list of its study abroad opportunities organized by major that links to recommended trips for each major.
19. Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX
Points Awarded: 19
Net Cost: $8,995
Program Cost: Starting around $4,000
Texas Woman’s University is the nation’s largest university primarily for women, coeducational and public, with approximately 15,000 students and degree offerings in the liberal arts, nursing, health sciences, the sciences, business and education, available at three physical campuses and through e-learning. Through TWU’s Education Abroad program, students can take approved coursework in a foreign country, as well as pursue internships and service-learning experiences abroad.
Every student paying tuition at TWU contributes to the International Education Fee Scholarships among their other mandatory fees, which is open to all of the university’s students for international exchange and study abroad assistance. To help students find a program that suits them, this college offers three different abroad program models: Short-term (one to three weeks), faculty-led programs at locations like Greece, the Netherlands, Indonesia and more; the Harlaxton College Program, administered by the University of Evansville in Grantham, England (also on this list); and worldwide affiliated partner immersion programs during the summer, fall or spring terms. These trips can vary from a seven-day Chile cultural immersion elective to an academic year. The university-administered faculty-led programs have included several faculty in one excursion and as many as 29 students, and subjects/locations run from Global Fashion Studies in Montreal to Healthcare Administration in Switzerland.
18. Earlham College in Richmond, IN
Points Awarded: 20
Net Cost: $23,258
Program Cost: Starting at $1,200 plus food expenses and a non-refundable fee of $385
Established in 1847 by the Religious Society of Friends, Earlham College is a private liberal arts college offering more than 40 different fields of study with small classes and 1,031 undergraduates from across the U.S. and 60 countries. The college’s International Programs Office (IPO) manages study abroad, international students and international events.
Earlham refers to off-campus study as a central part of the college’s curriculum, having sent more than 65 percent of students on semester or year-long expeditions. All programs are open to students in any major to earn full academic credit for their coursework and Earlham-administered grades. To study off campus, students must pass an interview with the program’s leader, receive approval from a student and faculty committee and complete a one-credit, pre-departure course. A multifaceted semester-long program example is the Ecuador Program. Students develop their Spanish language skills, earn up to 18 credits studying the history, culture, arts and literature of the Andean region. They also participate in an internship, field study or ethnographic project in Quito, the capital. Earlham’s Center for Career and Community Engagement offers abroad internship opportunities in various academic areas, making a range of professional options around the world.
17. Millsaps College in Jackson, MS
Points Awarded: 20
Net Cost: $22,512
Program Cost: Starting around $4,300 (not including airfare, food and personal expenses)
Founded by members of the Methodist Church in 1890, Millsaps College is a private liberal arts college located on 100 lush acres in the state capital with under 1,000 total students enrolled, a student-faculty ratio of 9:1 and 33 majors, including a self-designed program. Millsaps considers study abroad an integral component of a liberal arts education, so the Office of International Education (OIE) offers semester, year, summer and winter intersession programs.
Millsaps, with its non-profit organization Kaxil Kiuic, operates a 4500-acre tropical forest biocultural reserve in the heart of Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula where program participants can complete a number of courses in history, biology, literature, environmental sciences and more. Various research opportunities and internships are also available at this destination in disciplines like archaeology and biochemistry. Millsaps’ other academic credit programs abroad reach from Italy to Vietnam and Africa. Some include travel to multiple countries within one trip, and more than half of the college’s faculty consistently teach abroad. Aside from the faculty-led trips, students can participate in direct exchange programs with Japan’s Akita International University and the University of Liechtenstein in the Principality of Liechtenstein, the smallest German-speaking country in the world. The college’s membership in ISEP opens up a variety of other abroad opportunities to its students.
16. Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO
Points Awarded: 20
Net Cost: $21,027
Program Cost: Starting around $800 (not including airfare) for off-campus blocks. Traditional tuition covers the semester or year programs, plus a program fee, airfare and extra expenses.
Founded in 1874, Colorado College is a private, four-year liberal arts and sciences college. It operates its own “Block Plan” with which the 2,000 students can take one class at a time in most of the 80 majors, minors and specialized programs. The flexibility of the Block Plan allows the 81 percent of CC students who study abroad before graduation to utilize a week, block, summer, semester or full year to travel around the world while earning credit, completing service work and conducting research in the field.
College Rank listed CC as having the No. 2 best study abroad program, probably because of the wide variety of programs and destinations students travel to, such as Japan, Cuba and Botswana. Through the Office of International Programs, the college hosts eight semester programs and five foreign exchanges. Students can access even more thanks to the school’s membership in the Associated College of the Midwest and other approved third-party programs. Within just one CC-facilitated semester program, participants travel to both Argentina and Chile while earning four CC units of credit from Spanish courses abroad. Those looking to study abroad for a full year should check in with their academic department to find programs like the two full scholarships that CC German students can receive each year to study at either the University of Regensburg or the University of Göttingen. Some interesting examples of academic year blocks taught off-campus include Movies, Monuments, & Mythmaking in Greece and The Coffee Exchange Challenge (Marketing Practicum) in Nicaragua.
15. Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA
Points Awarded: 21
Net Cost: $27,783
Program Cost: Starting around $2,000 (GO Short) *Not all program costs are listed online
Susquehanna University is a four-year, private liberal arts university that offers more than 100 majors and minors and small classes to its 2,200 students, 96 percent of whom receive some sort of financial aid. Susquehanna’s Global Opportunities Program (GO) is part of the university’s central curriculum and offers a variety of domestic and international study abroad opportunities.
Students at SU have the options to “GO” short, long or in their own way with two- to six-week or semester long programs that are hosted by the university, as well as external providers, many of which are already approved by the university for acceptable academic credit. With GO Your Own Way, students can design their own two-week or longer study abroad program through their own research by meeting with an advisor and submitting a proposal for the trip. In 2013, IIE presented SU with the highest award for facilitating study abroad opportunities and increasing students’ cultural competency. To help fund the way, students can be eligible for a GO Short Grant and can keep their traditional financial aid during a GO Long semester. The Financial Aid section of the school’s study abroad webpage lists the least expensive semester programs from each region. Most of the GO Short trips satisfy two semester credit hours in addition to the GO requirement while the GO Long trips can cover a semester’s worth of academic credit.
14. Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH
Points Awarded: 21
Net Cost: $21,348
Program Cost: Regular tuition and service fees, plus additional costs, as low at $3,000, established for each individual program
Founded in 1769, Dartmouth College is a private Ivy League research university and one of the nine pre-American Revolution colonial colleges. About 4,300 enrolled students have access to 40 departments and programs at the undergraduate college, but this university is incredibly competitive, receiving 20,675 applications for the Class of 2020 and admitting just 1,121 students.
The Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education is home to Dartmouth’s academic off-campus programs, in which over 55 percent of the student population participates before graduation. Because of the college’s faculty involvement, these off-campus programs and the experiences they offer are tightly knit into the campus’ curriculum. Dartmouth offers four main credit-bearing study abroad opportunities: Dartmouth Language Study Abroad (LSA and LSA+); Dartmouth Foreign Study Programs (FSP); Dartmouth Exchange Programs, and Transfer Credit from an unaffiliated four-year, degree-granting, academic institution. The college’s website lists a variety of scholarships for study abroad, 12 of which the school must endorse or nominate students to earn the awards. Non-credit fall, winter, spring and summer international internships and fellowships are available through the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding with a maximum available funding of $4,000, collectible from 22 different college-sponsored opportunities. Short-term programs are available to students through study area-specific Global Insight Expeditions.
13. Emory & Henry College in Emory, VA
Points Awarded: 21
Net Cost: $21,299
Program Cost: Starting around $1,750 (including airfare) for an Emory Abroad course
Founded in 1836, Emory & Henry College is a private liberal arts college that enrolls 1,012 undergraduate students and offers an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, 64 programs of study, small classes and financial aid awards to 99 percent of its students. Through International Education, E&H students have access to over 150 study abroad programs via organization partnerships, Emory’s summer, semester and full-year abroad programs and Emory Abroad courses with short-term international adventures.
The faculty-led Emory Abroad courses allow students take an on-campus class around a topic related to one of the multitude of locations offered in Africa, Europe, and Central or South America. At the end of the semester, the class travels overseas together for a two-week expedition. Some of these programs have students traveling to multiple countries in one go, like Cross Cultural Psychology in the Czech Republic and Poland. While all language study and summer abroad programs are administered by external organizations, Emory sends its students on abroad programs and exchanges for the semester and full year. The Emory & Henry College Semester in Dublin, Ireland invites students to study Irish heritage and culture while enrolling in courses at Dublin City University and working 10-15 hours weekly in a community organization or business. Although the abroad courses and accompanying adventure trips start under $2,000 with airfare, Emory & Henry makes studying abroad more affordable with three college-sponsored scholarships with awards ranging from $1,000 to $4,000.
12. College of Charleston in Charleston, SC
Points Awarded: 21
Net Cost: $18,677
Program Cost: Starting around $1,350 (not including meals)
Established in 1770, the College of Charleston is a public liberal arts and sciences university with a beautiful, historic campus in the heart of the city where over 10,000 undergraduates can choose from 59 majors. The Center for International Education offers faculty-led study abroad trips and international exchanges at more than 24 partner universities, and the office advises students interested in any of the college-approved affiliate programs.
CofC students can study abroad for as little as one week during spring break, up to three months of the summer term or throughout the fall and spring semesters. From flying to the U.K. to watch soccer while learning about English football, to going on a hiking pilgrimage in Spain for one academic credit, the college’s opportunities abroad are unique and guaranteed to give more students the travel bug. Through the school-facilitated semester trips abroad, students can earn up to 15 credit hours and live with local families. Any financial aid a student has will apply like a normal semester for CofC’s faculty-led programs, and the CIE offers $1,500-$2,000 scholarships toward any kind of approved study abroad programs alongside five other college-funded study abroad scholarships. The school’s summer internship abroad programs in France and Germany, worth three to six credits, are available across various career fields in Berlin and Paris. The CIE sponsors an annual photo contest for study abroad students with cash awards, publishes student experience blogs and offers its own peer advisor internship on campus.
11. Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA
Points Awarded: 22
Net Cost: $26,035
Program Cost: Starting around $3,000
Founded in 1876, Juniata College is an independent, private, four-year, co-educational college in the Allegheny Mountains with 1,632 students and an average class size of 19. About 48 percent of graduates have had an international experience through one of the 59 different study abroad programs, which travel to 24 different countries.
Juniata’s Center for International Education offers university hosted and outsourced study abroad options where students can travel overseas during the summer, winter, fall/spring semester and full academic year. Most of the trips Juniata hosts are two to four weeks long. Students can earn one to four academic credits and become fully-immersed in the culture by staying with local families. In a just one program, students get to travel to Ireland and the United Kingdom while exploring the roles of education, peace and conflict studies, as well as psychology. Juniata’s partnerships with universities around the world facilitate foreign exchange programs where students can live and learn at a university in the Philippines, China, Japan, France, Germany and other countries for one semester or the full academic year.
10. Duke University in Durham, NC
Points Awarded: 22
Net Cost: $21,295
Program Cost: Starting around $6,500 (not including airfare and other expenses)
Founded by Methodists and Quakers in 1838, Duke University is a private research university on nearly 9,000 gorgeous acres that include a marine laboratory, gardens, historic chapel and 210-foot tower. The 15,000 students enrolled at this university can study abroad through many opportunities, including the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, Duke Kunshan University in China and research and education programs around the world.
The Global Education Office (GEO) for Undergraduates offers international and domestic study away through the university-directed Duke-In program. Students have participated in the oldest programs — Duke in China and Duke in France — for more than 25 years. Today, they can travel abroad to 20 different destinations through the university’s semester and four to eight-week summer programs. If you still aren’t impressed with Duke’s offerings, students are allowed to petition a program of their choice for the Faculty Global Education Committee’s approval. While the Duke-approved (external) programs include a $4,580 study abroad fee, semester financial aid is applicable to all programs. Duke funds four different scholarships for summer study abroad, and those accepted to a college-administered program are automatically considered for the Stephenson Pope Babcock Scholarships. Annually, the GEO hosts the Global Education Fair to put all of the school’s study abroad resources on display. Interested students can talk to other students, program faculty/staff and academic advisors all in one place.
9. University of Delaware in Newark, DE
Points Awarded: 22
Net Cost: $15,149
Program Cost: Starting around $3,200
Opened in 1743, the University of Delaware is the largest university in the state with locations across Delaware, seven academic colleges and over 23,000 students enrolled. UD created America’s first study abroad program in 1923, and today its students have access to more than 100 study abroad programs in over 40 countries.
UD is the most affordable college that earned a spot on The Princeton Review’s 2017 list of top study abroad schools. Its Institute for Global Studies (IGS) coordinates about 100 programs annually, specializing in short-term, faculty-led programs. Students can study abroad at UD for as little as one week (spring break) and as long as one semester, with the option of a foreign exchange program. Whether you’re looking to spend a winter in Antarctica or complete a summer internship in Vietnam, UD can send you there. To help students afford these trips, IGS offers two scholarship programs, need-based scholarships and the Delaware Diplomats program. For the semester-long study abroad programs, students must register for at least 12 credits, and each program’s page lists the available course options. Some programs include multiple countries within the semester; some are more competitive than others, and many programs offer students both a semester’s worth of academic credits and an internship.
8. Connecticut College in New London, CT
Points Awarded: 23
Net Cost: $27,417
Program Cost: Full time tuition, plus the college’s comprehensive fee, which was not listed online
Founded in 1911, Connecticut College is a private liberal arts college with 1,865 undergraduate students, a 9:1 student-faculty ratio and 56 majors, minors and certificates. Global Focus at Conn manages the college’s study away programs and college-approved external programs, which send more than half of its students overseas annually.
According to the school’s website, Connecticut has received the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization from NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the world’s largest professional international education association. With 11 language programs, this small college offers numerous opportunities for students looking to learn a language while studying in its corresponding country. Other programs Conn governs include: the competitive Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA) scholars program; language or international club trips, and international internships. Conn provides the opportunity to travel abroad or domestic to every student by funding $3,000 toward an internship or summer research project. Sophomores at Conn are expected to begin planning their expeditions. The easily navigable Study Away website offers helpful timelines and resources to get them on their way. The programs’ academic focus is dynamic from country-to-country and year-to-year, but students are able to carry a regular course load while abroad, taking classes with Conn faculty or those of the host school.
7. Trinity College in Hartford, CT
Points Awarded: 23
Net Cost: $23,980
Program Cost: A varying Comprehensive Fee that includes tuition, plus additional expenses like airfare and meals
Founded in 1823, Trinity College is a private, nonprofit liberal arts college–the second oldest in the state–situated on an urban campus with 2,192 full-time undergraduates, a student-faculty ratio of 9:1 and 39 academic majors. The Office of Study Away facilitates international education initiatives and nine Trinity-administered semester study away program locations all over the world.
Before graduating, more than 60 percent of students at Trinity study abroad in Barcelona, Rome, Paris, Trinidad & Tobago, Vienna and more. The OSA also has affiliations and memberships with external abroad programs like the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) and the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). Program length options vary depending on the program model, but students have the option to go abroad for as few as three weeks in the summer or as much as a full academic year. The college-directed semester and year-long programs include a core course and electives, as well as an internship, independent study or community service project, led and taught by a combination of Trinity faculty and host university professors. Trinity has its very own Rome Campus, established in 1970, that welcomes about 60 participants each fall, spring and summer session for academic excursions, art courses, field seminars, internships and more. Those students new to the idea of study abroad have the help of veteran abroad students at the college through the Global Ambassador Program for assistance through the pre-departure study away process.
6. Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT
Points Awarded: 24
Net Cost: $20,197
Program Cost: Starting around $21,800 (including tuition and Middlebury’s fee)
Founded in 1800 by Congregationalists, Middlebury College is a private liberal arts college that offers graduate and specialized programs operating around the world. It has 2,450 undergraduates and a 9:1 student-faculty ratio. According to the college, more than half of the junior class at Middlebury studies abroad annually in more than 40 countries.
Middlebury’s C.V. Starr Schools Abroad program consists of more than 40 different universities in the UK, Jordan, Spain, Argentina, Russia, Brazil, Israel and more for one semester or a full year. Students participating at these schools take courses in a variety of subjects, complete internships, volunteer and live with a local family or host students. Middlebury’s most affordable study abroad program is through a school based in Yaoundé, Cameroon’s economic and political capital, but the other Schools Abroad excursions cost a bit more than a traditional semester. Middlebury students also have access externally-sponsored programs like exchanges with the University of East Anglia and the University of Nottingham in England, a program with Lincoln College at Oxford University and the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. Students earn class credit through most of the college’s semester programs, but internships, volunteering opportunities, jobs and internships for credit are available.
5. St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN
Points Awarded: 25
Net Cost: $26,183
Program Cost: Starting around $2,000 (international)
Founded in 1874, St. Olaf College is a four-year, private liberal arts college of the Lutheran Church with a beautiful 300-acre campus, an enrollment of 3,040 and a freshman-to-sophomore retention rate at 92 percent. Through International and Off-Campus Studies, St. Olaf provides numerous great study abroad programs that integrate academic and experiential learning, including Global Semester trips where students are traveling to multiple countries during one semester.
Of the 775 graduating seniors in 2016, 71.5 percent participated in one international off-campus study program while at St. Olaf without being required to study abroad prior to graduation. Students can take a single art course in San Salvador during an interim semester, or spend as much as a full year abroad in countries like Argentina, Egypt, Hungary, Sweden, Japan, Chile and more; you can even stay in North America while studying in a different state if you’re not ready to travel overseas. Just about all fields of study are available abroad and through the college’s domestic off-campus studies programs. Students in these off-campus programs can retain the financial aid that they would receive on campus while abroad, with the exception of student work. Plus, every student who applies and confirms international program participation will be automatically considered for a scholarship worth $500-$5,000+. Some programs, like HECUA’s trip to Ecuador combines an internship with the opportunity to earn some class credit.
4. University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR
Points Awarded: 25
Net Cost: $14,693
Program Cost: Starting around $3,400 (faculty-led)
Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas is a public, co-educational, land-grant and space-grant research university with 10 colleges and schools, 210 academic programs and 27,000 students representing all 50 states and more than 120 countries. Students looking to study abroad have a plethora of options at U of A: university administered research; internships; independent study; exchange; faculty-led and external programs, as well as the U of A Rome Center.
The U of A Rome Center is housed in the historic Palazzo Taverna, minutes from the Vatican, Pantheon and other cultural sites. Students can spend two weeks to a full semester, living close to the school, traveling the region and participating in a varied curriculum in U of A core classes, Italian culture, language, art and history. Aside from Rome, students can enroll in or participate in a foreign exchange program with U of A’s partnership universities around the world. University faculty lead high-quality, short-term study abroad programs during intersessions and summer terms during which students can earn three academic credits in two weeks, or six credits in four weeks, in most cases. These programs go to China, Greece, Italy, Belize, Mozambique, Peru and more. With individual guidance from each student’s academic department, U of A students can participate in international internships, research projects and independent study programs. In case these great study abroad programs are above your budget, U of A funds a whopping 13 different scholarships for study abroad.
3. West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV
Points Awarded: 25
Net Cost: $10,405
Program Cost: Starting around $1,500
Founded in 1867, West Virginia University is a public, land-grant university with the highest level of research activity as described by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The WVU System reaches across the state with 518 buildings on 15,880 acres. A total of 31,287 total students come from 107 nations and every U.S. state, including D.C.
Just under 1,000 students at WVU traveled to another country for study abroad courses during the 2014-15 academic year. The university helps cover the cost of study abroad by accepting most loans, grants and scholarships, including a few program-specific, university-funded scholarships. The program types available are foreign exchanges, short-term and faculty-led trips, the ISEP consortium and affiliate programs through third-party companies. The international service learning trips are faculty-led, worth up to 12 academic credits, as short as 10 days during spring break and as long as one semester. Three adventure trips to Chile, Fiji and New Zealand are currently available, each of which is worth six credits. Students have the opportunity to practice outdoor living and test their leadership skills while learning about subjects like sustainable tourism.
2. Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Points Awarded: 27
Net Cost: $26,749
Program Cost: Starting around $5,500
Established in 1789, Georgetown University is a leading private research university and the country’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university. In 2015, 7,562 students were enrolled at seven of the schools within the university, which consists of a main and a medical campus covering 104 acres of the nation’s capital. The Office of Global Education oversees seven different types of university-managed study abroad programs and those from affiliates: service learning courses, nursing, language, business and area studies programs, direct matriculation through partnerships and affiliates, GU faculty-led summer study abroad programs and the university-owned Villa le Balze living and learning community in Fiesole, Italy.
GU has another satellite campus abroad in Doha, Qatar, where students are able to take GPA-factored courses alongside degree-seeking students. Whether you want to spend three weeks in Italy or a full calendar year in Australia, GU’s options are expansive and made affordable with nine available university-sponsored scholarships for study abroad. The Going Global website, available from the GU Career Services Office, lists available internships, worldwide job openings and more while individual schools and majors offer their own non-credit internships abroad. The service learning programs are multifaceted and sometimes include an extra certification like the Certificate in Community Engagement in the Arts and Sciences at Stellenbosch University (CIEE) program.
1. University of Washington in Seattle, WA
Points Awarded: 28
Net Cost: $9,744
Program Cost: Starting as low as $775, including airfare
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is a flagship public research university with multiple campuses and 579 degree options, educating more than 56,000 total students annually and offering 1,800 undergraduate courses each quarter. UW Study Abroad manages the school’s international partnerships for exchange student programs and internal partnerships with various UW academic programs to enable more students to take classes abroad.
Using UW’s course equivalency database, students can easily find what study abroad courses will help satisfy their academic goals and needs. Study abroad program models here include university exchanges, faculty-led programs, three to four-week exploration seminars worth five UW resident credits, IE3 Global Internships operated through the Oregon University System, independent learning for academic credit and affiliate programs. The faculty-led programs allow students to take courses at varying lengths and participate in field studies on specific academic themes for six to 15 credits depending on the term. These programs have destinations like Denmark, Morocco, the Czech Republic and more. Students can also apply for employment as a TA on UW’s programs. Five different UW-financed scholarships for studying abroad are available in addition to external, regional and graduate scholarships for studying overseas. Through independent learning, graduate and advanced undergraduate students seeking credit for international activities can participate in independent research, internships, practicums, clinical electives or government/department-sponsored fellowship programs. One of the most affordable study abroad programs is the Foster School Kakehashi Project in Japan. This seven-day spring break study tour is worth one credit for undergraduates in the business school.