By Gabrielle Kratsas
We recently published our ranking of “Affordable Colleges with the Best Study Abroad Programs”, but because of our focus on finding the cheapest schools with these awesome opportunities, we didn’t highlight what some of the more expensive colleges are offering their students.
From meeting the Pope near his summer palace to earning a full degree at the first Sino-US joint venture university approved by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, these colleges and universities have the resources to provide once-in-a-lifetime excursions and educational experiences to their students. Using the same methodology as our previous article, we evaluated the popularity, extent and originality of each school’s study abroad program, and ranked them accordingly.
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 narrowed that list down to 50 schools that had extensive programs. Using the point system below, we evaluated each and ranked the top 30. All colleges and universities on this list are accredited.
The point system we used in our ranking works as follows:
- 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 editorial discretion.
30. Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL
Points Awarded: 10
Net Cost: $24,589
Program Cost: Close to the cost of a semester, give or take, and it includes all travel, lodging and most meals
Florida Southern College is a private, selective liberal arts college with an average of 18 students per class, more than 50 areas of study and 2,500 undergraduate students. Founded in 1883, FSC is the oldest private college in the state, and it guarantees educational opportunities to its students in the following three areas: Four-year graduation, incredible internships and study abroad.
At FSC, each full-time undergraduate student is guaranteed a domestic or foreign travel experience through the Junior Journey program. This great study abroad program requires all students to have completed at least four full semesters before being eligible, but as juniors, they then get to travel to destinations abroad like the Caribbean, Costa Rica, England, France, Italy, Mexico, Washington, D.C. or others. In the fall and winter, FSC offers short-term departmental excursions focusing on subjects like healthcare in Switzerland and Italy, introducing students to international organizations focused on humanitarianism and global health. The college also partners with various affiliates to provide semester and month-long adventures. One partner, Up With People, offers a multi-country trip abroad that travels to two continents and over 20 communities.
29. Walsh University in North Canton, OH
Points Awarded: 10
Net Cost: $19,508
Program Cost: Tuition, room and board with all financial aid applying, plus a specific program fee, airfare and personal expenses
Walsh University, a private, non-profit Catholic university, has a 136-acre main campus and satellite campuses in Akron and just outside of Rome, Italy. The almost 3,000 enrolled students from 40 states and 35 countries have access to 65 undergraduate major programs, a new health and wellness complex and a 13:1 student-teacher ratio.
The Office of Global Learning at Walsh offers seven Global Learning Opportunities. One example, Chamber in Rome, offers the opportunity to travel with Walsh’s Chamber singers to Italy to perform and study for two weeks with a price tag less than $3,000, including airfare, room, board, site visits and a weekend excursion. Unlike any other school on this list, Walsh students are provided an opportunity to go on a pilgrimage with university President Richard Jusseaume and First Lady Theresa through France and Italy, combining academic studies with a focus on Catholic Faith. This university also has its own campus in Castel Gandolfo, Rome, where the Pope’s summer palace is located. Here, students study subjects like Cicero’s speeches from the spot he addressed his audiences, the history of Christianity in the shadows of Saint Peter’s Basilica and plenty of art in Renaissance Rome.
28. Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL
Points Awarded: 12
Net Cost: $20,294
Program Cost: Most costs are covered in regular tuition and fees, except meals and self-selected accommodations
Founded in 1854 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Huntingdon College is a four-year liberal arts college located on 73 acres in a residential neighborhood with 1,100 enrolled students, nearly 100 percent of whom receive some sort of financial aid. About 79 percent of students study abroad thanks to the Huntingdon Plan Travel-Study program, which allows juniors and seniors to travel in groups with faculty domestically and abroad.
Thanks to the Huntingdon Plan, studying abroad at this college is as easy as paying tuition for a traditional semester. Most Huntingdon Plan trips include airfare, ground transportation and hotel accommodations, as well as fees for group activities. Costs for meals and self-selected activities are, usually, the only out-of-pocket expenses. This university-wide plan encompasses much more than just international travel, but “exploration” is listed as one of top aspects of the plan, and it includes covering the costs of foreign student exchange programs. Trips that have been available in the past include a train trip to Berlin and Vienna, Hawaii, Ireland, Paris, Costa Rica, Alaska and more. Another study abroad opportunity, the highly-competitive Irish-American Scholars Program, is available each year to one or two applicants who may study for a semester or year in Northern Ireland. This is possible through an agreement with the Business Education Initiative in Northern Ireland and the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.
27. Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, OH
Points Awarded: 12
Net Cost: $25,139
Program Cost: FUS Campus tuition, room and board, plus about $2,500 for airfare and other required fees
Founded in 1946, Franciscan University of Steubenville is a Catholic private university, offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees and 40+ undergraduate majors. It has a 15:1 student-faculty ratio and a strong Catholic-driven curriculum. Franciscan’s study abroad program’s numbers include more than 320 students studying in Austria annually, placement in the top four percent of American universities with students who study abroad and 50 percent of the student body learning abroad each year.
From studying for a full semester in Gaming, Austria or Oxford, England to planning a personal study abroad experience with faculty, Franciscan University offers flexible study abroad options to its students. The university’s flagship semester abroad program in Austria sends 300-400 students to live and learn in a 14th-century former Carthusian monastery every year, where classes are taught in English by the college’s professors, and students can take advantage of weekly travel opportunities throughout Europe. Students, especially those in the English bachelor’s degree program, can also spend a semester studying the medieval, renaissance and early modern periods at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Oxford University. Additional programs all over the world with various trip lengths are available through a Franciscan-supported external provider, International Studies Abroad (ISA).
26. Anderson University in Anderson, SC
Points Awarded: 13
Net Cost: $20,310
Program Cost: Prices vary, depending on the program, destination and length of time spent abroad
Anderson University is a private Christian college founded in 1917 by the Church of God with a 66.1 percent acceptance rate, 2,300 students and more than 50 majors in unique subjects like sport marketing and national security studies. Anderson operates more than 30 locations around the world, offering extensive study abroad opportunities and its TRI-S (Study, Serve, Share) program, through which students, faculty and staff learn and serve around the world.
The International Programs Office directs semester abroad programs, two-week short-term programs, mission trips in Campus Ministries and faculty-led experiential-learning programs and semester-long programs. The office holds cooperative agreements so that AU students can spend full semesters in countries like Brazil, China, Australia, Costa Rica, Turkey and India. AU Abroad runs the faculty-led trips and offers its own $1,000 award scholarship to juniors and seniors. AU students also have the opportunity to participate in a 3-week summer program in the UK, with most expenses covered, through the selective Fulbright US/UK Summer Institute. Other organizations like the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and CAPA facilitate study abroad in additional countries like Lithuania, Jordan and Thailand. An interesting 3-credit multi-country course, Croatia, Italy & Slovenia: Health and Culinary Studies from the Heart of the Mediterranean, offers 11 travel days full of Mediterranean cuisine.
25. St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY
Points Awarded: 13
Net Cost: $31,010
Program Cost: Regular SLU tuition and fees with financial aid for the nine campus-operated programs
Founded in 1856, St. Lawrence University is a four-year private college offering a liberal arts education, 69 majors, including a multi-field major and and 11:1 student-faculty ratio to almost 2,500 students, more than 200 of whom are international from over 60 countries. From the class of 2015, 52 percent of students studied off-campus at 20 different countries around the world through 28 programs, as well as five domestic programs.
St. Lawrence made it on The Princeton Review’s list of most popular college study abroad programs, based on the program’s popularity among the university’s students. The Patti McGill Peterson Center for International and Intercultural Studies operates nine of its own semester and year long study abroad programs that can include home stays, language study and course work before, during and after the program. SLU sends its students to an off-the-grid yurt village in the heart of the Adirondacks, to Canada, France and Senegal in one program, a SLU-owned and operated campus in the suburbs of Nairobi, Kenya and more. The university partners with external providers of other programs, some of which require direct enrollment into college abroad. SLU’s international campus in Kenya provides students with the opportunity to earn class credit and take part in multiple field components within one semester, making this study abroad destination a multifaceted learning experience.
24. Lawrence University in Appleton, WI
Points Awarded: 14
Net Cost: $26,646
Program Cost: Likely to cost more than the equivalent amount of time spent on campus
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University is a liberal arts college and conservatory of music, devoted exclusively to undergraduates with 1,500 students from almost every state and 50 countries. Lawrence offers 35 majors for a BA, four bachelor of music majors and an 8.5:1 student-faculty ratio, one of the smallest in the country.
Lawrence’s Off-Campus Programs Office sponsors just a couple programs: A semester-long, direct-enroll University of Twente Exchange and the Québec Seminar & Internship. The Québec program combines nine weeks of French language and Québécois culture coursework with four weeks of a full-time internship in a business, governmental or non-governmental organization. The university also operates the London Centre, the school’s most popular off-campus program, which was established in 1970 to introduce Lawrence students to the rich history of the British people through coursework supplemented by field trips, museum visits, cultural opportunities and travel. The university also works with The Baobab Center (African Consultants International) to offer the Francophone Seminar in Dakar, Senegal. The center works with a number of American universities, providing language instruction and organizing cultural orientation workshops designed to prepare participants for an understanding of Senegalese lifestyle.
23. Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI
Points Awarded: 15
Net Cost: $26,012
Program Cost: Calvin tuition, room and board, plus individual program costs that include airfare, the administrative fee and program-related excursions, starting at $1,000
Founded in 1876, Calvin College is a small Christian liberal arts school, sitting on 400 green acres with just under 4,000 students, a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and more than 100 majors, minors and programs. Nearly 80 percent of Calvin’s students take advantage of the college’s study abroad opportunities, including 40+ faculty-led program options.
In addition to the numerous 2-week interim study abroad trips available each year, Calvin operates 11 semester-long study abroad programs to destinations in Britain, Ghana, Honduras, Peru, Spain, Hungary and France. Students can earn credits abroad through classes taught by Calvin professors or direct-enroll transfer credits from other institutions in addition to a long list of pre-approved core equivalencies for each abroad program. Some study abroad trips are offered at varying levels of difficulty for those in language programs, like the Core/Intermediate Semester in Spain v. the Advanced Semester. The Off-Campus Program webpage has a helpful interactive map that aids students in choosing a destination they’re interested in and offers descriptive program profiles that include information like physical expectations, safety and security, health considerations, language importance, cultural acclimation difficulty and more
22. Bethel University in St. Paul, MN
Points Awarded: 16
Net Cost: $27,963
Program Cost: Semester programs typically match Bethel’s traditional tuition, room and board; interim three-week program fees in addition to tuition start at $3,000, including all transportation, excursions, food, board and medical insurance
Established in 1871, Bethel University is the largest Christian college in the 13-member Christian College Consortium, offering more than 100 undergraduate academic programs, a grad school and two seminaries with its main campus on 247 lakeside acres near the No. 2 park system in the U.S. This university’s Office of Off-Campus Programs/International Studies operates over 30 semester, summer and interim study abroad opportunities, as well as service learning, volunteer and credit earning programs across the country.
About 60 percent of Bethel students study abroad via the the 30-plus semester, summer and interim overseas opportunities available. Three-week interim trips are a popular option for those unwilling to leave campus for too long, taking students on adventures like a Greece-to-Italy Study Tour. The semester terms are offered at five different locations: Daystar University in Africa, throughout Great Britain, Europe, Guatemala and Spain. Both the Guatemala and Spain destinations offer 15-18 earnable academic credits, as well as internship and service-learning opportunities. Scholarships are available to support students enrolled in specific programs, and financial aid applies toward one semester abroad during a student’s four years at Bethel, including institutional aid and federal and state aid.
21. Queens University of Charlotte in Charlotte, NC
Points Awarded: 16
Net Cost: $26,020
Program Cost: Queens tuition, room, board and a refundable $250 deposit; the
Opened in 1857 as a women’s college, Queens University of Charlotte is a private liberal arts university that offers a 10:1 student-faculty ratio, 44 majors and 11 graduate programs. According to U.S. News & World Report, 78 percent of the school’s 2,250 students are in study abroad programs, which the college makes incredibly affordable by giving each student a John Belk International Program fund that covers airfare, health insurance and any application fees for study abroad.
Queens makes study abroad extra accessible by providing every qualifying student with a fund that can be used toward one of the university’s various international experiences, such as studying abroad for a full semester or year, interning overseas or going on a 2-week excursion led by Queens faculty. In the latter, students have the ability to travel short-term with professors to destinations like the Czech Republic, Cuba, Vietnam, Australia and Micronesia. Immersive international internships are available through partners like Academia Latinoamericana and the Community Service Alliance, and they allow students to work abroad while living with local families. Students who wish to organize their own international internship may do so, and if it’s approved, they may apply for a scholarship of up to $2,000 to help defray the cost of an independent international internship. Examples of previous internships abroad include Chrysler Group Egypt Limited in Cairo and The Music Therapy Association of Ghana.
20. Macalester College in St. Paul, MN
Points Awarded: 17
Net Cost: $28,009
Program Cost: Macalester or program tuition (whichever is higher), plus individual program costs for room and board, airfare and local transportation, visa costs and related fees; financial aid is applicable
Founded in 1874, Macalester College is a private liberal arts college with 2,108 students, 25 percent of whom are citizens of another country and 60 percent study abroad.
The core values of Macalester College include scholarship, internationalism, multiculturalism and service to society, and as a result, nine academic departments, like anthropology, international studies and classics, require study away in the curriculum of certain degree programs. The study away webpage offers an organized list of approved programs by department. Otherwise, the college offers four exchange programs, three semester faculty-led programs, during which students must earn 12-18 credit hours, and, by request, full academic year programs. One semester study abroad opportunity is the German Studies Program, which takes students to both Berlin, Germany and Vienna, Austria where they directly enroll in courses with local professors/students, go on theater and museum outings, experience other varying excursions and have the opportunity to work as a teacher’s English language assistant in Austria.
19. Central College in Pella, IA
Points Awarded: 20
Net Cost: $22,164
Program Cost: Semester programs start at $20,292, while summer programs start at $3,344 (not including financial aid, airfare and extra expenses)
Founded in 1853, Central College is a private, four-year liberal arts college with a Christian tradition, 1,250 undergraduate students, a 12:1 student-faculty ratio and over 73 academic programs. Over 99 percent of students at Central receive financial aid, 92 percent graduate in just four years or fewer and about 50 percent of Central students study internationally.
Central established its study abroad program in 1965 and now offers three types of programs: semester, year-long and summer study abroad in which a resident director is on-site (director-led) or coursework on campus is supplemented with short-term, faculty-led adventures. Central faculty develop and lead the curriculum and excursions for those, but the college also offers partner programs through which students enroll in programs hosted by approved providers. The school’s study abroad website offers an extensive list of programs by major, showing a multitude of opportunities in every academic field. The average size of Central programs is 24 students, and service-learning, internships, language partners, community involvement and classes with locals are available. Director-led programs travel to Bangor, Wales; Granada, Spain; London, England; Merida, Yucatán and Vienna, Austria; and required cross-cultural courses are taught by local faculty. One example of the discipline-focused, faculty-led programs is the 17-day winter break trip for biology students in Belize and Costa Rica.
18. Villanova University in Villanova, PA
Points Awarded: 20
Net Cost Cost: $31,668
Program Cost: VU tuition for each semester overseas, individual program fees and unincluded expenses like airfare and meals
Founded in 1842, Villanova University is a private, Roman Catholic research university with a suburban campus close to Philadelphia, more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University’s six colleges and 37 academic majors. The oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, VU’s Office of Education Abroad (OEA) fulfills the school’s promise “to add its influence to the search for world peace and justice by means of its academic programs and the pastoral ministry it provides for the members of the community.”
Villanova students have the choice of year and semester abroad exchanges/full-time enrollment, 16 different locations for summer study abroad, and short-term overseas study opportunities that are connected to semester-long on-campus classes. For the longer-term options that come with a minimum requirement of four courses/equivalent, students can attend an overseas university, college, or language institute, which includes four Villanova-operated semester programs at NUI, Galway, University of Melbourne, University of Urbino and four London universities. These can usually be combined with a full-time internship, service learning or field work projects. Some opportunities are thematic and consist of structured course options designed for specific majors or cohorts like the College of Nursing’s study abroad program with the University of Manchester in England, while others have allowed opportunities to work prestigious internships at the Vatican or United Nations.
17. Linfield College in McMinnville, OR
Points Awarded: 20
Net Cost: $26,305
Program Cost: Semester or year abroad is similar to campus tuition, plus a technology fee and per-semester program fee, starting around $1,300, including airfare for the student’s first experience; January Terms fees are per-credit, plus specific program fees.
Chartered in 1858, Linfield College is a small private, solely-undergraduate college with additional campuses online and in Portland, offering 48 academic majors and study abroad sites in 14 countries. More than 40 percent of the 2,282 students, from 27 states and 20 different countries, participate in study abroad courses before graduation.
For every student’s first study abroad experience, Linfield covers the cost of roundtrip airfare to and from Portland and your destination city! Additionally, the college will pay for the airfare to and from a second study abroad excursion if your major requires to you earn some kind of credit overseas, such as all language majors and minors, anthropology, international business, intercultural communication and international relations students. At Linfield, language majors are typically the main students utilizing the semester or year programs abroad, so many of the 33 locations around the world offer courses only in the host language. The number of students for each semester program is also limited and selection is competitive, but they take students to locations like Yokohama, Japan and Galway, Ireland. The International Programs office runs 10 to 12 faculty-led, four-credit courses during every January term, such as Re-Imaging Art and Culture in Puerto Rico and Cuba, and Culinary Science: Food, Beer and Wine in New Zealand. At certain sites, students can engage in community service and volunteer work, or in some cases, like with Beijing site, internships abroad.
16. Carleton College in Northfield, MN
Points Awarded: 22
Net Cost: $31,568
Program Cost: Prices were not available online at the time of writing this article, but students pay regular Carleton tuition in addition to the comprehensive fee, which covers tuition, room, board and program related expenses, excluding airfare and books.
Founded in 1866, Carleton College is a small, private liberal arts college that runs on a trimester schedule and offers 32 majors to its nearly 2,000 students who come from all 50 states and 35 countries. About 70 percent of the student population participates in Carleton’s frequently high-ranking Off-Campus Studies programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Carleton faculty and academic departments run 18 different semester, winter break, spring break and summer study abroad programs, according to what’s listed online. Students have the opportunity to earn a whopping 18 credits for a political science degree in Romania through the (Beyond) Nationalism and Xenophobia in Central and Eastern Europe study abroad semester, or both academic credit and field research while traveling to multiple countries through the Energy, Health, and Environment in Ethiopia and Tanzania program. Carleton students also have the chance to see four different countries in the 6 to 12-credit Architectural Studies in Europe program, which additionally fulfills curricular exploration requirements and the International Studies (IS) graduation requirement.
15. Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA
Points Awarded: 22
Net Cost: $34,079
Program Cost: Long-term program cost is close to regular tuition, not including airfare, books/materials and personal expenses. Short-term programs have individual fees starting around $1,700 (not including airfare)
Established in 1783, Dickinson College is a private liberal arts college with selective admissions, 2,370 full-time students, a 9:1 student-faculty ratio, a 144-acre campus and 43 different majors. More than 50 percent of students study abroad through 38 programs in 24 countries on six continents, and Dickinson offers one of the most extensive language programs with 13 to choose from.
For over 50 years, the Center for Global Study & Engagement has operated its own global study and research centers, and about 70 percent of Dickinson students who study abroad travel through Dickinson-facilitated programs. A Dickinson faculty member is present on campus for every school-led program, so almost half of the university’s faculty have traveled with or taught on one of these as well. The college offers 15 “Dickinson In” long-term semester/year programs, as well as short-term summer programs that are free-standing, self-contained and run for about four to six weeks. This summer, the college’s programs are traveling to locations in Greece, London, Spain, France, Russia, and Italy. Globally-integrated courses and Global Mosaics are other “short-term” options, which consist of briefer stints abroad that are combined with a semester-long course on campus or intensive, interdisciplinary research programs designed around fieldwork and immersion in global communities (Mosaics). One example is the Climate Change and Human Security in Nepal Mosaic, which is supplemented with three weeks of field research.
14. Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC
Points Awarded: 22
Net Cost: $24,929
Program Cost: WFU tuition, a housing fee and program fees where applicable
Founded in 1834, Wake Forest University is a private, nonprofit research university with a total enrollment of 7,669, 11:1 student-faculty ratio and about 40 different majors available to undergraduates. More than 60 percent of WFU’s undergraduates take advantage of studying abroad in at least 70 countries worldwide each year.
In 1974 WFU bought the impressive two-story building facing the Grand Canal that formerly housed the American Consulate and named Casa Artom in honor of former professor Dr. Camillo Artom, which now houses 20 students and hosts three different academic programs during the summer, spring and fall. The university also purchased Flow House in 1998, a three-story villa situated in a northwest section of Vienna. WFU operates its own study abroad trips to 24 different countries with multiple types of excursions and courses available at each destination, such as multi-focused programs like The Department of Romance Languages’ sponsored study abroad program at the University of Salamanca, Spain, where students can earn academic credit and complete an internship. Within the 400+ semester, summer and year-long study abroad programs, students have studied subjects ranging from neuroscience to medieval studies, and many have opportunities for internships, field study, independent research, language partnerships, community service, organized group excursions and personal travel. The university makes these international opportunities accessible by sponsoring more than 20 scholarships for study abroad.
13. College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in St. Joseph, MN
Points Awarded: 23
Net Cost: $26,185
Program Cost: Traditional tuition/fees (which vary for the short-term programs), plus individual program fees vary and typically exclude expenses like airfare, food, housing, etc. Short-term trips start at $2,300, while semester programs start at $7,100
The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University is a unique partnership that offers the academic opportunities of a big university as well as the intimacy of a small college. About 54 percent of the 3,640 students are Catholic, but all faiths are welcome to earn a degree in one of the 37 majors either on campus, or with a study abroad semester in one of the 19 programs across six continents.
About 64 percent of students between these two universities study abroad, with 55 percent taking part in one of the 19 faculty-led full-semester abroad programs in Australia, Austria, Chile, China, England, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain and South Africa. The singular Center for Global Education (CGE) also offers 20 short-term international programs each summer that are one to eight weeks long and at locations like Austria, Czech Republic, Germany and Hungary (all in one trip); a summer Balkans internships in Bosnia, Herzegovina and Serbia; and the Summer Science Research at Southwest University in China. Students have access to additional international exchange programs, teach abroad options and on-campus global learning opportunities. Students can earn academic credit while adding volunteer hours to their resumes through the Chile program study in Viña del Mar. The schools help them afford it through 11 different university-sponsored academic and study abroad scholarships.
12. Elon University in Elon, NC
Points Awarded: 23
Net Cost: $33,450
Program Cost: Starting at $1,600 for domestic short-term trips. Longer program costs include Elon tuition, international health insurance, a study abroad fee and additional fees depending on the program housing and airfare.
Founded in 1889, Elon University is a mid-sized private university with a 60 percent acceptance rate, 6,008 undergraduate students and more than 60 undergraduate majors. The Princeton Review has ranked Elon No. 1 for study abroad, and more undergraduate students study abroad at this university than any other master’s level school in the nation.
About 74 percent of the student population takes part in short-term and semester-long study abroad programs offered in partnership with abroad organizations, the Independent Elon Program Abroad (IEPA) where students find their own independent study or internship abroad, or one of the many semester exchange, affiliate and external provider programs. The Isabella Cannon Global Education Center is Elon’s center for international activity. It facilitates more than 35 innovative short-term programs during Thanksgiving break, winter, spring break and summer. These semester-long courses are taught on campus, but are followed up with a travel component. Only a small number of programs have a language requirement, and volunteer/service opportunities are available through programs like the Winter Term service-learning study abroad course to Kerala, India, which includes an intense service-learning project in collaboration with local high school students. While program costs vary, Elon sponsors nine different scholarships for study abroad.
11. State University of New York at Geneseo in Geneseo, NY
Points Awarded: 24
Net Cost: $16,271
Program Cost: Tuition at the current SUNY per-credit or per-semester rate, plus the individual program fee and related costs (airfare is included in this fee for some programs)
Founded in 1871, SUNY Geneseo is a public liberal arts college in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York with 54 undergraduate majors and various dual-degree and international programs. About 5,500 undergraduate students are enrolled at Geneseo, who enjoy a 19:1 student-faculty ratio and about 600 international study programs in 65 countries, leading over 400 students overseas to study abroad annually.
Students at Geneseo enjoy the benefit of being able to study abroad through any SUNY institution program, and Geneseo alone offers a variety of locations based in 37 different countries. Those from any major looking to study abroad have a few options, such as the semester programs where they attend an international university as a visiting student, enrolling in classes at the host university and transferring a minimum of 12-credits back to Geneseo. Another option is the semester exchange programs through one of the university’s partners, easily transferring credits earned. During summer, intersession or spring break, students can partake in short-term faculty-led programs where they supplement a Geneseo course with international travel. The duration is dependent on the number of credit hours in each course. One interesting example is a 7-week student teaching placement in Kumasi, the largest city in Ashanti, Ghana. Similar to the semester programs, Geneseo also offers short-term host institution trips in the summer, such as Humanities II in Prague and Vienna, a one-month, multi-country, 4-credit humanities course.
10. University of San Diego in San Diego, CA
Points Awarded: 24
Net Cost: $35,950
Program Cost: Specific program fee, application fee, plus the current on-campus tuition rate for semester programs or $700/unit for all Intersession, SYE and Summer programs
The University of San Diego is a private, Catholic institution located on 180 acres of a canyon overlooking Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean that has a Carnegie classification of “Doctoral/Research University”. The 5,711 undergraduate students at USD can choose from 43 bachelor’s degree programs, and more than two-thirds of these students participate in the school’s study abroad programs.
In 2015, USD earned the Sen. Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization. USD’s Office of International Studies Abroad runs the university’s first permanent international location, the USD Madrid Center, which is within walking distance of Gran Via and Atocha and supports a semester abroad program that offers similar undergraduate courses and on-site support from USD faculty and staff. In this program, students get to immerse themselves in the culture by living in homestays and participating in the Travel Seminar throughout Spain. Transferable academic credit is offered through year, semester, summer term and January intersession programs in more than 80 cities around the world. Those spending a semester abroad can earn 12 to 18 credits after their sophomore year and can participate in research, internships, community service learning, practicums and student teaching while abroad. The Second Year Experience Abroad program allows sophomores to complete curriculum courses in Florence, Italy or Auckland, New Zealand during the January intersession. USD’s notable Semester at Sea is unlike any other abroad experiences on this list. The multi-city, 100-day ship voyage makes about 12 to 14 ports of call, and students can enroll in courses covering the environment, population, foreign policy and relationships and economics, all in the context of the nations they visit.
9. The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Points Awarded: 24
Net Cost: $37,404
Program Cost: GW fixed-tuition rate and a per-semester study abroad program tier fee for semester/year programs, with additional out-of-pocket expenses, depending on the tier
Chartered by an Act of Congress in 1821, The George Washington University is a private research university with more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states, Washington D.C. and 130 different countries. The largest institution of higher education in D.C., GW offers three campuses, 10 schools, 100 research centers, six libraries, over 475 student groups, a fixed-tuition policy and an increasingly-international campus.
GW offers its abroad-interested students the noteworthy Global Bachelor’s Program, which is designed for top students in the Columbian College, Elliott School and the School of Business to spend multiple semesters abroad as a curriculum requirement for earning their degree. The program provides finishers with the Global Bachelor’s designation on their GW transcript. It is earned via a cohort spring semester abroad at Fudan University in Shanghai, followed by two personally-chosen international experiences. One of these can be a 10-week full-time international internship during the summer term or semester of leave. It’s no surprise that half of GW’s undergraduate students study abroad, considering they’re able to earn up to 17 easily transferrable credits during one semester overseas, or they can take summer, fall, winter or spring courses with international components led by faculty and lasting one to six weeks and including multi-country options. Students can also choose a GW Undergraduate Exchange program with volunteer and internship opportunities or one of the Study Programs in Chile, England, France and Spain.
8. Earlham College in Richmond, IN
Points Awarded: 25
Net Cost: $23,258
Program Cost: Equivalent of on-campus tuition, fees, room and board for all programs, not including airfare
Established in 1847, Earlham College is a private liberal arts college with a 62 percent acceptance rate, 1,031 undergraduate students, over 40 different courses of study for its BA programs, a 9:1 student-faculty ratio and average class size of 13.5. Earlham began its study abroad programs more than 50 years ago, and 70 percent of graduates participate in off-campus study.
The Princeton Review’s “The Best 380 Colleges: 2016 edition” places Earlham in the No. 9 spot for its premier study abroad programs, operated through the Center for Global Education. All programs are open to students in any academic field at the college, but they do come with a more-involved selection process, which includes an interview with the program leader or campus rep and a final selection through the student and faculty committee. Currently, 11 different semester and year-long programs are available for the fall and spring semesters to Ecuador, France/Senegal, Germany/Austria, Tucson, AZ (Border Studies), Japan (two programs), India, London, Greece, Middle East/Jordan, New Zealand and Spain through which students can earn 12 to 18 credits toward a degree. Several off-campus May Term classes are also available annually like Sustainable Cities in Europe; Perspectives on Immigration & Diversity in Berlin; 5-credit Icelandic Field Studies with fall and spring components and Biological Research: Bahamas Iguanas. While in the Bahamas study abroad program, students get to live, eat and sleep on board the sailing vessel Beacon, but will spend 11 hours a day completing research on the islands during this 10-day excursion.
7. American University in Washington, D.C.
Points Awarded: 25
Net Cost: $34,812
Program Cost: Traditional tuition for all AU Abroad programs or on a per-credit basis for summer programs in addition to individual programs fees, which may cover the costs of housing, meals, books, local transportation, excursions and orientation (airfare not included)
American University is a private doctoral university in the northwest portion of the district with a liberal arts curriculum, 12:1 student-faculty ratio, more than 7,000 undergraduate students and 68 academic bachelor’s degree programs. AU offers more than 100 study abroad programs to the 71.1 percent of undergraduates who take advantage of education overseas.
Even after airfare, passport and required visa fees, about 46 percent of AU’s semester-long study abroad programs cost less than or equal to traditional attendance, and more than half of the university’s global education programs do not have a language requirement. AU has created an opportunity for students in every academic major to earn credit toward their degree through study abroad excursions that can be as short as 12 days (a graduate program) and as long as a full year. Four-week “Maymester” and 6-week study abroad programs are available as well, like the 6-credit School of Public Affairs’ Politics, Policy and Law (PPL) experience. AU operates premier International Centers in Belgium, Kenya and Spain, each of which offers a variety of programs that range from five weeks to a full semester. At these centers, students can study language or other topics like Clashes and Alliances of Mediterranean Civilizations and Environment and Human Health in Nairobi. The Iberian Experience Program at AU Madrid takes students on a multi-country exploration of culture, history, politics and society of the Iberian peninsula with multiple academic field trips in Spain and Portugal.
6. Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY
Points Awarded: 4rec 3sch 6len 3dep 3mgm 6typ 1ex – 25
Net Cost: $30,727
Program Cost: Standard Syracuse University semester tuition plus a variable program fee, which covers orientation, required Signature Seminar travel and lodging, cultural activities, housing, some meals, the International Student ID Card and general field trips that are open to all students. Students pay the university’s per-credit tuition fee for summer programs for three to nine credits
Founded in 1870, Syracuse University is a private research university comprised of 13 schools and colleges that offers more than 200 majors and 100 minors to its student population of 15,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students from every U.S. state and 123 countries. Syracuse has ranked among the schools with the highest-quality study abroad programs on lists from The Princeton Review, College Rank and more.
In operation since 1959, Syracuse Study Abroad sends 2,000 students overseas each year through one of its extensive abroad centers, travel seminars, graduate internships abroad and theme-based programs, like the currently featured Exploring Central Europe: History, Memory, and Identity Across Borders. In this program, students travel to Prague, Budapest, Berlin, Krakow, Bratislava and Vienna to complete comparative study through a 3-credit Signature Seminar, Negotiating Identities Across Europe’s Borders, and eight other courses (only two are required). The university’s seven overseas centers in Beijing, Florence, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Santiago and Strasbourg are managed by an academic director and bicultural support staff and have close ties with other local institutions. This allows students to combine their off-campus study with coursework offered elsewhere and design integrated programs. Students have access to nine named SU Scholarships for semester programs with an average award of $804.
5. Arcadia University in Glenside, PA
Points Awarded: 26
Net Cost: $26,632
Program Cost: Each program has a specific base fee, airfare, extra expenses and potential additional fees for special courses
Founded in 1853, Arcadia University is a private, global university and a pioneer in international education. It has six colleges and schools in the U.S. and 10 centers and offices around the world. Arcadia has 4,000 students, 3,000 of whom participate in study abroad, a National Historic Landmark on campus, a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and about 35 fields of study.
The College of Global Studies offers an incredibly extensive network of school-operated study away programs and physical global centers in nine cities: Athens, Barcelona, Cape Town, Dublin, Edinburgh, Granada, London, Melbourne and Rome. These centers have teaching/learning spaces, classrooms, administrative offices and resources libraries in addition to acting as hubs for student activity and community engagement abroad. Internship opportunities are available at most centers. Arcadia’s faculty and staff support over 130 programs in 12 different countries, and the website’s convenient search tool helps curious students find exactly what they need, as well as some unique programs they didn’t know existed. Those looking for an experience that stretches beyond academic credit simply put a check in the box to find awesome internships, volunteer opportunities and added field research, like the summer 2017 Trasimeno Archaeology Field School, through which students earn six academic credits in addition to completing six weeks of field research, for a total less than $10,000.
4. Webster University in St. Louis, MO
Points Awarded: 26
Net Cost: $23,490
Program Cost: STL tuition, plus an individual program fee, a study abroad fee, airfare, food and other out-of-pocket expenses
Founded in 1915, Webster University is a private, nonprofit worldwide institution with a plethora of undergraduate majors and minors, as well as nearly 17,000 students studying online and at campus locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. With a globalized curriculum as its distinctive hallmark, every Webster student experiences a global learning component, and the university’s strategic plan is titled, “Global Impact for the Next Century”.
With its heavy focus on molding global citizens, the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) at Webster University–St. Louis administers great study abroad experiences for undergraduates that are as short as one 8-week summer or semester term or as long as a full academic year abroad. This is possible thanks to the university’s international campus acquisitions that began with Webster University-Geneva in 1978 and followed with Webster-Vienna, Leiden, Cha-am, Accra, Webster-Athens and Webster-Florence, the last of which opened in 2015. At any of these abroad campuses, term and semester study abroad students can enjoy various dynamic course offerings, which depend on which faculty members are assigned to the campus. Webster Vienna has covered subjects like psychology, business and the general education global citizenship program (GCP). Short-term faculty-led excursions are also available in conjunction with their own semester-long online courses like Cuba Today: Documenting Art and Culture. Webster academic tuition scholarships, federal loans, and grants do apply to semester and year students studying abroad at a Webster campus, and the university sponsors five study abroad scholarships that offer awards like a free roundtrip plane ticket or 20 percent of summer tuition.
3. University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN
Points Awarded: 27
Net Cost: $29,415
Program Cost: Short-term program cost is comparable to on-campus tuition, not including airfare; semester and year-long program costs vary and do not include airfare
Founded in 1885, University of St. Thomas is a private Catholic university with more than 90 undergraduate and 60 graduate programs available to its nearly 10,000 students. The urban St. Thomas campuses in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Rome, as well as approximately 150 study abroad programs in more than 50 countries around the world.
Since making the purchase in 1999, UST operates its own student-accommodating Bernardi Campus, which is in the Prati neighborhood on the west bank of the Tiber River at Lungotevere delle Armi in Rome, Italy. This campus included, the university personally sponsors over 130 programs in more than 40 countries worldwide, with semester, year-long and short-term programs for every major, leading more than 70 percent of each class to travel before graduating. Examples of faculty-led semester programs include the London Business Semester, Rome CORE Semester, SJV Semester in Rome and Catholic Studies Semester in Rome. To expand its offerings beyond even the Summer and January Term programs, the university is a member of the Upper Midwest Association for Intercultural Education (UMAIE), a group of Upper Midwest schools that collaborates to lead courses and increase the school’s global reach. One of UST’s programs, Mathematics and Mechanics of Byzantine, Greek, Roman, and Islamic Architecture, takes students on a one-of-a-kind multi-country adventure.
2. New York University in New York, NY
Points Awarded: 27
Net Cost: $35,106
Program Cost: Regular tuition and registration fees for full-time NYU students at a global location as long as the student is enrolled in 12-18 points. Average tuition for a 4-credit summer/J-Term course is around $5,000 for undergraduates, plus food, housing, airfare and a program fee
Considered one of the world’s most influential research universities, New York University was established in 1831 and is now one of the largest private universities in the country, offering its 57,245 students nearly any degree program one could think of and an urban Washington Park campus in the center of the Big Apple. NYU students, who come from every state and 133 foreign countries, can earn degrees at the university’s Abu Dhabi and Shanghai campuses. The school also operates 11 global academic centers and research programs in more than 25 countries.
NYU has advanced as a global educator compared to many of the schools on this list because of the sheer presence across the world that this university has planted and made so accessible to its students, that they have the option to earn a full degree abroad in Abu Dhabi or Shanghai. The Shanghai campus is unique because it is the first Sino-US joint venture university approved by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China with independent legal person status. Both global campuses run on the same liberal arts curriculum in English as that in NYC. NYU undergrads utilize the Global Study Planner and choose to leave their home campus for a year, semester, or a Summer Session which is offered in three, six , and 12-week courses worth 3 to 8 academic credits. The January Term is an 18-day program with more than 100 courses available. Unlike most other schools on this list, NYU first-year students are strongly encouraged to consider completing their freshman core classes at one of the following locations: Florence, London, Paris or Washington, D.C.
1. Goucher College in Baltimore, MD
Points Awarded: 28
Net Cost: $30,662
Program Cost: Regular Goucher tuition, plus anywhere from around $2,000 to almost $12,000, depending on the program
Founded in 1885, Goucher College is a private, liberal arts college and graduate school known for innovation with just under 1,500 undergraduate students, 33 majors and one pre-med program. In Fall 2006, Goucher became the first liberal arts college in the nation to require all undergraduates to study abroad at least once before graduatio. It’s no surprise then, that U.S. News & World Report’s list of “most students studying abroad” ranks Goucher at 100 percent.
Today, the school offers more than 60 study abroad programs in 32 countries. The school’s website states, “If we’re going to require that all undergraduates study abroad during their college career, then we better know what we’re doing,” and boy, do they. Students at Goucher can choose from short-term, semester and year-long study abroad programs, as well as Intensive Courses Abroad (ICAs), which are three-week faculty-led, living-learning experiences during summer and winter breaks that require an application and precourse. The variety of Goucher’s abroad opportunities is expansive. Just a few example programs are Arab Cinemas, Cultures, and Identities in Nazareth; a semester of studying anything from Africana studies to business at Ashehsi University in Ghana; and a full year of undergraduate courses at Ireland’s University College Cork where participants can study anything from music to law and Celtic civilization.