Study Abroad—Choosing a Program
There are many types of study abroad programs. Each type of program has its advantages and drawbacks, but with such a wide variety of options to choose from, you will be able to find one which suits your personal and academic goals.
- Types of Study Abroad Programs:
- Direct Enrollment Programs
- Integrated Programs
- "Island" Programs
- Combined Programs
- Internship Programs
- Exchange Programs
- Direct Enrollment
- Perhaps the most intuitive way of studying abroad would be to enroll directly in an overseas university. Some institutions do allow U.S. students to enroll as visiting students. This is a challenging option because it requires a high degree of familiarity with the language and culture, as well as great amounts of self-reliance and resourcefulness. Direct enrollment can be very rewarding, but may not include many student services which are standard at the University of Rochester.
- Direct enrollment in an overseas university should be discussed carefully with a study abroad adviser and your faculty adviser, particularly if you are planning graduate or professional studies. If you enroll directly at a university that does not issue an American-style transcript, be sure to document successful completion of your program of study. If you are studying in a country other than Australia, Ireland, or the United Kingdom, you will have to have your transcript evaluated by the World Education Service (WES), at your own expense.
- Bring back syllabi and reading lists for each course, along with all your written work: notes, essays, research papers, examinations, and any available evaluations of your work by overseas faculty. The Center for Study Abroad will review these documents to determine whether to grant University of Rochester credit.
- Integrated Programs
- Integrated programs are arranged by a sponsoring American college or consortium, and allow you to enroll in a foreign university and take courses with regularly matriculated students. Courses are taught by faculty from the host institution, and you may also live with students from the host country, or with other international students.
- In non-English-speaking countries, these programs require a high level of language proficiency; approximately four or five semesters of college-level language study or the equivalent.
- An example of an integrated program is the IES program in Melbourne, Australia.
- The advantage of integrated programs is that they normally offer American-style transcripts, academic advising, and orientation programs to overseas students. For this reason, most students find that participating in an integrated program is more convenient than directly enrolling in a foreign university. Furthermore, integrated programs challenge students with a high degree of immersion in the foreign culture.
- "Island" Programs
- Island programs allow you to take courses that have been specifically created for the program. They are arranged by a sponsoring American college or consortium, and are taught either by faculty members of the home campus, or by host country faculty contracted for the individual courses. Courses may be taught in English, in the language of the host country, or both, but you do not have contact with host country students in the classroom. Instead, you study with other American college students on the program. You might share an apartment with these students, live in a residential hotel, or in a private home with a family or landlord/landlady. An example of an island program is the UR program in Arezzo, Italy. Most summer study abroad programs are island programs because most overseas universities do not offer regular courses during the summer. The main advantage of an island program is that it allows you to study in a non-English-speaking country even though you do not speak the language.
- Combined Programs
- Combined programs are a cross between island and integrated programs. They offer courses arranged for the study abroad students, as well as courses at an overseas university or institution. The advantage of a combined program is that it generally offers strong advising and will ease you into a foreign university system that can be unsettling if you speak the host country’s language well, but not fluently. The IES program in Paris is a combined program; students take IES “island” courses in French, but may take economics courses at the Institut Catholique, or literature courses at the Sorbonne.
- Internship Programs
- Many study abroad programs combine traditional academics with hands-on experience outside the classroom. In internship programs, you are placed in an internship and concurrently take courses which supplement the internship experience. Internships are offered in many fields, including politics, medical research, museum, theater, business, and media.
- If the internships are in non-English-speaking environments, you are expected to have completed the equivalent of four semesters of college-level language study. Internship programs provide academic credit and are not paid: most countries do not allow you to enter the country as a student and then obtain paid employment.
- The University of Rochester has excellent examples of internship programs in London, Edinburgh, Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, and Bonn/Cologne. Other programs offer opportunities for field research or independent study, which likewise take place outside of the classroom.
- Exchange Programs
- An exchange program allows you to study at a foreign institution in a way that is similar to an integrated program. However, the structure of the program is different because you are “trading places” with a student from the overseas university. While you study there, a student from that university spends the semester or the year studying here at Rochester. This opens up opportunities for cultural exchange both before and after your semester abroad, or even after your graduation from the University. UR currently has exchanges with Uppsala University in Sweden, Sussex University in the U.K., Meiji Gakuin University in Japan, and Braude College in Israel.
Finding a Program
Planning your overseas studies means finding a program which matches your goals and interests. The Center for Study Abroad has information about many programs, including reference books and web site that list study abroad programs available in each country (for example, Academic Year Abroad, published by the Institute of International Education).
As you distinguish the programs according to the models described previously, keep in mind the programs with which the University of Rochester has an established relationship.
Consult with a study abroad adviser before applying to programs. The Center for Study Abroad maintains a library of reference guides, catalogues, and brochures from a wide variety of study abroad programs, and staff members will help you choose a program.
A University of Rochester-sponsored program is one with which the University has a formal affiliation. The programs have been reviewed by the Faculty Committee on Study Abroad and are deemed to be of excellent academic quality. In most cases, these programs have hosted UR students for many years, and the program staff have become familiar with the academic interests, needs and strengths of UR students. UR offers more than 70 programs during the summer and the academic year.
How can you tell the difference between a UR-sponsored and a non-UR program? It’s easy. All UR programs have detailed descriptions on the UR study abroad web site.
- Why students choose UR-sponsored programs:
- UR programs are carefully selected by faculty to meet the needs of our students. UR faculty and administrators have particular in-depth knowledge of these programs' curricula through their own research interests or personal experience.
- Your grades from a UR-sponsored program will be shown on your transcript, although they will not be calculated into your GPA.
- Grades for courses taught by University of Rochester faculty appear on your transcript and are calculated into the GPA. This includes grades from faculty-led programs and the internship portion of the Internships in Europe Program.
- UR program applications are managed and coordinated by the Center for Study Abroad. Our office is the primary liaison between students and program sponsors.
- Elective transfer credit is automatic upon completion of coursework with a C or better (following normal College transfer credit guidelines).
- Any UR specific financial aid will follow you on your program. Students who participate in UR-sponsored programs are eligible for additional special scholarships.
Pick up program guides and applications for UR programs at the Center for Study Abroad.
The section below gives some information about the organizations, or consortia, which sponsor study abroad programs in more than one location.
- Internships in Europe: Educational Programmes Abroad
- The internship programs in Edinburgh, London, Madrid, Brussels, Berlin, Bonn, and Cologne are administered by Educational Programmes Abroad (EPA). The semester-long internships carry eight credit hours and students also take two courses carrying four credits each. The internship is graded by a University of Rochester faculty member on the basis of an analytic journal kept by the student and on an evaluation written by the internship supervisor. In addition to overseeing the academic programs, EPA’s European offices provide general assistance, program support, and assistance in housing placement. Summer internships are also available in Edinburgh, London, Bonn, and Brussels.
- Internships are open to students majoring in a wide variety of fields. You do not need a specialized background to apply for most internships. For more information, stop by the Center for Study Abroad and ask for a program guide. Visit the Internships in Europe site: http://www.rochester.edu/college/internships. The programs are open to second-semester sophomores, juniors and first-semester seniors. Summer programs are open to currently enrolled freshmen.
- Institute for the International Education of Students
- The University of Rochester is an affiliate of the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), which is a consortium of American colleges and universities. As a result, we offer many study abroad programs that are organized by IES. For further information, pick up an IES catalogue at the Center for Study Abroad and visit the IES Web site: www.iesabroad.org.
- The Council on International Educational Exchange
- The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) is an organization that sponsors study abroad programs in a variety of countries. As an affiliate institution, the University of Rochester offers a selected number of study abroad programs that are organized through CIEE. These programs are described among the UR-sponsored programs section. Sites include: Beijing, China; Nanjing, China; Prague, Czech Republic; Paris, France; Legon, Ghana; Budapest, Hungary; Amman, Jordan; Warsaw, Poland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Dakar, Senegal; Taipei, Taiwan, and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Program guides are available for each of these sites at the Center for Study Abroad. For more information, visit the CIEE web site: http://www.ciee.org.
- How to Apply
Non-UR programs are study abroad programs offered by other U.S. universities or institutions. UR students are permitted to go on most programs. The Institute of International Education publishes complete guides to all programs sponsored by American colleges and universities (see "Information Resources for Study Abroad"). These may be found in Lattimore 206. Contact the individual sponsors of these programs to get catalogues well in advance of your term abroad. You may find copies of brochures and catalogues for many programs in the Study Abroad Resource Library. You may also find programs by researching on the Internet.
- Why students choose Non UR-sponsored programs:
- Although the minimum overall GPA for applying to UR-sponsored programs is 2.8, many programs have more stringent requirements. Students may find they have more flexibility with non UR programs.
- For some students, particularly those who do not receive any merit or need-based scholarships from UR, the overall cost of the program may be lower.
- No college or university can offer a program in every country. Allowing students to choose from the more than 4,500 options available opens every possibility.
- You may be interested in a studying a language or topic not currently offered on a UR-sponsored program.
- Some non UR programs offer unique opportunities such as multi-country itineraries or rigorous, field-based research.
- You may wish to study directly at an institution or university with which the UR does not currently have an affiliation.
Direct Enrollment in a University Abroad
Direct enrollment in an overseas university should be discussed carefully with a study abroad adviser and your faculty adviser, particularly if you are planning graduate or professional studies. If you enroll directly at a university that does not issue an American-style transcript, take the following steps to ensure that your credit will be transferred:
- Submit a Proposal for Direct Enrollment in an Overseas Institution (available in Lattimore 206) to the Faculty Committee on Study Abroad by February 1 for the following academic year. The committee will review the proposals and notify you of its decision by March 1.
- In order to receive University of Rochester credit for your overseas coursework, be sure to document successful completion of the program of study outlined in your proposal. If you are studying in a country other than Australia, Ireland, or the United Kingdom, you will have to have your transcript evaluated by the World Education Service (WES), at your own expense. Bring back syllabi and reading lists for each course, along with all your written work: notes, essays, research papers, examinations, and any available evaluations of your work by overseas faculty. The Center for Study Abroad will review these documents to determine whether to grant University of Rochester credit.
NOTE: You may not independently directly enroll in a college or university that is affiliated with any UR Program.
Learn more at the Study Abroad Expo!