Choosing a Program

There are different types of study abroad programs; one is not necessarily better than the others.

  • A stand-alone program: all courses are arranged for a group of U.S. students and taught by local faculty.
  • A direct-enroll program at a foreign university: students take all courses at the university with host institution students.
  • A combination program: courses are arranged for the group by the program sponsor, plus the student, enrolls in one or two courses at a foreign university.
  • Experiential field-based program: students enroll in one or two seminar courses based on a specific topic along with language and research method courses. The semester culminates in a research paper and presentation of an independent study project.
  • There additional types of programs that are not easily categorized in the above descriptions, such as the shipboard programs of SeaSemester. Get more information on specific programs at our office.

For more information on programs approved by our faculty committee, please see our page on approved programs.


  • Consider the type of experience you seek: cultural immersion, language acquisition, thesis research and/or internships.
  • Consider which site will contribute the most to you academically and personally. See assistance with this consideration from your professors.
  • Pay particular attention to program philosophy and design: US classmates versus local students? Cultural integration? Fieldwork? Internships?
  • What are your housing options on the program?
  • What is the academic calendar of your program? In the Southern Hemisphere, fall semester at universities is mid-July to mid-November and spring semester is mid-February to mid-July.
  • What extracurricular and cultural activities would you available?
  • Read your CMC email from the Center for Global Education (CGE).
  • Attend a mandatory meeting.
  • Make an appointment to speak with the director or assistant director of CGE.
  • Meet with program representatives when they visit CMC.
  • Consult program brochures and websites on-line and in the Center for Global Education.
  • Discuss your plans and goals with faculty.
  • Meet with study abroad alumni and international students from the host region for additional information.