Finding the program that will give you the best experience abroad can be difficult with all the options available. Below are some questions to ask yourself to help you narrow down your choices and find the program best suited to you.Once you've decided on where you would like to study abroad, go to the "Programs " tab on our main page and search by program name to learn more and begin your application.
Think about your GOALS:
What would you like to achieve during a semester, year, or summer abroad?
Are you mostly interested in . . .
Fluency in another language?
Studying something you can't study here?
Learning about another culture?
Getting course work in your major?
Or, a combination of these?
Think about CLASSES:
Do you want to study primarily your major or primarily the language and culture of another country? Maybe a combination of the two?
Do you want to study with mostly Americans and other international students, or would you prefer to study mostly with students from your host country?
Think about LOCATION:
What country or region interests you?
Do you have a language skill that you'd like to improve or know a culture that you want to learn more about?
Is there an academic interest that you'd like to explore?
Do you want to be in a small town, a university community, or a big city?
Do you care if you are in a warm or cold climate?
Is the location under a U.S. Department of State travel warning (access the following website to confirm: http://travel.state.gov/)? Please note the following policy regarding NC State students studying abroad in locations under a Travel Warning:
Students wishing to study abroad in a location with a current Travel Warning must petition the Study Abroad Office for special approval. Students must meet with their study abroad advisor to discuss their intended plans and initiate the petition process.
Think about LANGUAGE:
Do you want to study your subjects in a different language? If so, you must have completed level 202 in that language.
If you want to study in English, would you prefer studying in a country where the official language is English (for example, Australia, England, Ghana, and Hong Kong), or would you like to study on a program where you will do course work in your major in English (for example, Finland, the Netherlands, Japan, and Sweden)?
Think about the LIVING SITUATION:
Would you like to live in a dormitory, an apartment, or with a family?
Would you rather live with other Americans or with host country students?
Do you want to live alone or with other students?
Think about COST:
Is cost a primary concern?
Will you need a program in which you pay NC State Tuition? Some programs (such as Australia) may have a limited number of exchange spots, but can accept more students on a fee-paying basis. Remember when comparing cost information to look carefully at what is and is not included in the program fee (for instance, if one program fee includes housing and the other does not, you need to add in the cost of housing when looking at the second program).
Is it more important to pay normal tuition or to go to a specific location?
Answering the questions above will help you start to focus your search to find the programs which will be the best match for your interests and needs. Try making a list before looking at all the options. If you are not sure what program you want but can tell us what you want, we may be able to help you with suggestions of programs that may be suited to you. You may also wish to ask the program contact person if you can talk to previous participants in the program (fellow students are an excellent source of information!). Always remember, if you are unsure about your options listed, please ask us!
There are thousands of options available to you for study abroad. Here is a break down of the general categories of programs available to NC State students.
NC STATE EXCHANGE SEMESTER OR YEAR PROGRAMS
In an exchange program, a student from NC State and a student at a partner university trade places. You pay NC State tuition and fees and become a regular student in an overseas institution. Benefits include low cost (for in-state students), full immersion into the host culture, and a wide range of subjects and courses to choose from. Credit received for the classes appear as transfer credit on your transcript. These programs are semester or year programs (4-6 months/semester).
Direct Exchanges: Based on agreements directly between NC State and our partner institutions. Room and meal costs are paid abroad and vary according to the location, but are comparable to those at NC State.
ISEP Exchanges: Administered by the International Student Exchange Program. Students on ISEP programs pay room and board prior to leaving NC State and receive room and board free at their host institution.
UNCEP Exchanges: Programs with an exchange between the University of North Carolina system and groups of overseas institutions. Room and meal costs are paid abroad and vary according to the location, but are comparable to those at NC State.
NON-EXCHANGE (DIRECT ENROLL) SEMESTER OR YEAR PROGRAMS
NC State Direct Enrollment Programs: In some cases, when an exchange slot is not available at a partner university, students have the option of enrolling directly. In a direct enrollment program, the student pays tuition and fees to the school abroad, rather than NC State tuition and fees. Like exchange programs, students tend to participate on an individual (rather than group) basis, and choose from a wide range of courses. Credit received for the classes appears as transfer credit on your transcript.
NC State Group Programs: Students pay a fixed program cost for these programs. The cost always includes tuition, housing, and insurance, and depending on the program may also include some or all meals, airfare, or excursions. Classes are NC State classes, not transfer credit (except the Wales and Ghana semester programs). Examples: NC State summer programs, the Semester in Spain program, and the Prague Institute.
NC State Summer Programs are generally 4-6 weeks long, going with a group of students and led by a
Faculty Director from NC State.
Non-NC State Summer Programs vary, and you will need to contact individual program sponsors for specifics.
See the Non-NC State program information below for more information.
NC State students may study abroad through any program sponsored by a U.S. accredited institution, accredited third-party provider, or direct enrollment at an accredited institution overseas. Programs vary, and you will need to contact individual program sponsors for specifics. To apply for a non-NC State program you should submit the application materials to the Non-NC State program provider. Additionally, in order to remain enrolled at NC State during your time abroad, you should complete the
appropriate application for a Non-NC State Program. To assist in finding a program, references are available online such as:
Good Bets! A Few Non-NC State Program Options
You may find that none of the NC State programs fit your particular needs. NC State students may also study abroad
through any program sponsored by a U.S. accredited institution, accredited third-party provider, or direct
enrollment at an accredited institution overseas. Although there are numerous options and every student's needs are
different, we do have a few programs which we think are particularly worth pointing out because of their
reputation, unusual offerings, etc. We encourage you to check these options, yet be aware that you may find
that a program which is NOT on this list is a better option for you.
Please remember that we encourage you to consider ALL of your program options!
NC State will at times become affiliated with third-party study abroad program providers. These agreements serve as a means of strengthening our relationship with the program provider, thus improving the study abroad experience for students participating on affiliated programs. Some affiliated programs offer program discounts to our students, as well; please ask your Study Abroad Advisor for more details.
AustraLearn: Works with 19 universities in Australia and New Zealand, offering a wide range of semester/year programs and a selection
of summer programs.
AsiaLearn: Works with 8 universities in Asia, offering a wide range of semester/year programs and a selection of summer programs.
EuroLearn: Works with 9 universities in Europe, offering a wide range of semester/year programs and a selection of summer programs.
Facilitates direct enrollment at member institutions; students may enroll in any regular class at the institution
they attend, while program provider facilitates application, housing, and orientation.
The program is rather expensive compared to NC State exchanges, HOWEVER some scholarships are available
through AustraLearn; the programs are comparable in price (for tuition, housing, meals, and orientation) to the
cost of the NON-exchange NC State programs in Australia.
Offers a wide selection of semester/year and summer programs in Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Australia/New Zealand, and Asia. Most majors are available.
Wide variety of academic options, including programs which offer a broad selection of major & general education
courses, language courses (where appropriate), and internships for academic credit, as well as specialized programs
(Rain forest ecology in Costa Rica, Public Health in the Dominican Republic, Art and Archaeology in Tunisia, for example).
Programs combine courses at local universities with special courses designed for CIEE participants.
The program is rather expensive compared to NC State exchanges, HOWEVER a number of scholarships are offered by CIEE.
Offers semester/year programs taught IN ENGLISH in Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, International Business,
Marine Biology & Ecology, Medical Practice & Policy, and Architecture & Design. Summer options include
the above plus Arctic Biology & Geology program in Iceland, internship in London.
Located in the cosmopolitan, beautiful city of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Academically rigorous program which includes both specialized courses in the major and general education
courses focusing on the arts, humanities & social sciences of Scandinavia & Europe.
Emphasizes field study component - all courses include day trips related to coursework, each academic track
includes longer field trips in Denmark and/or other European countries.
Extensive & well-organized support services provided by resident staff in Copenhagen and in the U.S.
Housing options include living in Danish dormitories or host families.
The program is rather expensive compared to NC State exchanges, HOWEVER numerous scholarships are offered by
DIS and the fee is very comprehensive (includes tuition, housing, meals, all required excursions & field trips,
books & materials)
Courses are taught at the Centro de Lenguas Modernas at the University of Granada, Spain. The academic program
begins with a month-long intensive Spanish language course and students are then able to choose from a variety of
Spanish language and culture courses.
A number of activities and excursions both in Granada and around Spain are included in the program.
Students are housed in homestays with local families.
The program is rather expensive compared to NC State exchanges.
Offers a wide selection of semester/year and summer programs in Europe, Latin America, Australia, and Asia.
Most majors are available.
Academically rigorous program which includes major & general education courses, language courses (where
appropriate), and internships for academic credit.
Programs combine courses at local universities with special courses designed for IES participants.
All programs include resident staff and excellent support services in the U.S.
All programs include substantial orientation & field trip programs.
The program is rather expensive compared to NC State exchanges, HOWEVER all NC State participants in IES
semester/year programs are guaranteed a $1,500 scholarship and additional merit scholarships are offered by IES.
Research-oriented studies; students will be presented with real-life environmental problems from a variety of
perspectives. Lectures are combined with field work, offering the opportunity to see and work with the people and
ecosystems affected by the problem.
Offers seven field sites in Australia & New Zealand, Bhutan, Cambodia & Vietnam, Costa Rica, Kenya & Tanzania, Panama, Peru, and Turks & Caicos.
All SFS courses are accredited by Boston University, and you will receive a transcript from Boston U. Semester programs carry a total of 16 semester credits in Biology or Environmental Science, while summer programs carry a total of 4 credits.
Scholarships and interest free loans are available.
The program is rather expensive compared to NC State exchanges, HOWEVER, scholarships and interest free loans
are available, and SFS has historically awarded aid to one third of its participants.
Students work, study and live together at the field site, so there is less opportunity for intercultural exchange.
HOWEVER, although not typical "cultural abroads", SFS programs offer many opportunities for students to interact
with members of the local community. All SFS programs take place in natural resource dependent communities.
Offers roughly 60 semester programs in Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia, Australia & Oceania, North America, &
the Middle East, including many in countries where virtually no other study abroad programs are offered.
Programs offer a unique combination of components: an intensive on-site orientation; intensive language training
(most programs require no previous language study); a short homestay experience; an interdisciplinary seminar focusing
on background information and culture of the host country as well as the program theme (ecology, resource management,
peace studies, gender studies, arts & culture, ethnic studies, and social justice, to name but a few); a field study
methodology course, and an independent study developed by each student in cooperation with the resident director.
Academically rigorous program which allows each student both to absorb a great deal of information about the host
culture and the program's academic theme AND to develop a specialized knowledge of their chosen independent study topic.
Programs emphasize full immersion into the host country environment and culture.
All programs include resident staff and excellent support services in the U.S.
SIT awards more than $1 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students each year.
SIT is very different from most "traditional" study abroad programs; while ideal for the right student,
these programs are probably not appropriate for students who lack a clear focus, or who are interested in duplicating
course offerings available at NC State.
The program is rather expensive compared to NC State exchanges, HOWEVER numerous scholarships are available; and applications for ALL
SIT scholarships are particularly encouraged from public-university students.