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Academic Year & Semester Programs

The typical study abroad experience is found in a year or semester abroad program. These programs are very similar in many ways, the only major difference being the length of time spent abroad. Academic year programs typically follow the traditional “junior year abroad” model, where students spend a full academic year immersed in another culture and language. All of your classes for that academic year are conducted abroad and you live and work as though you have truly relocated your education to that country. These programs are ideal for students who are confident in their ability to thrive while living abroad and want to commit to an eight to nine month program. If that length of time seems a bit daunting, a semester abroad program may be a better fit for you.

Semester abroad programs are very similar to year abroad programs; you’re classes for that semester are conducted abroad and you live in your destination city for the entire semester. However, these programs typically only last four to five months. This program type is great for students who want to test the waters of studying abroad. If you aren’t ready for the full commitment of an entire year, but you still want a complete, enriched experience, than a semester program might be what you are looking for.

“Studying abroad adds another level to your college experience. It takes you out of your element and places you in a place where you are less comfortable, enabling you to learn in a new way. Experiencing other cultures around the world broadens your knowledge base and teaches you to think and live differently. It is so important, today, to have a solid understanding of different cultures, and I think sending students abroad is an easy way to set up our generation to be a more globally-minded society.”

 

—Emily O’Hara, studied abroad in London, England

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