Program Types

When reviewing program locations and options on the Approved Programs list, it is helpful to have an understanding of the different program types available so that you may choose a program that is best suited for you academically, socially, and/or culturally.

Direct Enrollment
Allows students to enroll directly in a local university in the study abroad host country, and study alongside local students. It offers a culturally immersive experience, and students work with the study abroad institution for student visa application processes, course selection and registration, housing, etc. Returned students who chose to direct enroll say:

"SOAS allows for students to enroll directly into the school; so, while you are plugged into the study abroad community - of which is quite vast - you can also take any courses available to term-time students and live in apartments or dorms shared by students. SOAS' curriculum is particularly strong in its work in Asian and African studies, and you'll find not only many study abroad students, but also innumerable international students as well."

— Yena Oh ’16, School of Russian and Asian Studies at University of Moscow, Russia  

 Yena Oh '16

“Keio University International Program (KIP) offers opportunities to not only develop your Japanese skills through intensive language courses, but also to take unique courses related to Japanese culture, history, and society alongside Japanese students. Living in a student dormitory near Yokohama fully immerses you in the local daily life, as it forces you to take the commuter trains in the morning and to buy your own groceries in the numerous convenience stores and supermarkets.”

— Kathy Tran ’16, Keio University International Program, Japan

Facilitated Direct Enrollment 
Allows students to use the services of a pre-approved program that facilitates direct enrollment in local university classes, but student support services (e.g. orientation, cultural outings and excursions, advising, etc.) and, in some cases, housing to program participants. Returned students who chose a facilitated direct enrollment program say: 

“I was always set on studying abroad at Oxford, but needed to choose between a direct enrollment program and a facilitated direct enrollment program. One of the main reasons why I chose IFSA-Butler’s Worcester College facilitated direct enrollment program at Oxford was because of the tremendous support network provided by IFSA: I had an office full of advisers, British and American, who were there to support me if I were ever to encounter any struggles academically or even socially. They also hosted a weekend trip in Wales—included as part of the program—where I was able to go hiking and mountain biking with other study abroad students in England, an opportunity that I likely would not have had if I had only direct enrolled!”

— Sam Wallace-Perdomo ’16, IFSA-Butler University of Oxford, Worcester College, United Kingdom

Sam Wallace-Perdomo '16

"Before coming to college I was set on studying abroad in Italy.  As a freshman in Italian Aa, I began making inquiries about recommended programs, and everyone I talked to said the same thing: Brown in Bologna is far and away the best.  After studying in Milan and Siena with Harvard Summer School, I returned to campus my junior fall ready to apply for my semester abroad.  Even though I researched other programs, the facilitated direct enrollment was an aspect of the Brown in Bologna program I could not turn down.  The best way to put it is that you are getting the best of both worlds.  I was just like any other student at the prestigious University of Bologna, while simultaneously being supported by the team from Brown.  They were indispensable to me during my time abroad, as they eased my transition to the European university system.  Not to mention the sense of community and family they created for us through excursions, hosting three-course meals (often times in their own homes!), and their willingness to be there for us at all hours of the day."

— Lucía Beatriz de Bernardo '16, Brown in Bologna, Italy

Third-Party Provider or Island Programs
Allows students to take courses only offered by the study abroad program, alongside other US college students participating on the program. This kind of program is designed for US college students and follows the US academic calendar. It often has a specific thematic, language, cultural, or academic focus. There may be less flexibility in course options, and different academic concentrations may not be served equally. Returned students who chose a third-party provider program say:

"Studying abroad at the John Felice Rome Center offered me many opportunities to explore my passion for history. The cultural studies program organized various study trips to destinations around Italy and the rest of Europe throughout the semester. As a student at the Rome Center, I attended two separate study trips in southern Italy and Tuscany. The WWII-themed trip to southern Italy examined significant WWII sites with the guidance of two West Point military historians, while Sienna and the surrounding Tuscan countryside offered a look into medieval Italian history.”

 — John Jeffers ’16, Loyola University Chicago in Rome, Italy

John Jeffers '16

"Through the IHP program, I traveled to India, South Africa, and Brazil, and visited Delhi, Cape Town, and Sao Paulo, respectively. In each country, we lived in the city for three weeks and in a rural area for one week, which gave us both an urban and a rural perspective of each country. Since the focus of the program is on global health, we visited hospitals across all three countries. Another unique part of the program is our coursework on ethnographic research, which provided us with the tools to engage in a case study that examined an overarching global health theme across the three locations. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the program was living with four different host families across three countries, which made for a more local and authentic experience." 

— Jen Liu ’16, SIT International Honors Program, India, South African, and Brazil

Jen Liu '16

Allows students to participate on a third-party provider/island program, and combine courses taught by the program with local university courses. This kind of programs generally offers more student support than a direct enroll program, and there is typically more flexibility in terms of course offerings. Returned students who chose a hybrid program say:

“I chose the Columbia in Paris program at Reid Hall because I wanted an immersion experience with a strong advising safety net. While it was amazing to have an opportunity to take classes with French professors and students at the Sorbonne, it was equally great to have advisers who really understand both the French and American system and who were able to help me as such. After my semester abroad, I can confidently say that I advanced fluency in French, and feel prepared to go back for further study!”

— Sean Hardy ’16, Columbia University in Paris at Reid Hall, France

Sean Hardy '16

“The Consortium for Advanced Studies in Barcelona, or CASB, was my first choice for study abroad because it offered me the opportunity to integrate myself into Spanish society and improve my Spanish skills, but it also enabled me to begin to understand the Catalan language and culture. I definitely think that the opportunity to study in Barcelona was unique, as CASB ensured that we were introduced to Catalan while engaging in substantial work in Spanish as well.”

— Kia Turner ’16, Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad in Barcelona, Spain

Kia Turner '16