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A summer study abroad program may be the most convenient way for a college student to learn a language or take coursework overseas for college credit. Many summer abroad programs can be combined with an academic semester or full–year study abroad program for a more extensive study abroad experience. There are several summer abroad programs available, so if you decide a summer abroad is the best option for you, relax, you have several options! There are a number of ways to find the right program–and many things to consider in the process. First, you should do your homework and find out what options are out there.
If you're a U.S. student seeking to join a summer study abroad program in Europe, check out these destinations:
There are several types of summer study abroad program providers:
Consortia: These are groups of schools that pool their study abroad resources. A student from one school may attend a program sponsored by another school, and vice versa.
Providers: These are private entities that actively recruit outside students to study in their programs abroad.
Direct Enrollment: Many universities abroad, especially those that teach in English, engage in direct recruitment of U.S. study abroad students, particularly for summer abroad programs. They frequently set up special classes just for summer students, but also arrange classes for foreign students to study alongside local students. Offices on these campuses attend to student needs, process grades, and so forth.
Language Institutes: These schools specialize in intensive teaching of the host language. They also recruit U.S. students for summer study, but their programs are not always accepted for college-credit by U.S. schools.
If you are earning a degree at a school in the U.S., and you're making plans for your next year summer study abroad, make sure that any credit you earn through your summer program will apply toward your undergraduate degree. In other words, you want your overseas course to replace on-campus courses and count toward your degree requirements.
How can you find this out? Start by asking your academic advisor at your college, if the credits you will earn are transferable. You will also want to contact the staff of the summer study abroad program and let them know that you are interested in earning college credit for the program. While many schools have a list of approved summer study abroad program, most also have a process by which students can ask permission to study for credit at programs not on the list. If you are interested in a program that has not been approved, be aware that appeals like this can take time. Be sure to plan ahead.