Types of Study Abroad Programs
Study abroad programs come in many shapes and sizes; each type of program offers students a wonderful experience, but you might find that you are more comfortable with one type than with another.
IWU London and IWU Spain: An “island” program is a program designed by an American institution, directed by that home institution’s faculty, taught by faculty paid by that institution, consisting of courses approved by that school, and offered to students from that home school. IWU’s London and Spain programs are island programs.
Pembroke College, Oxford University: IWU is among a selective group of U.S. colleges and universities able to send students to Oxford's Pembroke College as Visiting Students for the year. Pembroke has approximately 400 students, and each year accepts 40 American students for a junior year of study.
Center-Based or "Island" Program: Center-based programs are designed by an American institution--sometimes a college or university, but often an organization that specializes in study abroad--that offers college-level coursework designed specifically to US students and taught by local faculty. Students study at an academic study center rather than at a host university, and coursework is generally taught in English, though some programs also offer language and culture programs for students with advanced language proficiency. Examples of a center-based program include the DIS program in Copenhagen and the College Year in Athens program.
Hybrid Program: IWU offers several hybrid programs through our affiliates. In a hybrid program, a student will take at least one course at the program provider’s study center (see Center-Based Programs, above) and at least one course at a local university. Courses at the study center will be taken with other US study abroad students and will be taught by faculty who work for the program provider; courses at the university will be taken with host national students and will be taught by regular faculty from that university. Examples of hybrid programs are IES’s Study London Program and CIEE’s program in Dakar, Senegal.
Direct Enrollment Program: Students participating in a direct enrollment program directly enroll in classes at a local university. All courses are taken at the university with host national students. AustraLearn and IFSA-Butler specialize in direct enrollment programs.
Experiential Program: Experiential programs forego the familiar campus- or center-based model and instead seek to immerse students in the culture. Such programs will often have a “base” of study but will take students to different locations throughout the country for extended periods. Students in such programs generally take all their courses with a cohort of American students from different universities. SIT offers experientially based programs.
In a traditional exchange program, students from the partner institutions "exchange" places, each paying the tuition and fees of the home school.
IWU Keio Exchange : IWU has an exchange agreement with Keio University in Tokyo. One of the top universities in Asia, a semester or year at Keio allows IWU students to study Japanese language while taking English-taught courses in Japanese culture and history, world politics, business, economics, religion, communications, and other subjects.
IWU Morocco Exchange : IWU has a student exchange program with Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI), Morocco. The program affords IWU students a special opportunity to live and study in Morocco at an American-style university while earning general education and discipline-specific credit. AUI has particularly strong offerings in Arabic and North African Studies, business and economics, and engineering.
IWU Lingnan Exchange: IWU recently partnered with Lingnan University in Hong Kong. A small liberal arts-style university in Hong Kong's New Territories, Lingnan offers a wide range of English-taught courses in such fields as business, economics, politics, Chinese language and culture, religion, philosophy, and sociology.