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Study Abroad Program Types

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 Faculty-Led Programs

In faculty-led programs, a group of IWU students studies abroad under the guidance of an IWU faculty member. Semester-lengthiwuspain faculty-led programs are the IWU London Program , offered each fall, and the IWU Spain Program , offered each spring. May Term Travel Courses  are a form of short-term faculty-led study abroad, lasting a maximum of three weeks.  May Term offerings change from year to year.

Our faculty-led programs are generally best suited to students seeking the shared curriculum or elective credit, though it is also possible for students to fulfill major or minor requirements, depending on the program and the student’s course of study.  So, for example, all IWU London courses fulfill the shared curriculum requirements. IWU Spain offers the Shared Curriculum classes as well, but also offers courses for nursing majors and students pursuing a major or minor in Hispanic Studies. The kind of credit students earn on a May Term Travel Course varies from course to course.

                     All credit earned on an IWU faculty-led program is IWU credit.

pembroke Pembroke Program

IWU is among an exclusive group of US universities that send students for a year of study at Pembroke College, one of the 38 colleges that constitute Oxford University.  Each year, Pembroke College accepts approximately 40 American students for a junior year of study.

The Pembroke Program is highly selective and best suited to students who are self-directed and both willing and able to dedicate a full year toward the study of only one discipline. Credit earned on the Pembroke Program is guaranteed to transfer to IWU. Students can have courses pre-approved as major or minor credit; if a course is not pre-approved, it transfers in as elective credit towards graduation.

Affiliated Programs

Affiliated programs are run by other US universities or by a not-for-profit education organization. IWU has carefully selected 8 study abroad programs with which to partner: Arcadia University, CIEE, College Year in Athens, DIS Abroad, IES Abroad, IFSA-Butler, Studio Arts Center International (SACI) in Florence, and the School of International Training (SIT).

Through these affiliated organizations, we are able to offer our students study abroad options around the world and in a variety of formats.

Depending on the affiliate and each student’s academic needs, IWU students can study with peers from other US universities at a study abroad center, can take classes exclusively at an overseas university, or can take a mix of classes at a study abroad center and local university.

In a center-based program, students take coursework designed specifically for US students and taught by local faculty. Studentstanzania study at an academic study center rather than at a host university, and courses will be taught in English or another language, depending on the program location and each student’s language proficiency.  Examples of a center-based program include the DIS programs in Copenhagen and Stockholm and the College Year in Athens program.

For students who want more independence or self-direction, there are direct enrollment options through our affiliates. In these programs, students directly enroll in classes at an overseas university. All courses are taken at the university with local students.  Arcadia and IFSA-Butler specialize in direct enrollment programs.

Many students want to take classes both with other US students and at a local university. For them, our affiliates offer several hybrid programs, in which the student takes at least one course at the program provider’s study center with other study abroad students and at least one course at a local university with local students. Examples of hybrid programs are IES’s Study London Program and CIEE’s program in Dakar, Senegal.

And for students who want more of a hands-on or field-based experience, there are experiential programs. These types of programs forego the familiar campus- or center-based model and 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, during which they will engage in field study. Students in such programs generally take all their courses with a cohort of students from different US universities, but they also work with not-for-profit organizations, community groups, and/or local researchers. SIT offers experiential programs.

All credit earned on an approved affiliated program is guaranteed to transfer to IWU. Students can have courses pre-approved as major, minor, and/or the shared curriculum credit; if a course is not pre-approved, it transfers in as elective credit towards graduation.

tokyoExchange Programs

Exchange programs are a form of university-sponsored direct enrollment. In a traditional exchange program, students from the partner institutions "exchange" places, each paying the tuition and fees of the home school. IWU has exchange agreements with Keio University in Tokyo, Japan; Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco and the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong.

Keio University is one of the top universities in Asia, and a semester or year at Keio allows IWU students to study Japanese language while taking English-language courses in Japanese culture and history, world politics, business, economics, religion, communications, and other subjects.

Located about one hour from Fez, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, is a small American-style university—very similar to IWU. Al Akhawayn has particularly strong offerings in Arabic and North African Studies, business and economics, and engineering.

IWU’s newest Exchange partner, the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, is a specialized business college founded in 1980 with funding from Hang Seng Bank. With an undergraduate population of about 5000, it offers specialized coursework in various business disciplines (e.g., accounting, finance, management), as well as Chinese language and a select curriculum of the shared curriculum courses.  Coursework is taught in English.

As with affiliated programs, all credit earned on an approved exchange program is guaranteed to transfer to IWU.  Students can have courses pre-approved as major, minor, and/or the shared curriculum credit; if a course is not pre-approved, it transfers in as elective credit towards graduation.

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