Study Abroad Program Types
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 Faculty-Led Programs
In faculty-led programs, a group of IWU students studies abroad under the guidance
of an IWU faculty member. Semester-length 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.
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 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
In a center-based program, students take coursework designed specifically for US students and taught by local
faculty. Students 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
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.