Villanova University Study Abroad


The Office of International Studies works with students to help them find the program and location best suited to their academic interests and level of preparation for overseas living. While there is no set list of "approved programs", your study abroad advisor will work with you to determine which program is best for your needs.
The first step for studying abroad at Villanova is to attend a group information session with the Office of International Studies. The schedule for group information sessions can be found on the International Studies website: Attending a group information session is mandatory for all students interested in going abroad for the year, semester or on a non-Villanova summer program.
After the mandatory group information session, all individual meetings with OIS advisers are scheduled by calling the main office number at 610-519-6412.
Study Abroad Guide:

Choosing a Program:
Sign up for a group information session. The schedule for group information sessions can be found on the International Studies website:
Complete the Student Information Form and Pre-planning Questionnaire. You can find the forms at: Bring the forms with you to the first group information session.
Attend the group information session. Attending a group information session is mandatory for all students interested in going abroad for the year, semester or on a non-Villanova summer program to review basic Villanova study abroad academic and financial policies. (If you are planning to participate in a VU Summer Program, you do not need to attend the group information session. Just contact the faculty member who runs the program for more information.)
Schedule a meeting with a study abroad advisor. At the end of the information session, you will be assigned a study abroad advisor, who will remain your advisor throughout the entire study abroad process. Sign up at the front desk for your first meeting with your advisor. (Note that after the mandatory group information session, all individual meetings with OIS advisers are scheduled by calling the main office number at 610-519-6412.)
First meeting with study abroad advisor. This is where the process becomes more individualized. During the first meeting, you will meet with your advisor to begin and narrow down your options. While some majors have limited choices, many majors at Villanova allow you to study virtually anywhere in the world. Therefore, do some research before coming to the meeting. You should at least have an idea which region of the world you want to study in. In addition, the International Studies Office asks that you have a particular interest you would like to explore while studying abroad, be in to become more fluent in Spanish or to focus on your interest in photography. The particular interest also helps narrow down your search.
Do your homework. After the initial meeting, it is your responsibility to search through Villanova's database of where to study abroad at: While your study abroad advisor will help guide the process, in the end its up to you to find the right program for your needs.
Meet with your advisor again. Schedule another appointment with your advisor to finalize your study abroad options and make sure that your desired program fits all four of the International Office's criteria for study abroad programs:

  • Your study abroad program must be a non-profit organization - almost any overseas university will be a non-profit.
  • Your study abroad program must be linked to a non-US university - no studying at US campuses in exotic locations.
  • Your classes must be taught by non-US professors.
  • Your housing must be integrated into the host country - this could mean a home stay, dorm, or apartment or anything that allows you to live the way students live in that country.

Start the Paperwork Process:
If you do not already have one, apply for a passport. Make sure to apply early on in the process to ensure that you are able to obtain one in time for your departure.
Start your Prior Approval Form. Once you have decided on a specific program, you will work with an OIS staff member to fill out your Prior Approval Form. The Prior Approval Form is used to ensure that you will receive credit for all your classes upon returning to Villanova.
Get your Prior Approval Form signed. Take your Prior Approval Form, along with course descriptions, to any and all appropriate department chairs or faculty members for approval. Once all your courses have been approved, you must have the form signed by the Chair of your department or the Dean of your college to signify approval of your overseas study plan.
Know the deadlines. Fall Break is the deadline for returning your Prior Approval Forms to the Office of International Studies for students planning to study abroad in the Spring. For those going in the Fall or Summer, Spring Break is the deadline.
Submit program application. In most cases, YOU are responsible (not the Office of International Studies) for submitting your program application to your program provider or host institution. Make sure to check online to make sure you submit the necessary forms in time.
Obtain a student visa. In many countries, you will be responsible for obtaining a student visa in order to study abroad. Information will be provided by your program provider. Make sure to start the process early, as it is often a long and difficult process.
Submit pre-departure paperwork to the Office of International Studies. Before you leave the country, you are responsible for submitting pre-departure paperwork to the Office of International Studies, which includes:

  • Copy of your acceptance letter
  • Copy of the picture page of your passport
  • Copy of your visa (if applicable)
  • Copy of your flight itinerary
  • Signed copy of the Release Form (which was distributed during the Pre-Departure Orientation)

Some Last Thoughts:
Attend the Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation. The Office of International Studies will email you about the exact date about a month or two before the end of the semester.
Contact Residence Life. Make sure to contact the Office of Residence Life (610-519-4154) to cancel on-campus housing for the following semester.
Once abroad, send your official class schedule to your OIS Advisor. Once your classes have been finalized, email a copy of your class schedule to your OIS advisor. Please note that if you enrolled in a class that was NOT on your Prior Approval Form, you must email the appropriate Department Head or Chair in order to gain approval. You can use the Email Course Approval Template as a guide.
Send Transcripts Home. At the end of the semester, request that your program provider send an official transcript to: The Office of International Studies, Middleton Hall, Villanova, PA 19085.

Programs from Villanova University

Program Reviews

  • Marty
    Age: 19-24
    Villanova University
    Awesome Experience

    Great way to see all of Italy and to get a taste of Italian culture! Make sure to take advantage of traveling around Italy. The trip is only 6.5 weeks so do not have too many places on your list to see. I recommend going to a select few cities and really spending your time there to familiarize yourself with the culture and people. This trip was incredible and I met many friends whom I'm sure that I will keep throughout my entire lifetime. Have fun on your trip!

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 0
    Age: 19-24
    Villanova, PA
    Villanova University
    DIS Experience

    I was in the Public Health program at DIS in Spring 2012. Overall, I thought that DIS is a great program for someone who is looking for a ton of guidance and hand-holding. It was easy to get acclimated with the city and the "campus" (which is really just three buildings in the city). They are well-organized and really know what they are doing. They try to provide students with many opportunities to meet other students and Danes as well as options to participate in cultural events, such as visiting historical castles.

    In terms of academics, I really learned a lot from my public health classes -- this is probably true because my home university does not offer them. I know that other students in the program who actually are public health majors said that the information was repetitive, but it was interesting to view it from a welfare state system. My favorite parts of the program were the study tours. I really got a chance to bond with my class (about 18 students) while visiting other countries (e.g. Latvia, Finland, Western Denmark).

    Housing - I stayed in an International Kollegium with the intention of meeting other international students, but it turns out that this Kollegium was mostly graduate students who were pretty uninterested in meeting undergraduate students. I was also randomly paired with a roommate - which is always just a hit of miss. The room itself is studio setup, with our own kitchenette and bathroom. They gave us a food stipend card, which surprisingly lasted throughout the semester (so long as you don't use the card to buy alcohol).

    Transportation in DK is really nice and easy. Everyone also speaks English -- and everyone will say that Danes are cold and keep to themselves, but that is a vast generalization and mostly not true -- unless you are in an obnoxious group. There is an open bottle policy so you will see many people drinking throughout the day, but they don't get outrageously drunk.

    Some Cons: The academic work load is actually pretty hefty compared to some other study aboard programs. The weather in Denmark is only nice in the Summer (which begins in June). The cost of living is extremely expensive.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
  • sthomas12
    Age: 19-24
    Villanova, PA
    Villanova University
    Jeg elsker DIS! (I love DIS)

    Choosing DIS was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made. The program has been around for over 50 years and during that time they have definitely figured out how to iron out all of the small details to make all 900 students' experiences good ones. While I was listening to my friends in other countries panic about finding an apartment and dealing with setting up wifi in new places and struggling to get around, I was comfortably sitting in my new kollegium where everything, from transportation passes to lists of places with student discounts was provided for me.
    Because there are so many Americans in the program, it is usually easy to make friends, especially if you participate in their excursions to places like Hamlet's Castle early in the program (sign up for them early! they fill up fast!) and in classes. It is also possible to take classes at Copenhagen University, where you can also make Danish and other international friends. People especially make close friends in their core classes, because of the 2 trips that are taken with the class.
    Overall, DIS provides an excellent balance of making sure everything is very planned and organized without making you feel over-programmed or like you are not deciding on your own what you want to do. They provide many options for planned things (trips during the 2 week break, long weekend excursions, wine tastings, trips to IKEA) but if you are a person who'd rather be more independent then it's easy to find your own things to do as well without going through DIS.
    Copenhagen as a city was also extremely welcoming. I always felt safe, even when I was taking the 3am night bus back to my kollegium from the bars downtown. It is an easy city to get around, especially because DIS gives everyone a transportation pass. There are lots of neighborhoods to explore and the city has a lot of interesting history. You can also rent/buy a bike to join the millions of Danes who bike around their city daily. (I highly recommend this! So much fun!) People have a reputation for seeming cold and distanced on the street (Danes generally don't make eye contact or small talk on the street/bus etc) but if you directly approach someone when you need help or directions most people are sweet and helpful. Learning and noting cultural differences was so interesting, and there are many aspects of Danish culture, like prioritizing family relationships, biking, and hygge, that I have brought back into my life in the US.
    Some drawbacks that people mentioned when I was there: sometimes people are placed in housing that is a long-ish commute from classes which can be a pain when trying to hang out with friends later. The language is also kind of difficult to learn, but basically all Danes speak English, which is a pro and a con, because I found it hard to try to practice my Danish in restaurants etc because people would rather just speak English than listening to you try Danish, and Copenhagen is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Going into it, I was extremely worried about money and getting used to seeing prices in dkk was very difficult. $1-about 5dkk, so every single price you see is enormous. But, I just got really used to cooking my own food and figuring out who has lunch specials and DIS student discounts. It is definitely possible to manage in Copenhagen without draining your bank account, but it is a challenge.
    Overall, I absolutely loved my time in Copenhagen and I would do it again in a heartbeat if I had the chance.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
  • SNicol
    Age: 19-24
    Albany, NY
    Villanova University

    I absolutely loved Chile. I wish I could have stayed longer!! The people, the food, the social scene, the culture, the scenery-everything was so interesting and made for an absolutely wonderful experience.

    I participated in the internship program that Villanova offers its students. Since I am a nursing major, I was placed in a Physical Therapy office for my internship. This was probably the place where I learned the most Spanish, and had the opportunity to observe and understand the differences between our two healthcare systems. The people working there as well as the patients were so friendly and willing to teach me everything I wanted to know about their language/culture and the healthcare system. My only complaint about this was that even for all of the work all of us did in our internship placements, students were credited with Latin American Studies credits, and not Spanish credits. As someone who already has a limited amount of free credits to take Spanish classes, this was a shortcoming that I wish could be solved in future programs, because now I won't be able to complete a Spanish minor. But all things considering, I would do the whole thing over again, and would go back in a heartbeat. Viva Chile!

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
  • siena2011
    Age: 19-24
    Villanova University
    The Greatest Experience

    The best time ever. Enough said. Being in a small, Italian town as opposed to the touristy cities really allows you to immerse more into the Italian culture. In addition, I think the smallness of Siena really encourages everybody to act as a group and really promotes people to become amazing friends through the program. The food was amazing, the scenery was beautiful, I always felt safe. Needless to say, I'm sitting here in America wishing to be back in Siena.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
View All Reviews

Alumni Interviews

  • Day in the Life of Taylor Rose - Study Abroad Student in Copenhagen, Denmark
    Villanova - Study Abroad at Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS)