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.


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Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Yes, I recommend this program


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!

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Yes, I recommend this program

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.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Taylor Rose

Taylor Rose attended the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen Denmark for the Spring Semester of 2012. She is originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania and studies Biology at Villanova University. She was 20 years old upon entering the program in Denmark and was a Junior in college. She enjoys yoga, cooking, and doing service trips and retreats with Villanova’s Campus Ministry.

Highlights: My favorite part of the DIS program is the dedication of the teachers to our experience and learning. Each of your teachers plans two field studies where they will plan a speaker or outing relevant to what the class is learning. Through these field studies I had a private tour of Amalienborg Palace and also saw places like a school for children with autism or a “sensory house” for people with special needs. Also with your core program you take study trips. I was able to go to cities in Western Denmark, Estonia, and Sweden with my 30 person class where we heard from numerous speakers from our field.

Little Mermaid statue in Denmark

Overall my favorite part of the whole experience was the chance to see completely new cultures. The teachers and the program realized the importance of allowing the time to experience the new setting around us. The work we were given enhanced this experience and we were also given plenty of time to explore on our own. I took the time to not only thoroughly explore Denmark but also 11 or the surrounding countries. Three of these outside countries I saw during very well organized trips through the school. I feel like I really made the most of my time overseas and learned so much about myself and others.

Morning: Every day my classes started at 10:05. I would wake up around 8:00 so I could do some last minute class work, send some emails back to home, and spend some time with my roommate, another student from DIS. We would make breakfast in the kitchenette in our room and pack our bags for the day. Almost everyone in Copenhagen brings a lunch to work or school because of high prices, so we would prepare the common open-faced sandwiches, smørrebrød, with some fruit and crackers to feel like a real Dane. We would set out around 9:30, most times on bike sometimes by train, to head into the city center for class. It was about a 25 minute ride by any kind of transportation.

Afternoon: All my classes were back-to-back so once I got to DIS I would be there for the day. I usually brought a packed lunch and would eat between classes or even in class. Most days I was done in the early afternoon and would hang out for a bit longer in DIS lounges with friends, talking, snacking, trying to do some work. Sometimes if a group of my friends and I had a free night, we would go shopping on Strøget, walk to one of the palaces or museums, or ride my bike to a nearby park. DIS is right in the center of Copenhagen and there were so many interesting historical places to visit and things to see. The city had tons of organized events that the school would inform us about as well. I got to see things like the championship handball team in city hall square, the queen’s birthday celebration, and many festivals.

Taylor and her friends enjoying the views of Denmark

Evening: Once or twice a week I took a yoga class at night. Every Thursday, a group of my friends would have a dinner club, either going out to dinner or making something together. Most other nights would be spent with my friends where they were living or just at “home” with my roommate sitting together to talk and work. Some special nights I was invited to a friend’s host family’s house for dinner, or to an event with DIS. I joined a Buddy Network through DIS which brought together a group of American and Danish students. We planned events like watching a soccer game, a ballet, or having a dinner party. I spent many nights with these new friends as well.