Whether you’re looking into a summer study abroad program because you don’t have room in your busy college schedule to do a semester abroad, or because you were looking for a more affordable way to get some international experience under your belt, we’ve got you covered with options and advice all around.
Gain new perspectives about a country, all while enjoying academic, career, intercultural, and personal growth. Plus, summer study abroad programs offer benefits that an entire semester abroad cannot claim. Read on to see the different program types and locations you can choose from, as well as some tips on how to fund your summer study abroad trip.
There is no "one-size-fits-all" study abroad experience. Identify what you want to accomplish throughout your semester abroad and then find a program that will help you reach those goals.
Perhaps you have a favorite professor leading a summer trip abroad. Take your university abroad with you by completing a program in the hands of your university's faculty. These types of programs are usually smaller and take a handful of familiar faces abroad with you (your peers and classmates!). These programs can be especially fun because you can relive the glory days abroad after you return to your home campus.
Third Party Provider Programs
Many companies' sole purpose is to help students study abroad. Leave it up the experts, we say! Organizations like API Study Abroad, ISA, and Panrimo offer a variety of programs that cater to almost every type of student.
If you're not looking for a cookie-cutter program at your university, you may opt to find a more specific program like the types these guys offer. Just be sure to double check that your credits will transfer.
Some study abroad organizations offer unique programs over the summer time, taking advantage of the flexibility of not being tied down to university schedules. Try to squeeze in as many destinations as possible (some programs go upwards of 6 or 7 cities within just a few weeks!) on these educational travel programs. Organizations like CIEE and ForumNexus offer lots of study/travel programs like these.
Language Immersion Programs
Learning a foreign language is no easy task but finding a language immersion program shouldn’t be. There are several ways to go about it: university courses, private tutoring, homestay programs and cultural immersion. Classes typically meet Monday through Friday for about three hours a day (on average). Typically, the classes are relatively small in number and introduce you to a wide range of real-life situations that will improve your overall skills as you progress.
In a homestay program, however, you will stay in the home of your tutor while you receive somewhere between 15-30 hours of lessons per week. As you are living and learning in your host teacher’s home, you are using the language constantly so the learning process continues throughout your days. If learning a language in a foreign country is something you are interested in, please refer to our language schools abroad page for more information.
Where should you go for your summer study abroad? Below are some of our recommended destinations -- based both on popularity and variety of programs in each:
If you're interested in studying in a nation who has heavily influenced the western world for hundreds of years, France would make a great fit. France's composition of picturesque countryside, busy city streets, white sandy beaches, and majestic mountain peaks make it a one-of-a-kind summer study abroad destination. For experiencing continental Europe, France's central location allows for convenient overland travel as it borders 9 different countries.
This Nordic nation is world-renowned for its high quality of life. From basking in the sunset along historical Nyhavn Street, to camping at the internationally renowned Roskilde music festival, Denmark is a country for those seeking a unique summer abroad experience.
The country's capital and most famous city, London is a clear pick for the thousands of students who choose London each year for their summer study abroad. Dodge skateboarders, ride on a double-decker bus, and stuff your face with Cadbury as you peruse the city's landmarks -- Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and The Tower of London, among countless others!
Study business or fashion in a high paced urban environment, or brush up on your British history. Spending a summer in one of the most vibrant cities on Earth is something you won’t regret.
English as the medium of instruction and for a great deal cheaper than its neighbors? No wonder students are flocking to Ireland for summer study abroad - and that's before we've even mentioned the beautiful natural landscapes (Ireland didn't earn the nickname 'Emerald Isle' by accident!), Riverdance, and countless pubs, castles, and potatoes to match. Home to Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and U2, among countless others, this small island nation packs a punch.
Study art where Michelangelo once painted, or see firsthand the settings of the Western world's most famous theatrical dramas, such as Verona from Romeo and Juliet! All of this is at the tip of your fingers when studying in Italy. Hop on a vespa to your new favorite pizzeria, check out some active volcanoes, or while-away the afternoon on one of Italy's beaches (all in between studying, of course). Your summer abroad will be nothing short of amazing in this beautiful country.
Spain has become one of the top summer study abroad destinations in the world. Students are drawn to study abroad Spain for its unique culture, rich history, and famous nightlife. Many students choose to study abroad in Spain in order to learn Spanish, and the country's proximity to the rest of Europe doesn't hurt! Students flock to study abroad in Spain's two largest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, as well as to many of its smaller ones such as Sevilla and Granada, to absorb a semester or a year's worth of culture, language, and warm weather.
Those who study abroad in the Czech Republic will be immersed in a cultural history that spans hundreds of years of colorful tradition. Although the country is not large in size, its rich culture makes it stand out from its neighbors.
The Czech Republic has been a hub of cultural transaction for centuries, and those who study abroad here will be able to take advantage of its vibrant diversity.
Czechs, Germans, Jews, Slovaks, Italian stonemasons and French tradesmen have all called the Czech Republic home. Each of these cultures has contributed to the creativeness and passion of its people. Those who travel here for a summer abroad will experience the historic beauty of one of Europe's most enchanting countries.
Bom dia! Contemplating studying abroad in Latin America's largest country? With a rich cultural history, booming economy and growing international presence, an experience living and studying in Brazil would be "muito legal!" (very cool!).
South America's second largest country and the world's eighth, Argentina is a fiery melting pot of distinct cultures despite its dominant Latin roots. Because of Argentina's large size, you will find very different regions, allowing you to experience stark contrasts within a single country. From the remote wild to the busy plazas of Buenos Aires, there's a study abroad program out there that best suits your goals and interests.
China is chock full of opportunity, adventure, and... tasty dim sum. With more than a billion people speaking the Chinese language, there has never been a better time to jump on the Mandarin bandwagon and ride it full speed ahead into a future with a competitive edge.
Hailed for its remarkable (and long!) history, China is home to over 20 different ethnic minority groups. The eastern terminus of the Silk Road and the world's fastest train can be found in China, and studying abroad there will excite and surprise you as you uncover the many components of its multifaceted personality.
Japan is a prosperous nation - the second largest economy in the world - but is much more than advanced technology or fancy electronics. From the postcard-perfect sights of Mt. Fuji to your first cup of sake to the dizzying speeds of the bullet train, Japan is a student's dream summer destination!
New Zealand may be the last country discovered and the youngest country on earth, but its culture certainly dates back hundreds of years. Today, the population of New Zealand is an interesting combination of south-Pacific islanders, Europeans, and a growing population of Asians. New Zealand is situated on two neighboring islands, and is home to one of the most beautiful natural environments on the planet. Spend your summer exploring this country and all that it has to offer.
Go beyond the movies and discover the real Africa. South Africa, also known as "the Rainbow Nation," is one of Africa's most dynamic and up-and-coming countries. Commonly regarded as the birthplace of mankind, the African continent is a land of diverse and intense beauty that is not experienced by very many outsiders.
It's about as far away from the US as you can get--a 15+ hour flight from JFK in New York to Johannesburg. Experience what most others cannot and immerse yourself in South Africa for the summer!
Students who decide to study abroad during the summer are looking at spending less than those who spend an entire semester or year studying abroad -- but mostly because you're abroad for less time. The cost depends on a few things such as the type of program that is chosen, length of stay, and the sponsoring school. You should also think about the cost of housing. If the program is through your home university, fees will be about the same as current tuition rates but, again, vary depending on the program.
While summer study abroad tends to be cheaper overall than a semester abroad (and that's not even counting the credits that will put you ahead and, perhaps, even help you graduate early) there are also other things you can do to make sure this trip does not hurt your budget. STA Travel has student discounts on flights, picking a program/destination that is relatively cheaper than most and applying for scholarships or grants.
While these are just a few of the options you have for funding your summer abroad, you can also use your savings, do a fundraiser or ask your parents. This summer can be the summer of a lifetime if you stick to your budget, pick the program/destination that works best for you and make it a reality!
Summer study programs give you a taste of what life is like outside of your home country. Spending your time in another country for that duration of time might also give you the travel bug! Let this be one of the best decisions you will make and you will have an adventure your sure won’t forget.Contributed by Kalee Fambrough