Are you a snow bunny who's tired of the same old runs down the same old slopes in the USA? Well you're in luck! Winter programs are a great option for students who fear sitting around at home during the holidays or being a bump on a log.

If you want to take advantage of your precious downtime from school, you're not going to find any adventures in your local Tastee Freeze. Why not strike off the conventional path and seek a short-term study abroad program between your awesome fall semester and bound-to-be-awesome spring semester? Choose a j-term program, perhaps?

Whether or not you identify as a hardcore skier/snowboarder or prefer to hang out in the lodge with a tall cup of hot cocoa, there's a study abroad program for you. And that is completely discounting the folks who are seeking warmer weather during the harsh winter months back home (yes! you can study abroad in the southern hemisphere and yes! It is hot hot hot). Pack your bags and study abroad over your winter break. You won't regret it!

Your best bet for finding the perfect winter study abroad program is to identify early on what you want to accomplish abroad. Do you want an intensive language program or an opportunity for cultural immersion? Would you prefer to see as many places as possible to get a better feel for a region versus a single city or country?

No matter your goal, there's a program for you. Here are some of the most popular types of study abroad programs offered during winter break:

Faculty Led Winter Programs

Talk your favorite professor into hosting a study abroad program for students on your campus in the winter! If you ask early on, you may find out there are already a number of these types of short-term programs available to students at your school. These programs are convenient, as you will have an easy time transferring credit and financial aid to pay for your program. You'll also meet people from your school while traveling (its fun to have friends on campus to reminisce with once you return!).

Third Party Provider Programs

If your school doesn't offer any programs that make you feel excited about traveling abroad, then hit the 'net (::cough:: look to the right column of this page::cough::). There are bunches of "third-party provider" study abroad programs (such as AIFS, ISA, or CIEE) that organize courses over the winter season. Your on-campus study abroad advisor will be a great resource for more info on these programs.

Language Immersion Programs

Kick your foreign language skills up a notch by doing an intensive language program abroad. You can easily test out of the next level after completing one of these courses. Consolidate a semester of learning Spanish in the USA by learning immersion Spanish in Spain (or Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico...or anywhere!). What's more, you'll get to enjoy all the fun that comes with living abroad, and increased cultural understandings of a new country. Awesome!

Read more: The Real Benefits of Learning a Second Language

Take advantage of the time of year to experience some truly unique cultural events abroad, or... ski season! Take these suggestions as you will!

Spring Festival in China

Um, you have not seen a fireworks show until you have experienced all that is Chinese New Year while living and studying in China. Learn to make dumplings with your homestay family (and feel no shame when you scarf down a dozen!), light firecrackers (pow pow pow!), and if you're lucky, get a hongbao (red envelope stuffed with kuai!) from friends. It is a wonderful holiday during the winter to experience firsthand while studying abroad!

Christmas in Germany

Experience a familiar holiday in an entirely new setting. The Christkindl markets are beautiful, and who are we kidding - it would be fun to sing O Tannenbaum! Add on a snowy, romantic background and a warm mug of mulled wine and you're good to go. With its central European location, it could also be a great hub for ski adventures in Austria, Italy, France, or Switzerland outside of your winter semester courses!

The Beaches in Australia

Who says that winter study abroad has to be about soaking up all things traditionally cold and blustery? Blow a little dust off your swimsuit, your surfboard, your snorkeling gear, your sunscreen, your beach towel...and hit the coast. Australia has about 12930812 different beaches to choose from, so you shouldn't have a hard time finding a study abroad program there!

Warning: studying abroad in a warm location may lead to some serious envy as your friends and family face the dead of winter.

D'oh! Just when you were starting to think that study abroad is this perfect, wonderful thing you reach the check out aisle. Don't worry about the overall costs of your program - you'll just need to get creative and money savvy. Apply for scholarships (here's a list of study abroad grants and scholarships to kickstart your research), do some fundraising, and get a job (or 2!).

Study abroad will be unlike anything that you have experienced so far as a student. You will have the opportunity to experience an entirely new academic system and the chance to take courses that might not be offered on your home campus.

Winter Study Abroad Programs

Displaying 76 - 90 of 419 programs
Massey University
Global Student Athlete Semester Abroad in New Zealand
New Zealand
10 •1 review

GSA offers a variety of top-quality sports and fitness programs for...

Learn International
Service Learning in Ireland
Ireland
10 •1 review

Explore the world's friendliest country engaging with a local...

IPSL Global Institute at NUNM
IPSL Peru: Environmental Justice, Indigenous Health & Human Rights
Peru
10 •1 review

The semester curriculum combines a Spanish Language & Culture course...

IPSL Global Institute at NUNM
IPSL Colombia: Post-Conflict Studies and Afro-Caribbean Culture
Colombia
10 •1 review

COVID-19 and our societies’ reactions lay bare longstanding inequities...

The Education Abroad Network
TEAN: Study Abroad in Seoul, South Korea
South Korea
10 •13 reviews

Set amongst the foothills of picturesque mountains, Seoul is home to...

The GREEN Program
Iceland: Renewable Energy Innovation & Sustainability
Iceland
9.83 •24 reviews

As one of the greenest countries on our planet, Iceland produces...

The University of Western Australia
University of Western Australia: Study in Perth
Australia
9.58 •26 reviews

Apply now to The University of Western Australia, where you will study...

That's Mandarin Chinese Language School
China School Trips To Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen
China
10 •2 reviews

We are a leading Chinese school trip organizer with over 10 years of...

CodeOp
JavaScript Web Development Bootcamp in Barcelona
Multiple Countries
9.63 •16 reviews

CodeOp's Full Stack Development bootcamp prepares students for careers...

Institute for Field Research
IFR: Ireland Field Schools - Cork, Galway, Spike Island & more
Ireland
9.43 •7 reviews

The Institute for Field Research would like to present our rich and...

The GREEN Program
Peru: Water Resource Management & Sustainable Practices
Peru
9.57 •7 reviews

Home to a unique culture rooted in water & agricultural foundations of...

International Business Seminars
Winter SE Asia: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam & Bangkok, Thailand
Multiple Countries
10 •7 reviews

Winter Southeast Asia provides unique opportunities for both...

Academic Explorers
Study Chinese & Martial Arts in Beijing
China
9.91 •11 reviews

Challenge your body and mind with martial arts and Mandarin Chinese...

China Study Abroad
Affordable Master's (and Bachelor's) Programs in China
China
10 •2 reviews

Curious about studying in China? Did you know that... - many Master's...

Institute of Global Engagement New Zealand
Faculty Led Study Abroad Tours, 2-4 weeks in New Zealand
New Zealand
9.88 •8 reviews

Please share with your faculty and study abroad advisers that we...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long is a winter semester?

    A winter study abroad term typically lasts a few weeks long (~3 weeks) between fall and spring semesters.

  • Where can you study abroad in the winter?

    If you prefer the colder weather, you can study abroad in the northern hemisphere during the winter semester. However, if you want to experience a warm winter, head to countries in the southern hemisphere like Argentina or Australia! A few other popular places to study over the winter include Europe for its Christmas markets and ski slopes, and China for its Chinese New Year festivities!

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