Are There Any Online Colleges That Offer Study Abroad Experiences?

study-abroad-experiencesCollege gives students the chance to spread their wings and see what the world has to offer, which is why many students look for study abroad experiences. You might love the idea of studying economics in England, history in Russia or art in France, but if you attend college online, you might not have as many options. Many online schools do not offer study abroad programs, but there are still ways in which students can experience life and school overseas.

What is a Study Abroad Program?

A study abroad program is a program designed to give students a more worldly view of their studies. Instead of spending four years sitting behind a computer monitor or in a classroom, students have the chance to spend some time working and learning overseas. One or more professors from the department typically goes with a group of 10 or more students. Students take classes in their new location from those professors and from other professors who live and work in that city. Students can study in Rome, Paris, London, Moscow and dozens of other cities.

How Long Does it Take?

Study abroad experiences often vary in length. Schools give students the option of spending just a short period of time overseas or spending as much time as they would like. Most colleges offer programs of one semester that take place in the summer. As summer sessions are generally shorter, this means that students spend between eight and 10 weeks studying in a foreign city. Other programs last all summer long and allow students to spend three months or more overseas. Some schools also offer opportunities for students that let them spend an entire year studying overseas in a location of their choosing.

Can You Study Abroad Online?

The reason so many students enroll in study abroad programs is because those students want the chance to take classes around their own schedules. They know that they don’t have time to go to a traditional campus three or more times a week or meet with professors during office hours. That is why most online programs do not offer study abroad options. Students may have the chance to taking classes on a satellite campus associated with their online college or joining another college’s study abroad program and gaining credit for the work they do in that program.

Tips for Students

Students who decide to join a study abroad program offered by one university when attending another should research the details carefully and contact their own school. Michele Hernandez, an expert on college life, told U.S. News and World Report that some schools may not accept credits earned through another school’s study abroad program. Students should always talk with their schools about transferring credits, the details of the program and what they expect to learn. The school has the final decision on whether it will accept any of those credits. Even if the credits do not transfer, many will find study abroad programs rewarding.

Infographic: The Evolution of the College Degree

Working in a foreign city gives students a look at how others think about the topics and subjects they study in the United States. Online students will often find that their programs do not offer study abroad experiences, but they may have the chance to join a program offered by another school and transferring those credits to their university.