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Choosing a Program

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This page includes international program information from Yale's partner universities and faculty collaborations about select programs for study abroad that may or may not earn credit.

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TOC: Steps for Choosing a Program

Explore Program Types

Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad

Yale Summer Session (YSS) Programs Abroad are intensive, highly structured programs for Yale College credit, led by Yale faculty. There are over 30 programs to choose from, including intensive language study and content courses taught in English. Many programs are open to both Yale and visiting students from other campuses. 

Year or Term Abroad & Non-Yale Summer Programs Abroad

Yale has designated hundreds of programs run by other institutions as eligible for transfer credit. These programs allow you to enroll directly into a university, take classes at a center specifically for foreign students, participate in field-based research, or experience a combination of these structures. Depending on your academic and personal goals for the study abroad experience, you might find that a certain program structure is better suited to your interests.

  Study-Center Direct Enrollment* Hybrid Field Based
Fellow Classmates Other study abroad and/or international students Host-country students Both study abroad and host-country students Other study abroad and/or international students
Location In a study center classroom which may or may not be near a university Courses at a local university Usually you would take classes both in an off-site study center and at a local university In classrooms or in the field
Academic Culture Similar to US education system; Regular assignments, more frequent exams, seminar-style teaching Learning is often self-directed or independent; Wide variety of classes; Course information may be less accessible prior to arriving; More weight placed on final assessment Offers the chance to experience both study-center and host-country academic culture Experiential, interdisciplinary learning; Taught by a combination of professors, local experts and working professionals
Calendar Usually follows US academic calendar Program follows host-country academic calendar; Semester may begin earlier or later than Yale's Varies Usually follows US academic calendar
On-site Support Usually a high-level of support May be limited; Students are expected to be fairly independent and to be pro-active about asking for assistance Usually a high-level of support is offered by staff from the US study center, but not the university Usually a high-level of support

*If you are interested in directly enrolling, you also have the option to apply through a study abroad provider. This would allow you to attend regular classes with students from the host country, but also receive an additional level of support. Talk with a study abroad adviser for more information about this option.

Consider Your Identity, Goals, & Interests

Identity Considerations

Learn more about diversity and inclusion abroad in order to consider how you may navigate cultural differences. Based on certain aspects of your identity, you may find that certain countries and/or cultures may be more challenging or supportive.

Goal Setting

While the Study Abroad office is here to advise you, we expect you to take ownership of your study abroad experience and to be confident in choosing your own path – one that builds on your previous experiences at Yale and helps you reach toward your academic or personal goals. The initial question you should ask yourself about study abroad is the first one an adviser is likely to pose: What are the goals you have for your study abroad experience?

Most students can easily identify one or two goals they have for their study abroad experience. For example, you might want to: 

  • Explore a particular culture or new region
  • Immerse yourself in language study
  • Take courses in an area which could become your major
  • Learn more about a possible career path
  • Thinking about the specific goals you have now will help guide you in selecting the most appropriate program.

Whatever your goals, make sure that they are specific and measurable. For example, taking one of the broader goals above and turning it into actionable steps can help you better direct your efforts – especially if you only have a short time abroad.

  • If your goal is becoming more proficient in a language, perhaps you will choose to initiate a weekly conversation about local politics with a homestay parent.
  • If your goal is to build relationships with host-nationals you might join an extracurricular group with similar interests, such as an athletic team, or musical ensemble.

Remember that although it's important to think about these concrete steps you can take to reach your goals, it's equally important to remember that your goals might change once abroad.

Matching a Program to Your Interests

Take some time to consider factors like location, academic focus, and living arrangements along with your goals for the study abroad experience.

FAQ: Where and when do you want to go?

  • Which region or country are you interested in academically? Personally?
  • Would you prefer to live in an urban or rural environment, or would you like to explore multiple locations?
  • When will you be eligible to study abroad? You can study abroad during any term listed below, including multiple terms (for example, summer + spring or fall + summer):
    • Any Summer
    • Sophomore Spring
    • Junior Fall
    • Junior Spring
  • Do you have certain courses that you must take in sequence at Yale? Discuss a plan with the DUS of your major that allows you to take those required courses before or after you study abroad.

Keep in mind that some programs do not align with Yale’s calendar, so your program's start and end dates may be earlier or later than Yale's. Pay close attention to program dates, particularly for university enrollment in the Southern Hemisphere, Germany, Taiwan, and the UK.

FAQ: What, and with whom, do you want to study?

  • Consider what your academic focus will be abroad. For example, do you hope to complete major or distributional requirements? Talk with your Residential College Dean and your DUS about your study abroad plan early and often. 
  • Do you hope to conduct research abroad? Many programs offer research options as part of a full time course load. When reviewing program descriptions, take note of those that offer:
    • Field-based independent study projects
    • Library-based research with a faculty member
    • Issue-based research done while working with a community organization

If you complete an independent study and/or research project as part of your approved study abroad program and think you might use the project for further research at Yale (e.g. senior essay), review the instructions outlined in the Human Subjects Review Guidebook - Guidance of Student Projects. While the study abroad program will likely review the HSR process, you may also have to complete Yale's review process to use a project completed abroad toward work here on campus.

  • With whom do you want to take classes? If one of your priorities is to meet and spend time with locals, consider how the classroom environment will influence this engagement. Options include:
    • Other study abroad students
    • International students
    • Host-country students
    • Combination
  • In what language do you want to study? Do you want to take most or all of your courses in the host-country language? Does the program offer host family options for continued language practice? If you plan to study in a non-English speaking country, make yourself aware of Yale's minimum language requirements for study abroad. 

If you hope to use language courses abroad to fulfill Yale's language requirement, or to place into a higher level upon return, you may need to take a placement exam, or other assessment, when you return to campus. Be sure to contact the language department for additional information about this requirement.

FAQ: Where do you want to live? 

  • Which housing arrangement would you prefer, and is it offered by your program of interest? Where you live abroad will have a significant impact on your overall experience. Many students find that their living arrangement influenced language learning, their friend group, and even their cooking skills.
    • With a host family
    • In student housing
    • With students from the host country
    • With other study abroad students
    • Living on your own
  • How far is the housing from the program center and/or university? Commuting to and from class is very common in some locations. 
  • Are meals provided, or will you be cooking for yourself? Do you have any special housing or dietary needs?

If you receive academic or disability related accommodations at Yale, talk with a study abroad adviser and Yale's Resource Office on Disabilities to learn about what reasonable accommodation is possible abroad.

FAQ: How much structure and support do you want? 

  • Would you prefer a high level of involvement from a study abroad program, or would you like a more independent experience? When talking with programs, ask what kind of support they have onsite so that you know what to expect. 
  • Would you prefer a large university or small program setting? Study-center, field based, and hybrid programs generally have in-country staff, pre-arranged housing and excursions, and offer pre-departure support. Other programs, such as universities in which you directly enroll, might not offer organized activities and excursions, or you might have to arrange your own housing.
  • What type of learning environment would you prefer? Students often explore a different learning style while abroad to build upon current skills, or to complement the Yale academic experience. These include:
    • Traditional classroom
    • Field station
    • Conducting an independent study project or research
    • Large lecture-style classes
    • Small seminar-style classes
    • Combination

See the table under Step 1 on this page to learn more about how these differences can influence the kind of support you'll receive onsite.

Check Your Eligibility

Make sure that you meet all eligibility criteria for your intended program type.

Learn How Credit Works

It is important to familiarize yourself with the credit policies for study abroad.

Search Program Options

Search from among hundreds of study abroad programs Yale has designated for credit.

Understand Costs & Funding

Understand the costs associated with study abroad, opportunities for funding, and how to create a realistic budget. Be sure to think about the following questions as you begin your financial planning.

  • What is the program tuition and estimated additional expenses? These fees are published on the program specific websites. Remember that study abroad program costs and additional expenses can be more or less than what you would spend at Yale.
  • What does the program cost include (housing, meals, program sponsored activities, cell phones, health insurance, books, etc.)?
  • What other costs might you have to cover that are not included in the program fees, such as travel to and from your host country, laundry, public transportation, toiletries, phone, internet, etc.?

Speak with Advisers & Past Participants 

Pin:Students Requiring Accommodations: Register with Yale's Office of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) if you will need academic, housing, and/or other disability-related accommodations or services abroad.

International Students: Check with Yale's Office of International Students & Scholars about your visa status in relation to study abroad.

DACAmented & UnDACAmented Students: Please review the information on Yale's Office of International Students & Scholars website.


Submit an application to Yale Study Abroad by the appropriate deadline. If participating in a Year or Term Abroad or a Non-Yale Summer Program Abroad, bear in mind that you will need to apply to Yale Study Abroad for credit and to the program directly for admission.

Additional Program Options

Yale Study Abroad works with YSS Programs Abroad, Non-Yale Summer Abroad for Credit, and Year or Term Abroad for Credit. There is another opportunity you may be interested in, listed below.

Link: Yale in London (administered by the Yale Center for British Arts)