How to Choose a Program | Study Abroad | Yale University
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How to Choose a Program

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Summer Opportunities of Additional Interest

This page includes information about select summer programs for study abroad from Yale's partner universities that may or may not earn credit.

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What is Study Abroad?

At Yale, study abroad means taking courses outside of the U.S. for academic credit. Yale offers a number of its own programs and you can also choose from a list of designated Non-Yale programs. All programs can be found in our study abroad database. Learn more about the differences between these options below. 

TOC: Steps for Choosing a Program

Explore Program Types

As a Yale student, you can choose from:

  • Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad
  • Yale in London
  • Non-Yale Summer Abroad
  • Year or Term Abroad

Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad

Yale Summer Session (YSS) Programs Abroad are intensive, highly structured, summer study abroad programs led by Yale or Yale-affiliated instructors. Programs range in length from 5 to 8 weeks and award Yale College credit. There are many programs to choose from, including intensive language study and content courses taught in English. 

Yale in London

The Yale Center for British Art offers a Yale in London program during the summer and spring term.

Non-Yale Summer Abroad

In addition to Yale's own summer programs, you can choose from a list of designated Non-Yale Summer Abroad programs run by other institutions. These programs have been designated as eligible for transfer credit.

Year or Term Abroad

You can study abroad through a designated outside program for a semester or full academic year and transfer credit back to your Yale degree.

Point: Use our database to search Yale and Non-Yale study abroad programs.

Consider Your Identity, Goals, & Interests

Identity Considerations

As you research your study abroad options, take time to consider how aspects of your identities might shape your summer, term, or year abroad. Review our resources and know that we are here to support you throughout your international experience.

Goal Setting

Before narrowing down your study abroad choices, it is helpful to identify some goals for your experience.

Your goals might be to:

  • Explore a particular culture or geographic 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 your goals will help guide you in selecting a program. For example, if your goal is to become more proficient in a language, does the program offer all courses in the host language? How will the housing options impact your language use? Will you be living with a host family or will you be living with other students who may or may not speak the host language? 

Study Abroad advisers can help you identify goals for your study abroad experience and guide you through thoughtful program selection. 

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):
    • Summer after first, sophomore, or junior year
    • Second semester of sophomore year 
    • First semester of junior year
    • Second semester of junior year
  • 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 Research Protection Program. While the study abroad program will likely review the HRPP, 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 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? 

  • 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. Which housing arrangement would you prefer, and is it offered by your program of interest?
    • 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 Student Accessibility Services 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

Program 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 a 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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. You can find more information about applying through a study abroad provider on the individual program pages on the "Search Programs" page. If you have questions about this option, don't hesitate to contact a study abroad adviser.

Search Programs 

Use our database to see the full list of Yale and Non-Yale study abroad programs. 

Understand Costs & Funding

Understand the costs associated with study abroad, opportunities for funding, and how to create a budget. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • What is the program tuition and estimated additional expenses? These fees are published on the program 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, health insurance, books, etc.)?
  • What other costs might you have to cover that are not included in the program fees, such as airplane tickets, laundry, public transportation, toiletries, phone, etc.?


Speak with Advisers & Past Participants 

Pin:Students Requiring Accommodations: Review disability related accommodations 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.

Note: If participating in a Year or Term Abroad or a Non-Yale Summer Program Abroad, you will need to apply to Yale Study Abroad for credit and directly to your intended program for admission.  It does not matter which you do first, as long as you meet all deadlines.