Guide to Study Abroad Programs in Europe

Study Abroad in Europe

Not only does studying abroad give you some of the most eye-opening and gratifying experiences you are likely to have during your time in college, it also provides a portal for international job opportunities after graduation. There are many different options for study abroad programs, and the program you choose will depend on various factors, namely what you plan (or hope) to get out of your time abroad (improved language skills, professional contacts, specific cultural/professional experiences, etc.). No matter where you choose to spend your time abroad, one thing is sure…your life will be forever changed.

Identifying Your Priorities

Before beginning to research your study abroad options, it’s a good idea to determine why you want to study abroad. It may help to make a list of reasons (think about both your personal and professional reasons for studying abroad). Include anything you can think of, from the day-to-day (e.g., “to eat fresh, authentic croissants everyday”) to the “big picture” (e.g., “to hone my French language skills”). In addition to thinking about your personal goals, it’s also a good idea to think through the logistics of your study abroad experience, including specific European countries you want to go to, the length of your stay (there are summer, semester and year-long programs), your ideal accommodations (on your own or with a host family), and the study abroad institution itself (do you want to take classes with only American students or a mix of foreign and American students, etc.). Thinking through these aspects will give you an idea of where your priorities lie and where to start looking for programs.

Academic Considerations

If you are currently enrolled in a degree program at a college or university, it’s great if your European study abroad can dovetail with your field of study. Many study abroad programs provide course credits that your home university will accept, allowing you to continue to work on your degree while you are abroad. Many college students study abroad during their junior year, but there are also students who study abroad earlier or later than that. It all depends on what fits in best with your academic (and personal) plans. It’s important to plan your study abroad experience early in order to know which degree requirements can be covered abroad and which ones you will need to fit in during your time on your home campus.

Beginning Your Research

A great place to start researching European study abroad programs is at your home institution. Many colleges and universities have a study abroad center or study abroad office with staff members who are trained to help you plan your study abroad experience. Quite a few smaller private colleges partner with larger public universities to offer more study abroad options to their students. There are also private study abroad grants (Fulbright and Rhodes Scholars, etc.) for which students can apply (these grants are usually for the year after students graduate from college—but it’s never to early to start thinking about these opportunities). After visiting the study abroad center, make an appointment to meet with your academic advisor. He or she will help you identify the best program(s) for your degree goal and assist you in planning your course schedule at your home institution and abroad.

Financing Your Study Abroad Experience

Before deciding on a program, it’s important to think about how much you can realistically spend during your time abroad and how you plan to finance the experience. Sometimes, price will determine the difference between spending a summer, semester or year abroad. Many study abroad programs can be covered by student loans. Some programs offer scholarship opportunities, work-study or grants to qualifying students (this varies by program). When researching study abroad programs, make sure to find out what the cost of the program covers (class tuition, room and board, excursions, airfare, etc.).

Study Abroad Program Directory

If your home institution does not have a study abroad program that fits your needs and interests, there are plenty of other options. Here is a directory of reputable programs in a variety of European locations (organized by country):

Study Abroad Programs in France

CEA in Paris, France
Pursue studies in liberal arts, business, studio art and the French language at the CEA Global Campus or two Global Partners – Catholic University of Paris and the University of Paris IV – Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne.  Dates: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Summer, Academic Year
CEA, 2005 W. 14th Street, Ste. 113 Tempe, AZ, 85281-6977, USA
Tel: 800-266-4441


NYU Summer in Paris
The NYU Center in Paris is located in a charming 19th-century town house on the rue de Passy (near the Eiffel Tower). The summer session focuses on culture and language acquisition.

The American University of Paris
Undergraduate Programs
AUP offers 15 majors and 26 minors in a variety of disciplines. AUP’s programs in the Liberal Arts and Sciences lead to the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, according to American higher education standards and academic credit system.
Summer Programs
AUP offers two five-week summer sessions from early June to mid-August in a full range of liberal arts disciplines.

American University Center of Provence
AUCP offers two full-immersion French programs combining an all French-speaking environment, individual homestay, language partner, personal interest activity, and community service with rigorous course work taught by French university faculty. The AUCP Marseille program focuses upon international relations, the Middle East, French and Arabic language and civilization, immigrant identities, and cross-cultural mediation. Classes are taught by local experts and tenured professors from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques. Program includes one week of on-site study in Morocco.
Contact: AUCP Aix-en-Provence, 19, cours des Arts et Metiers, Aix-en-Provence 13100 France

CEPA Europe
EU Studies Semester Abroad Program in Strasbourg, France
This program is sponsored by Georgia State University and is open to both graduate and upper division undergraduate students from all accredited institutions. The focus is on culture, politics and economics.

Study Abroad Programs in Germany

University of Nevada German Studies in Lüneburg
This program features German language studies as well as courses in history, political science, culture, literature, etc.
Contact: University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC),

International School Of New Media at the University of Luebeck in Germany
Master of Science (M.Sc) in Digital Media

The program combines Information Technology and Computer Science with Economics, Arts, Humanities, Social and Applied sciences (all taught in English).

Wayne State University Junior Year in Munich
Founded in 1953, the Junior Year in Munich (JYM) is America’s oldest academic year abroad program in Germany. Students live in German student housing, have the entire LMU curriculum available to them, and receive a Wayne State Univ. transcript for all coursework completed in Munich. Internships are available. All instruction is in German.
Contact: Junior Year in Germany, Wayne State Univ., Detroit, MI 48202; 313-577-4605

CEPA Europe International Undergraduate Study Program – German Language & Culture
This university program is offered in cooperation with the University of Marburg and is designed for students who want to learn more about German and European culture, economy and politics, and to learn the German language or refresh their German language skills by participating in an intensive language course.

Study Abroad Programs in Greece

The Aegean Center for the Fine Arts
Italy/Greece Fall Semester

The Fall Session at the Aegean Center begins in the Tuscan city of Pistoia, Italy, and concludes at their permanent facility on the Greek island of Paros. Participants study at the two most important inter-related Mediterranean traditions of art in a single program.

Paros, Greece Spring Semester
The Spring Session is held at our permanent facility on the Greek island of Paros. Painting, photography, vocal studies and more are offered as part of their 12-week program.

Study Abroad Programs in Italy

Semester in Florence with City College of San Francisco
Attend Italian language, art, history and humanities classes at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci, located in the historic center. Visit a variety of churches, museums, and monuments and attend musical performances.

Studio Art Centers International (SACI)
Located in the heart of Florence, Italy, SACI specializes in studio art, art history, art conservation, architecture, design, and Italian cultural studies. Courses are offered in English in over 40 different Studio and Academic disciplines at all levels.
Contact: SACI, c/o Institute of International Education, 809 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017-3580
Tel: 212-984-5548, fax 212-984-5325

Academic Programs IE Florence
IE Florence offers study abroad programs and internships in music, arts and humanities.

Accademia Riaci
Accelerated One-Year/Semester Art Program in Florence
Accademia Riaci offers unique, quality, art courses in more than 15 media/disciplines.

API in Italy
API offers  semester, summer and year study abroad programs in Florence, Rome, and Syracuse, Italy. All courses are conducted in English, and Italian language classes are offered at all levels. Topics of study include culinary studies, humanities, international studies, social sciences, studio art, and natural sciences.

University Studies Abroad Consortium
Italian Studies in Torino and Viterbo, Italy
Choose from intensive courses in Italian language and culture — in addition to a diversified curriculum in business, economics, art, architecture, literature, etc.
Contact: University of Nevada,,

Study Abroad Programs in Norway

Oslo International Summer School
Each summer, the International Summer School (ISS) welcomes some 500 students from all over the world to its wide variety of graduate and undergraduate courses, mostly within the liberal arts and social sciences.

Study Abroad Programs in Spain

Focusing on language, literature, and culture, this program combines classroom instruction with visits to points of cultural and historical interest. Students live with local families.
Contact: Penn Summer Abroad, College of General Studies, Univ. of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market St., Suite 100, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335
Tel: 215-746-6901, fax 215-573-2053

Saint Louis University — Madrid Campus
Over 200 courses in a wide variety of disciplines taught in English and Spanish are offered each semester (more than 45 each summer session!) at Saint Louis University – Madrid Campus, the premier American Jesuit university in Spain.

Trinity Christian College Semester in Spain
Choose from beginning, intermediate, and advanced Spanish language studies along with Spanish literature, culture, history, and art. All courses taught in Spanish by native speakers. Homestays are arranged for all students.

San Diego State University Spanish Language Immersion Program in Madrid, Spain
The Spanish Language Immersion Program in Madrid is a four-week, intensive study of the language and culture of Spain. Living accommodations are with Spanish-speaking families throughout Madrid. Courses are taught by the faculty of the Center for Spanish Studies at Antonio de Nebrija University in Madrid.

University of Nevada Spanish Studies in Bilbao, Alicante, Madrid, and San Sebastian
These programs offer intensive language studies. Basque studies are available in San Sebastian, and art history studies are available in Madrid. Some elective courses are taught in English and Spanish.
Contact: University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC),,

Study Abroad Programs in Switzerland

University of Lausanne, French Summer Courses
Appropriate for elementary to advanced students of French language. Sessions are between 2-4 weeks.
Contact: Univ. of Lausanne, “Cours de Vacances BFSH,” CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Tel: 011-41-21-692-30-90, fax 011-41-21-692-30-85

Study Abroad Programs in the United Kingdom

University of Cambridge International Summer Schools
Study at Cambridge over the summer for one to six weeks. Choose from a wide variety of subjects including literature, art history, science, medieval studies, philosophy and history.
Contact: International Programmes, University of Cambridge, Greenwich House, Madingley Rise, Cambridge CB3 OTX UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 760850.

API in the United Kingdom
API offers comprehensive semester, summer, and year study abroad programs in Leeds and London, UK. Students in London can select from an arts/communications program, or a more general studies program.

Ithaca College London Center
The Ithaca College London Center offers coursework and internships in many fields.The program includes field trips to locations both in and out of London, weekend excursions, and a wide range of cultural events designed to fully immerse students in British culture.

University of St Andrews
International Students at the University of St Andrews Scotland
St Andrews University is distinguished for its research as well as for its high-quality teaching in a variety of fields and attracts students from schools, colleges and universities all over the world.

Univerity of Durham / Centre for Industrial Automation & Manufacture
MSc / Diploma in Design, Manufacturing & Management

The University offers 12 month / 9 month full time courses offering “real life” case study material & presentations by industrial practitioners. Concentrate on design, manufacturing or management.

University of Essex International Programmes
The University of Essex offers programs in a variety of subjects. Students follow the same courses and assessments as normal undergraduates.

Brockport (SUNY) Study Abroad Programs throughout the UK and Ireland
Overseas program participants studying in Ireland, at one of the 13 programs in England, or at one of four universities in Scotland will be given the opportunity to study at a highly acclaimed university while living in cities such as London, Oxford (England); Stirling, Glasgow, St. Andrew’s (Scotland): or Maynooth (Ireland); just to name a few. Brockport also offers full and part-time internship opportunities in London, England.

Study Abroad Programs in Ireland

API in Ireland
API offers semester, summer and year study abroad programs in Cork, Galway, and Limerick, Ireland. Students will be able to directly enroll in the Irish universities and select from virtually all of the courses offered in topics such as liberal arts, business, humanities, engineering, science, and more.

Multi-Country Study Abroad Programs

Antioch University

Europe in Transition: Enlargement, Migration, and Cultural Transformations – Explore contemporary social, economic, and political changes across Europe while meeting with members of parliament, NGOs, and political parties, while completing 4 social science courses. Engage in an examination of political, economic, and cultural differences while exploring Polish, Turkish, and German societies.

Comparative Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe
The program examines the trends and dynamics of European social, economic, and political systems as they influence contemporary gender theory, policy, and women’s identities. Students participate in NOISE, a two-week summer school in WGS co-organized by Utrecht University and ATHENA, the European Network of Women’s Studies. After NOISE, the WGSE participants spend the rest of the semester studying WGS in Prague, Berlin, Krakow, Utrecht/Amsterdam and Istanbul.

Contact: Kelly Brannan Trail, Assistant Director, Antioch Education Abroad, Antioch University, 150 E. South College St., Yellow Springs, OH 45387
Tel: 937) 769-1015 or (800) 874-7986

Written by Jen Westmoreland Bouchard for


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  1. says

    Great, comprehensive article. I also did study abroad in England my Senior year in college. It is one of the highlights of my life. The experience was priceless. The only thing I would have done differently was go for a year instead of one semester.

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