Program Types & Definitions
Every program on the Learning Abroad Center website is of a certain category, type and sponsor. Every program also has certain features. For example, the MSID India program is:
Category: Study Abroad Program
Type: Study Center
Sponsor: Learning Abroad Center
Features: Internship, Homestay, Resident Credit
The definitions below will help you determine what sort of program you are most interested in.
- Study Abroad
- An academically focused time overseas on which at least 1 academic credit is accrued.
- Work, Intern, Volunteer, Teach English (WIV)
- An experience abroad not for credit. Includes work, intern, volunteer, and Teaching English programs.
- A type of study abroad program where students trade places, attending the others’ institution. Exchange programs often demand a high level of independence and you must be able to deal with a high level of ambiguity at times. You will be responsible for problem solving in-country. Deadlines are earlier than other program types, often a year before departure. There are full and partial scholarship exchange programs.
- Directed Study Abroad
- An academic experience abroad arranged individually between one student and one faculty member or department. There is no program per se, rather a contract between the student and the faculty member is drawn up and details how much credit will be given upon successful completion of the project and/or research.
- Learning Abroad Center Programs
- These study abroad experiences are developed, administered and evaluated by the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. Non-University of Minnesota students may also apply to most of these programs.
- UM–Duluth, UM–Morris & UM–Crookston Sponsored
- These study abroad experiences are developed, administered and evaluated by one of the University of Minnesota coordinate campuses. UMTC students will work directly with the appropriate office on the campus that sponsors the program.
- These programs are administered by other institutions/organizations and approved by the University of Minnesota. Students will receive support and services from the Learning Abroad Center, and credits will be posted as resident credit. Students will also work directly with the affiliate. On-site support and staff will be from the affiliate organization and not the University of Minnesota.
- University of Minnesota departments and colleges sponsor their own programs abroad. Students receive full advising services from the offices on campus which are running the program while the Learning Abroad Center does basic administration.
- Nonaffiliated Program
- Any program abroad that lacks a University of Minnesota affiliation. University of Minnesota students are able to attend and may receive credit for these programs. Faculty have not reviewed the quality of these programs and credit is not guaranteed. Students have the responsibility to ensure quality and credit on these programs.
Program Type Definitions
- Field Study Programs
- Most time is spent living and working outdoors. Coursework often has a specific theme or topic and often involves activities such as data collection. Typically very little traditional classroom time, the emphasis is on experiential assignments.
- Host-University Study Programs
- Most time is spent living and taking classes at a local university with students and faculty from the host country much like an international student coming to the University of Minnesota. Students are expected to perform at the same level as local students, often in a more independent educational system. Some programs consist entirely of such study, whereas others combine it with special courses aimed at non-native students. Institutions abroad will offer different courses, theoretical perspectives, and/or methodologies from the University of Minnesota.
- Study Center Programs
- Most time is spent living and taking classes with other students on the program. The building(s) students take coursework in may or may not be on a university campus and are often located in city centers. Buildings generally have computer rooms, classrooms, staff offices and a small library. Often times coursework will take advantage of the location and be experiential based, a history class will meet at important historical sites for instance. Many such programs combine customized courses with opportunities for field study, internships and/or the option of taking some classes in a host-country university. Study center programs are good for students who want extra support or may not know the language of the host country well enough to enroll at a local university.
- Internship Abroad Programs (unpaid)
- Programs combine coursework with internship placements in order to grant academic credit. Internships are unpaid. Internship placements vary with many fields being represented
- Special Funding
Certain affiliate programs offer special funding, scholarships or fee-reductions for University of Minnesota-- Twin Cities students participating on specific programs
- Global Seminars
- A type of U-Led program where a U of M faculty member leads a group of students abroad for a winter break or may session. Global Seminars consist of one 3-credit class and are approximately 3 weeks in length. Locations and coursework vary each year.
- Freshman Seminars Abroad
- Freshman Seminars Abroad combine on-campus instruction during spring semester with a study abroad component during spring break. Seminars are 3 credits at the 19xx level and fulfill a liberal education requirement.
- Work Abroad Programs
- A program on which an organization assists you in securing a visa, a place to live and a short term job abroad (often a summer). Positions are often in tourism or hospitality. These programs are typically inexpensive and require a high level of independence from participants.
- Internship Abroad Programs (non-credit)
- These programs assist you in securing a visa, a place to live and an internship placement which may be paid or unpaid. Internship placement types vary with many fields being represented.
- Volunteer Abroad Programs
- These programs vary in length from one week to a full summer. There are many different types of projects and locations to choose from. Often you would be a part of a group which would not necessarily be college age students, but might include families or retirees as well.
- Teach English Abroad
- Teaching English abroad can take many forms, from a ‘program’ type arrangement to which you pay for services, to a government sponsored program, to a language school which may hire you directly. Levels of service and levels of independence necessary vary widely amongst these types. Most teachers are paid, and most are paid enough to cover expenses while living in the country. Placements in Western Europe are highly competitive.
- Service-learning provides direct experience applying content, ideas and issues discussed in a class through volunteering at a community organization. Students support the organization and its goals, and the organization gives students the opportunity to serve the community and develop professional skills and contacts. Structured reflection on the experience is an essential component of a service-learning program.
Program Feature Definitions
- Short travel to events or sites of interest abroad arranged by the program staff. Excursions are often in the country you are studying in (but occasionally are further afield) and can be directly related to coursework, or may simply be a general travel opportunity.
- Language of Instruction
- Language of Instruction indicates the language the coursework will be in. Often times a program will offer some courses in English and some in the local language. There are many non-English speaking countries in which you can take coursework in English.
- Living with a family in another country is one of the highlights of an international experience. It is an opportunity to experience the daily life of the host country from a firsthand perspective and to develop lifelong ties to the host family. It is also a good way to learn another language. One or two meals a day are generally taken with the family.
- Living in an apartment allows more independence for students. The key to a successful stay in an apartment is to be mindful and respectful of the landlord’s guidelines and expectations. Students cook for themselves using the kitchen facilities provided.
- Dorms tend to be on or near campus and have facilities nearby such as cafeterias and laundry. Dorm living also allows students to meet host country and other international students. Some dorms have shared kitchen facilities and others offer a meal plan or require students to purchase food locally.