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How do I apply for study abroad if I don't go to a school that offers it?

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5 answers

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Leah’s Answer

Hi Jerome,

Great question! Studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity to pursue, even if your college does not offer any programs. There are independent third party study abroad companies like International Studies Abroad Inc. (ISA) that facilitate the study abroad experience for students from any college or university. ISA's website:

I studied abroad with ISA at the American University of Rome in Italy the spring semester of my junior year of college. Studying abroad was absolutely worthwhile. I matured significantly and discovered what I was passionate about. I am a much happier, independent, and confident person because of the experience. Additionally, the experience with international travel is beneficial to my career in public accounting.

ISA offers one-month summer programs as well as semester-long programs.


  • You must be at least 18 years old by the program start date.
  • You must submit a course registration agreement. Additional details will be provided after gaining access to the ISA Student Portal.
  • Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50.
  • If you have a cumulative GPA below 2.50, you may still be considered for acceptance. You will have to submit one letter of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

To enroll in study abroad for the spring 2020 semester:

Application Deadline: Oct 01, 2019

Credit: 12 - 16 Credits

Program Dates: Late Jan, 2020 - Mid May, 2020

Leah recommends the following next steps:

Check the Program Requirements
Know When Your Application is Due
Look Into Funding Options
Apply for Passport
Apply for Study Abroad Program
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Megan’s Answer

Hi Jerome,

Look into private study abroad programs. My school did offer it, however it wasn't in the location I wanted, so I chose to go through a private program vs. the one offered by the university. Here is the one I went into:

Most colleges will accept credits for these courses, however they don't generally map to specific courses at your college & therefore are treated as pass/no pass credits vs. count toward your GPA.

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Vivian’s Answer

Hi Jerome, there are many study abroad summer programs you can try online. Moreover, you can also try directly enroll in some of the college summer programs overseas. Hope this helps!

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Katie’s Answer

I want to start answering this question by saying that I truly admire your passion to study abroad, even if your school does not offer it! Both me and my sister studied abroad during college, as well as most of my friends. I believe studying abroad is one of the best things that you can do to develop yourself as a young adult. You learn so much about yourself and about other cultures while studying abroad.

That being said, do not let the fact that you school doesn't offer it hold you back from applying to external programs! Start by searching the internet for "study abroad programs" and find the most popular external study abroad programs. There will be many reviews on the reputable programs, and you'll be able to tell my student's experiences if it is the right program for you. Make sure the program offers enough support while you are over there, including that they help you in choosing your classes, finding housing, and getting settled in the new environment!

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Ashley’s Answer

Hi Jerome,

You can work with organizations that support study abroad opportunities. An internet search will give you a large list of these, but a reliable resource is the government sponsored USA Study Abroad site:

Be sure to consider how financial aid will work (if needed) and if credits will be transferable to your school. A summer program may be useful to balance cost and experience while a year-long program will give you the greatest opportunity to fully immerse in the culture of your chosen destination.

I have lived abroad twice - the first time in Scotland and the second in Japan. While I enjoyed my time in Scotland, visiting a culture so different than mine and learning to see things from a new perspective made Japan a more rewarding experience. I recommend that you choose to go to a non-Western culture country to truly give yourself a new experience.

Good luck!

Ashley recommends the following next steps:

Research study abroad organizations/programs.
Review with school advisers about transferable credits/financial aid options.
Determine length of stay and destination.
Prepare all documentation/immunizations needed for selected program.