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Partnership and exchange: Study abroad programs for a summer, semester or year abroad

ASU students riding an elephant on their study abroad trip to India

ASU students on their study abroad experience in India. Photo courtesy of Margaret Zheng.

August 12, 2020

Some students dream of living in a different country. Partnership and exchange study abroad programs make those dreams reality, allowing students to spend a semester or even a year fully experiencing what life is like for a local in a different country.

While a large majority of partnership and exchange programs take place during the fall or spring semesters, there are also many summer programs offered for students who want a culturally immersive experience but may not be able to go abroad for a full semester.

Partnership programs are connected with an outside study abroad provider, such as CAPA: The Global Education Network or CIEE Study Abroad. In conjunction with ASU's Study Abroad Office, the providers help students arrange their study abroad experience by coordinating visa applications, housing, course enrollment and excursions. They still give students a chance to immerse themselves in a new culture, but provide on-site, in-country support to help them navigate life abroad. On partnership programs, students have a variety of options for housing, ranging from homestays, to apartment-style housing to on-campus dormitories, increasing their cultural awareness and independence along the way.

Exchange programs are probably what most people think of when they hear “study abroad." These are independent programs where students enroll directly in another university for the academic term they will be abroad. Students arrange their own housing, enroll in their own courses and coordinate their visa applications, travel plans and excursions.

English is the language of instruction on most partnership and exchange programs, but there are opportunities available for students with foreign language skills who are interested in taking classes in the local language. Students may be taking classes with local students, other American or international students or a mix of all three.

Plus, on partnership and exchange programs, students have access to a wide breadth of course offerings. Students can study a variety of subjects, and in many cases have access to a full university course catalog. This provides an opportunity for students to choose the classes they want to take, while advancing in their degree progress and staying on track for graduation. Students receive resident ASU credit for the coursework completed abroad, just as if they completed the courses at ASU.

Ariella Nardizzi, a journalism major, studied abroad on a partnership program for a semester in Florence, Italy, learning what it was truly like to live abroad. “My most valuable piece of my abroad experience was being able to say I lived in Florence, Italy,” said Nardizzi. “There was a certain point in my time abroad where I stopped being a ‘tourist’ and suddenly became a ‘local.’ It felt less like I was temporarily studying abroad and more like I was living abroad and able to call this foreign city my home.”

On partnership and exchange programs that occur during the academic year, a student’s financial aid and scholarships may apply to their program. This makes these programs a financially viable option, because a semester abroad can cost the same or even less than a semester at ASU.

Cassandra Savel, a sustainability major, studied abroad at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands for a semester. “Studying abroad gave me the confidence, skills and knowledge to understand that I can go independently into the world — wherever that takes me — and conquer my goals,” Savel said. “I am definitely inspired to travel more, meet others from around the world and broaden my global perspective now that I had a glimpse into what is possible.”

No matter where a student studies abroad, they are sure to grow their global awareness and self-confidence, while increasing their dedication to their academic studies and their competitiveness to employers. There are a multitude of reasons why every ASU student should study abroad.

If you think a partnership or exchange program is right for you, check out the available programs online and start planning your study abroad.

Where will you go?

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