Types of Programs

There are around 200 Approved Programs in 58 countries for you to choose from during the academic year. The University Curriculum Committee has approved these programs as eligible to receive Brandeis credit. All of the Brandeis-approved programs allow you to continue your academic learning in the context of another culture and earn credit toward your degree.

There is a great diversity of programs available to Brandeis students which can be divided into the following categories (with some programs falling into multiple categories): 

University-Based Programs

If you choose to study at an overseas university you will enroll in regular classes and study alongside students from the host country. This option offers the advantage of full cultural immersion. This also permits you to choose from a wide variety of courses in many disciplines. Visiting students are expected to perform at the same level as their native classmates, and will be graded as such. In most overseas universities, the majority of each course grade will depend heavily on the outcome of a final exam or paper and less on assignments throughout the semester. In addition, classes will follow the local academic calendar and semesters may start earlier or later than universities in the U.S. University-Based Programs normally offer housing in dorms or in student apartments. Some universities only offer housing in a designated international dorm. You can apply directly to some universities while with others, you will apply through an intermediary like IFSA-Butler or Arcadia, among others. These organizations provide students with additional supports like a Resident Director, cultural excursions, housing, and more.

Examples: London School of Economics and Politics; CIEE/ University of Cape Town; Arcadia/ University College Dublin

Please see the section below on Study Center-Based Programs for more information on other ways to take some of your courses at an overseas university.

Study Center-Based Programs

Some academic institutions have study centers overseas where they host programs specifically designed for international students. These programs offer classes in English or the local language that are taught by local and/or visiting faculty. Courses are generally structured similarly to U.S. university courses, with a syllabus, regular assignments and frequent exams. These programs are also more likely to follow the U.S. semester calendar. If you chose to study on one of these programs, you will be taking courses with other students from the U.S. Most of these programs offer housing with homestay families, while a few offer housing in student apartments.

Examples: IES/ Granada, Spain; Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies

In some countries where English is not the primary native language, these programs may also allow students with adequate language abilities to take one or more courses at a local university alongside local students.

Field-Based Programs

Study abroad on a Field-Based Program offers you the opportunity to approach academic learning in a new way. These physical and social science programs take advantage of their locations in the field to engage students in experiential, interdisciplinary learning. Most programs have very specific themes such as ecology or social justice. These programs tend to be small, usually accommodating 25 or fewer students from the U.S. who take all of their courses together. Courses are taught by a combination of professors, local experts and working professionals. Most class time is spent out in the field, learning about the local culture and history, observing, collecting data and interacting directly with the subject matter you are studying. Courses tend to have regularly scheduled assignments and exams. Assessment is often based on the quality of observation and analysis demonstrated in your work. These programs tend to follow a U.S. academic calendar. Housing options vary depending on location. Many programs offer a homestays or rustic accommodations in field stations.

Examples: SIT/ South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy; School for Field Studies/ Sustainable Development in Costa Rica

Internship Programs

Internships offer a unique way to immerse yourself in the local society and gain a deeper understanding of a particular field. Several programs around the world sponsor academic internships that allow students to gain real word experience with a private firm, an artistic association, a government body or a non-governmental organization (NGO). Please note that not all internships offered by programs on the approved list meet Brandeis' requirements for credit. Internships, independent study courses, and fieldwork experience must have approval from the Office of Study Abroad in order to be accepted for credit. More information on internships, field study projects, and independent study projects can be found on the Obtaining Brandeis Credit page.

Examples: Boston University/ Sydney Internship Program; University of Haifa