IUP student looking out over water with arms extended

Where to Start: P.L.A.N.

Ready to start learning about how to change your life? Here are some first steps you should take:



  • Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
  • Consider why you want to study abroad, where you want to go, how long you want to be abroad, and when you want to travel (see below).
  • Learn about our different program types (see below).



(N)arrow Down:

  • Work with the Financial Aid Office to discuss funding and scholarship opportunities.
  • Start your application in the StudioAbroad portal.
  • Continue working with the Education Abroad office.

Choosing Your Education Abroad Program

Selecting the most appropriate program for your needs is very important. To do so, you need to know yourself, your personal goals, and your individual expectations. To ensure that you have the most positive experience abroad, you should research all of the exciting options available to you.

The IUP Education Abroad Office website is a great tool to assist you in narrowing down your choices based on the following considerations:

  • How much time do you want to spend abroad? We offer summer, semester, and full academic year programs.
  • What are your primary academic goals for your experience abroad? Do you need to take courses for your major, or can you take general electives? Do you have a language requirement to fulfill?
  • What are your cost considerations? Do you use federal financial aid? Do you receive scholarships or tuition waivers?
  • Are you looking for a program that will offer in-depth cultural immersion in a particular culture or society? Or would you prefer a traveling program?
  • Do you want a program in which you will take university classes with local students in the local language? Or would you prefer to take classes designed specifically for IUP students and/or other US education abroad students?
  • Would you prefer to live in a major metropolitan area, in a small city, or in a rural area?
  • Would you prefer to live with a host family, with local students, with other US and international study abroad students, or with other IUP students?
  • Do you have any special needs such as a medical condition, learning disability, mental health condition, or dietary restriction that may need accommodation or specialized resources while abroad?
  • Do you meet the minimum eligibility requirements for education abroad? Do you meet the admission requirements for your selected study abroad programs?

Types of Education Abroad Programs

Crimson Exchanges

Reciprocal agreements between IUP and an international institution provide for an equal exchange of students. In a Crimson Exchange program, IUP students pay close to IUP in-state tuition and out-of-state fees for their credits abroad (based on 15 undergraduate credits).

Students will work with their academic advisors to determine course equivalencies for their work abroad. Participants will be responsible for paying for flights, books, travel, etc., in addition to their regular IUP in-state tuition, while room and board vary with each exchange site. Students will most likely be in regular university classes with students from the host country and not in special classes designed for foreigners. Proficiency in the host language may be required. Programs are available for all majors, though some may be restricted to a specific department or college. Students should refer to specific program information for details. Students receive transfer credit, not grades.

Faculty-Led Programs

Faculty-led programs are education abroad programs led by an IUP faculty member. In this type of program, students pay IUP tuition for their course(s) according to their classification and degree level.

Students also pay a program fee, including accommodations, meals, local transportation, program-related excursions, airfare, and other expenses. Each program focuses on a certain academic discipline, earning students direct IUP course credit. It incorporates excursions and field trips to allow students to explore and learn about their host country. These programs are primarily offered in the summer and winter sessions. Students are directly enrolled in IUP courses; therefore, they will earn grades for each course.

Third-Party Programs (CEA-CAPA, SAI, ISEP, Semester at Sea)

Third-party programs are offered by organizations that have an official affiliation with IUP. Participants in these programs do not pay IUP tuition.

Instead, they pay a program fee, which includes tuition and—usually—additional features such as accommodation, meals, dedicated on-site staff, in-country orientations, airport pick-up, insurance, and excursions as part of a comprehensive program package. Students participating in partnership programs may take courses with students from the host country or with other American or international students only. Compare program details and costs carefully because not all programs include the same features. In partnership programs, IUP students are assigned IUP course equivalencies (transfer credits) for their work abroad. As in reciprocal exchange programs, the grades earned are not factored into their IUP GPAs.

Independently-Arranged Programs

Occasionally, students may come across programs that IUP is not affiliated with. Students can work with our office to participate in these programs. Participants in these programs do not pay IUP tuition and may not receive financial aid or scholarships for that term. Students will directly enroll in coursework abroad rather than through IUP. Students would remain enrolled at IUP throughout their program.

Internships Abroad

An international internship can be an exciting way to diversify your experience and make you more marketable to employers. There are options to do internships at a few of our exchange programs—speak with your Education Abroad advisor for details about these opportunities.

To be able to count an international internship for internship credit for a required internship for your program at IUP, you will need to get the program approved by the internship coordinator in your specific department.

In addition to our exchange partners, IUP students can find internship opportunities abroad with the following third-party program providers.

  • CEA-CAPA Study Abroad offers internships for either the semester or summer in France, Ireland, Spain, England, Czech Republic, and Costa Rica. You can learn more about the opportunities by visiting the CEA-CAPA Internship information website.
  • SAI programs offer a variety of internship opportunities throughout Europe. The SAI Internships website has all the information you will need to start your search.
  • ISEP also has opportunities that can be found on the ISEP site.