Student celebrating at the oceanWhere to Start: P.L.A.N.

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



  • Talk with your advisor.

  • Attend an Information Workshop

  • Choose a country that best suits your wants/needs

  • Talk with your family about keeping in contact while you're abroad

  • Make sure to have access to health/life insurance while abroad—many options are offered on OIE's website


  • Decide what program aligns with your major

  • Assess what you can afford

  • Ask your advisor about anything you're unsure of

  • Familiarize yourself with the culture and customs of the country you'll be studying in

  • Listen to the experiences of students who have studied abroad

  • Learn where the nearest American embassy or consulate is in the host country.

  • Learn where you can access your money when you need it.


  • Understand that there will be a culture change, long days, and much you might not understand.

  • It's an adventure you will need to be open to trying new things once you get to your destination

  • Safety is vital, always plan ahead


  • Talk to people you're learning in a new environment

  • Don't be afraid to reach out if you don't understand something

  • Talk with students who've studied abroad or are with you on your trip

  • Keep up to date on the newest alerts for travel abroad: StudioAbroad website

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 the work they do 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, which generally includes accommodations, meals, local transportation, program-related excursions, airfare, and other expenses. Each program focuses on a certain academic discipline with students earning direct IUP course credit, and incorporates excursions and field trips to give students the opportunity 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, 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 either be taking 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 the work they do abroad, and, just as the reciprocal exchange programs, the grades earned are not factored into their IUP GPAs.

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 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 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.

Meet with the Team

Now that you have decided to take the next step in learning about education abroad programs, you are likely wondering where to begin or who to talk to. If you haven't yet been to a Wednesday Workshop, that is a great place to start. For times and locations, visit the Wednesday Workshop page on this site.

Once you have attended one of these meetings, you can make an appointment with the Education Abroad team by emailing When making an appointment, be sure to type in what you would like to talk about in this meeting, if you know any specifics.

Bukky Salako in South Korea

"I am elated that I decided to study abroad.I learned so much about myself, Korean culture, and made new friends from all over the world.I would definitely recommend studying abroad and choosing a place that takes you out of your comfort zone..."

Bukky Salako, Class of 2015
Composition and TESOL PhD