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Program Options

Program Options

Philadelphia University works with many foreign universities abroad in a wide variety of countries around the world!

It is important to understand that not all majors here at PhilaU can study at any study abroad program that PhilaU has a relationship with.  Additionally, it is important to understand the difference between the variety of program types PhilaU offers.  Below is an explanation of the program types available to PhilaU students and how they differ.

Semester Abroad

Spending a full semester abroad is the most common type of program, and is what most people think of when they hear the words "study abroad".  During a semester abroad, the student is enrolled to take courses at a foreign institution.  The average semester abroad is 15 weeks (about 4 months) and follows a similar academic calendar to a semester at PhilaU.  Fall semester is typically August/September to December.  Spring semester typically runs January to May.  Exceptions to this calendar include programs in Australia and New Zealand in which the fall semester typically runs July to November and the spring semester typically run February to June.  During the semester, students are expected to take a full course load of (12-15 credits), which typically includes a mixture of major courses and liberal arts courses.
Types of Semester Programs:
PhilaU Programs Abroad: PhilaU Rome Semester at UARC in Fall and Spring and the Costa Rica Experience for Health Sciences at CEA San Jose in Fall provide a set courseload of PhilaU equivalents immersed in their host culture. A cohort of Phila U Students travel, live, and take classes together as a group as well as with students from partner schools.
Its a great option for student who have a specific program of study and want to continue their connection to the PhilaU community abroad. Applications for these program only require unofficial transcripts and no external application!
Pre-Approved Study Abroad Programs: Students can study at Foreign Institutions like Glasgow School of Art and American Study Abroad programs like Danish Institute of Study that have been preapproved for students in specific majors. These program are run by partner institutions who accept our nominees and have students from across the US and all over the world. Each program is different and course options and student life varies. These programs are excellent options for students who are interested in meeting new groups of people and trying out new types of courses. These programs require an additional application and official transcript and may have higher gpa requirements. Some require portfolio review.
Internship Programs: Some Pre-approved programs like University of Westminster, CIEE Shanghai, and John Cabot University in Rome have internship options in which students can participate in a supervised internship for course credit. There may be additional application and visa requirements.
Exchange Programs: Students in a few majors can spend a semester as at an exchange student at foreign university partners like Heriot Watt University in Scotland and Koln International School of Design. 1 or 2 selected student will directly enroll in design and liberal arts courses at foreign institutions, taking classes with local professors and living with local classmates. This is the most immersive experience a Study Abroad Student can have and is great for students motivated to explore and work independently like a local student. These programs require an additional application and official transcript and may have higher gpa requirements. Some require portfolio review.
National Student Exchange: Students in most majors can spend a semester as an exchange student at a number of schools across North America as part of the National Student Exchange. Students are placed at one of their top choices and have chance to experience a different region of the country and university community. The NSE has a different deadline and requires an additional application and official transcript. Some schools require portfolio review.

Academic Year Abroad

An academic year abroad means that a student spends a consecutive fall and spring semester abroad, enrolled at a foreign institution.  The student may choose to spend both semesters at the same institution, or may spend the fall semester at one institution and then enroll at different foreign institution (perhaps in an entirely different country) during the spring semester.  Academically, spending a year abroad can be challenging.  Students must still take a full course load each semester, and must complete all of the courses required for graduation.  Any student who wishes to spend a year abroad should beginning planning as early as possible to ensure all course requirements are met.

Summer Abroad

Summer programs are a lot more flexible than a full semester or academic year abroad.  Rather than taking a full load of courses, students typically only take one or 2 classes.  Additionally, students have more flexibility with regard to the type of classes they choose to take.  Students are not required to take major courses during the summer and instead may take electives or liberal arts courses, depending on what they need.  This flexibility allows students to explore a more extensive and diverse list of destinations in which to study.  Summer programs tend to be shorter than a full semester abroad, averaging 3 to 5 weeks in length, although some programs are as long as 10 weeks.

Faculty-Led Short Courses

Short courses are (as the name suggests) our shortest study abroad program, in terms of the length of time the student spends abroad.  Short Courses are Philadelphia University courses, developed by Philadelphia University faculty, which include a 1 to 3 week international excursion that allows students the opportunity to learn a particular subject from a foreign perspective.  These courses may be developed for a specific major, or may be open to all majors.  We also offer Short Courses for students of all academic levels: freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students.  Each course is typically worth 3 credits, and is treated just like any other PhilaU course as far as the University’s policies on billing, attendance, grading, etc.

Special Approval

If you have interest in a specific region or program and can't find it among our approved options, schedule an appointment to discuss the Special Approval process with the manager of Study Abroad. Under special circumstances students can apply for individual approval for new programs with the completion of a Special Approval proposal that will be reviewed by the academic program, Study Abroad Committee and Provost's Office.