Choosing a Program

What type of classes do you want to take? Do you need a particular type of credit? What do you wish to gain from this experience? How long do you want to go for? Is housing a factor? You can always study abroad for the sake of the experience and without regard to whether or not you need credits; many programs allow you to audit classes. If you need a particular type of credit (area of concentration, core requirements, liberal arts and science, residency) you should consult with your advisor before applying for a program to make sure you are making the right choices. Many programs offer a wide-array of liberal arts courses so it is easy to take language, literature, history and culture courses. If you need to fill a requirement like science you should keep in mind that you won’t find that in too many programs. If you plan to take courses towards your area of concentration bare in mind that you will need to have them approved by your faculty mentor, add them to your area of concentration form, and have them approved by the CUNY Baccalaureate Academic Director. Many CUNY schools offer programs during the winter break (inter-session) and in the summer; if you cannot get away from your job or family for a whole semester you may be able to do it for 3-4 weeks. Some programs offer dormitory housing, some offer off-campus housing, and some place you with a family. You should be realistic about your housing situation and which kind of living arrangement will work best for you.

Types of Programs

There are four types of programs to consider:

-Study Abroad programs may be semester-long, year-long, or short-term (typically run during the summer or winter intersession). These programs consist of courses aimed towards a particular course of study, and are taught by faculty of the host institution or by visiting CUNY faculty. Students normally pay tuition to the foreign institution through the sponsoring CUNY college. Financial assistance, such as federal student loans and Pell grants, may be available.

-Exchange programs provide similar opportunities. CUNY students attend an overseas institution for a semester or academic year in exchange for foreign students who enroll at a CUNY college. CUNY students generally pay CUNY tuition to the sponsoring CUNY college. Under current law, the State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) may be applied to such exchange programs. Students may also be eligible for federal student loans and Pell grants.

-Faculty-led programs are courses taught by CUNY Faculty. The programs are short-term and typically runduring the summer or winter intersession. Financial assistance, such as federal student loans and Pell grants, may be available.

-Direct enrollment is not for everyone but for some it’s a good fit. Students enroll directly at a foreign university as a visiting international student. Credits must be pre-evaluated by your home college and details will need to be worked out very closely with your academic advisor.


Some students undertake international internships rather than formal study abroad programs.  As you prepare for a career in our increasingly global economy, gaining international work experience through an internship is a great way to build your resume and your skill set.  Be sure to find out how to earn credit by speaking to your academic advisor and faculty mentor before you get too far into the planning process.  Remember that if you earn CUNY credits while you are away you need to adhere to the CUNY International Travel Guidelines which your advisor can walk you through.

Resources for Finding Internships

The Institute for International Education (IIE) is a private nonprofit which, in collaboration with governments, foundations and other sponsors, creates programs of study and training for students, educators and professionals from all sectors.  IIE maintains a thorough database of study abroad programs at

The globalEDGE International Internship Directory created and hosted by Michigan State University is a reference guide for students, faculty, staff, and administrators to help match students with international internship opportunities offered by two- and four-year colleges and universities, governmental agencies, non-profit groups, private organizations, and corporations.

Resources for Finding Programs

The Online Directory of CUNY Study Abroad and International Exchange Programs is designed to inform the CUNY community about the broad range of overseas programs the University offers. Most programs are open to all CUNY students, although students may have to meet certain requirements for acceptance into some programs (specified in the listings). The information in the Directory is intended to help students identify programs of interest in a preliminary way. Costs and deadlines provided in the Directory are subject to change. For more details, interested readers should speak with the contact person listed with each program description. A directory of CUNY study abroad offices is available here.

The College of Staten Island is member of the College Consortium for International Studies, a partnership of colleges and universities — two and four year, large and small, public and private, domestic and foreign — encompasses the broad spectrum of international higher education. CCIS members sponsor a variety of programs, notably study abroad programs and professional development seminars for faculty and administrators, which are designed to enhance international/intercultural perspectives within the academic community. CUNY Baccalaureate students may participate in CCIS programs through the College of Staten Island.

The Institute for International Education (IIE) is a private nonprofit which, in collaboration with governments, foundations and other sponsors, creates programs of study and training for students, educators and professionals from all sectors.  IIE maintains a thorough database of study abroad programs at

Third Party Providers

There are a number of third party providers- companies or organizations which run study abroad programs- which you may also want to explore.

Abroad View

The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose mission is: “to help people gain understanding, acquire knowledge, and develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world.”  To that end, CIEE offers study abroad and teach abroad opportunities

Cultural Experiences Abroad

CEA Global Education

The Education Abroad Network

Global Learning Semesters

International Student Exchange and Study Abroad Resource Center

International Studies Abroad

SIT Study Abroad

Transitions Abroad

The University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) is a non-profit organization made up of 33 U.S. member universities that has provided quality, affordable study abroad programs for almost 30 years; USAC currently offers programs in 24 countries at 39 program sites. USAC students come from both universities in the consortium, as well as from over 700 universities nationwide.

Suggestions for Students with Disabilities

There may be many reasons not to participate in study abroad, but disability should not be one of them. With advance planning and building partnerships between the study abroad program of your choosing, your home college’s disability services office, and other service partners in your life, your study abroad experience can be a success. As you consider the study abroad option, here are three resource organizations that can help you with your planning:

Mobility International USA (MIUSA),, a nonprofit , cross-disability organization serving those with cognitive, hearing, learning, mental health, physical, systemic, vision and other disabilities. MIUSA’s mission is to empower people with disabilities to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development.

National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE),, NCDE is a comprehensive resource on advising and tools for people with disabilities, professionals, educational institutions and organizations on increasing disability inclusion in international study, volunteer, teaching and other exchange programs.

Access Abroad, A Collaborative Effort at the University of Minnesota between the Learning Abroad Center and Disability Services to facilitate equal access for students seeking to pursue an education abroad experience and to provide information on accessibility at sponsored overseas sites.