When can we travel again? Many of us can’t wait to get out of our homes and start living. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic put study abroad activities on hold, but even though we are physically apart, we can still connect with each other. Interested? If you qualify as a college student who’s ready to travel, you have to see which schools on the East Coast offer the best international experience. Unique classes, high student enrollment, plenty of extracurricular involvement, unforgettable student experiences and a variety of abroad opportunities make these schools stand apart from all the rest.
Check out the top 10 study abroad programs located on the East Coast.
10. Dartmouth College
Get your smart on in the Northeast! This private Ivy League institution in Hanover, New Hampshire sends more than 50% of their students abroad. The study abroad programs they offer include London, Southern Africa and Costa Rica. Their Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education is one of the best in the country.
They offer both domestic and abroad options to accommodate all students of study, and they also offer programs in nearly every continent. Dartmouth even offers internships and fellowships abroad such as the Tucker Center, TuckGo and more, such as the NAACP, Dartmouth Math Society, and Dartmouth Champer Orchestra.
9. Smith College
Who runs the world? The women of Smith College… clearly! Smith College is a private liberal arts all women school located in Northampton, MA. Nearly 40% of Smith College’s students study abroad each year. Their study abroad program covers six continents with over 100 programs to choose from. Some of their most unique programs include Florence, Geneva, Hamburg, Paris and Preshco.
What makes this unique is because they have campuses located in these countries. Abroad scholarships and financial aid also help cover all the expenses. Additionally, Smith takes students to Preshco in order to advance their Spanish. As one of the most hands-on places to gain community involvement, students studying in Preshco help in the community and volunteer at local establishments such as shelters, churches and schools. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
8. West Virginia University
Go Mountaineers! WVU offers exchange programs, short-term programs, affiliate programs and virtual programs to meet each student’s study abroad endeavors. A little over 1,000 students call WVU their home away from home. From the University of Antwerp in Belgium to Lingnan University in Hong Kong, WVU is one of the leading progams to attend. The WVU exchange program takes students to over 50 countries including Italy, China, Peru, Morocco, South Africa, Australia and more.
How will you pay? All payments are made out to WVU and students can apply for financial aid or scholarships. They also offer volunteer opportunities in almost every country of study such as helping students speak English and getting involved in the community. It really is that easy! Upon returning, students who studied abroad have the opportunity to become Education Abroad Student Ambassadors. These students help others considering the education abroad programs and can guide them into making the right decision.
7. Middlebury College
If you love beautiful scenery, skiing and a world abroad, get ready to explore Middlebury College. Each year, 50% of Middlebury juniors study abroad. Middlebury College is a private liberal arts college in Middlebury, Vermont that offers study abroad programs in 40 different locations including Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, China, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, Uruguay and the United Kingdom. They offer scholarships, grants and financial aid to help students pay for this wonderful experience of immersing themselves in a new culture. While you’re there, the schools offer day trips to other countries to further your abroad experience.
On Middlebury’s website, they show each program and the many activities you can do while you’re there. For example, in Prague’s Communications Abroad, you can do things such as participate in excursions and weekly cultural and social activities to immerse yourself in Czech culture, while getting to know other students. Explore Prague Castle, Old Town, the historic halls of Charles University, the theater and the opera. You can even join the language exchange program,“Meet a Czech Family”, and more! From studying Humanities at Oxford and language in South America, experience all of Middlebury’s specialities.
6. Arcadia University
Study abroad history is a staple at Arcadia. Since the school’s opening, more than 65,000 students have studied abroad. Historically, a group of young women sailed from New York to Southampton, England on a mission of education and discovery of post-war rebuilding efforts. They then traveled through England, Belgium and France… yes please! Now, nearly 3,000 students study abroad each year.
Arcadia provides a study abroad syllabus like no other, catering to every grade and multiple courses of study. Arcadia University offers student union clubs to join in your country of study, and even offer a detailed travel experience specifically for first and second year students. For upperclassmen at Arcadia, you can even participate in a semester-long Global Field Study course that ventures off campus.
To begin your journey studying abroad, you must follow a four-step process. Arcadia’s steps for studying abroad include: finding a program, meeting with your study abroad advisor, exploring your options and starting an application. Students may also volunteer with the Peace Corps while abroad— an opportunity not every school offers.
5. New York University
NYU offers one of the most rigorous study abroad programs throughout the country with 12 global locations in the world’s largest cities. On average, NYU sends over 4,000 students abroad. They also offer financial assistance and opportunities such as scholarships and assistantships for both the undergraduate and graduate programs.
Students can choose to travel to countries including Abu Dhabi, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Madrid, Paris, Prague and Sydney. Whoa! NYU also offers domestic studies in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., aka, all the places everyone dreams of going. Imagine taking a selfie by the Eiffel Tower?
In each country, there are training opportunities that NYU students can complete in order to get involved in the country they study in, such as the Intercultural Learning Program. Additionally, the Caribbean Student Association, Chinese Culture Club and Latinoamérica SIG makeup just a few clubs that students abroad can get involved with.
NYU offers mentoring groups for students considering studying abroad, which gives them the opportunity to peer network. They’re also known for their diverse areas of studies, such as studying music in Prague and business in China. NYU clearly touches all of the study abroad basis and refuses to falter with their global footprint. NYU is the GOAT in terms of study abroad.
4. Georgetown University
The launching pad for lovers of politics and travel alike, Georgetown University is simply the starting point to your global college journey. Sitting in the heart of Washington, D.C. and home to many prestigious alumni, Georgetown offers a state-of-the-art study abroad program. Georgetown boasts about 900 students a year who participate in studying abroad.
“One thing that makes Georgetown unique is our campus in Florence, Italy. It’s called the Villa, and because it’s a Georgetown campus, the classes there are taught by our professors. A lot of students study abroad to gain fluency in a language because when you’re in the School of Foreign Service, you have to pass a proficiency in another language,” Georgetown international politics major Jenna Chirichetti said.
A total of 57 countries host Georgetown students, and there are 213 programs such as communications, arts and mathematics available in China, Italy, Spain and many more. Georgetown offers many resources to find internship and volunteer programs worldwide. They also offer numerous programs geared towards women, the LGBTQ Community and international students. Georgetown is the place to be if you love city life and want to see the world.
3. Syracuse University
Pack your bags! Not only will be in school in New York but have endless options to explore all over the globe. Syracuse University offers over 100 programs located in 60 different countries. The most popular programs include Florence, which specializes in art, design, engineering and languages. You can also visit London, Madrid, Santiago, Chile, Strasbourg, France and other locations across Europe.
To volunteer abroad, students can check out the Peace Corps, World Opportunities on Organic Farms and Workaway. Students interested in studying abroad can also make an appointment with the education abroad office and speak with students who have experienced first hand what it’s like to study out of the country.
Students can also apply for grants, financial aid and tuition in order to help pay for their abroad needs. This university knows that money doesn’t mean a thing if you truly want to see the world and they’re here to help you every step of the way to get you to your dream abroad location. Syracuse also offers a Women & Gender Norms Abroad Program, with resources including Women Going Abroad, Women Travelers and Women Travel’s Guide.
2. Bates College
Are Victorian houses and small campuses a fit for you? Well if they are, check out Bates College. Bates College is a private liberal arts college in Lewiston, Maine. With only about 1,700 students attending school here, would you believe that 60% of juniors study abroad?
With this astronomical stat under their belt, they plan to launch their Bates in Berlin study abroad opportunity for Fall 2021. This program offers a large number of sites that play an important role in world history. For example, students can visit modern-day Berlin, a hub for invention and a home to museums showcasing scientific discoveries that profoundly affected culture and politics well beyond German borders. Interested? Students must sign up for a Zoom appointment to meet with an expert in the education abroad office. The courses for this program include a German Language and Mapping the City Through Text courses.
“The Center for Global Education at Bates College coordinates and promotes international education experiences for all Bates students,” Director of Global Education Darren Gallant said. “With over 200 approved programs for students to choose from, there are options for every academic interest. Students of all class years are able to participate in faculty-led short term off-campus study courses that run for up to four weeks in the spring.”
Bates College even provides countless international clubs on campus, and represents over 90 countries abroad.
“Two Bates faculty members lead a rotating interdisciplinary program called the Fall Semester Abroad, that attracts all class years and offers a uniquely Bates approach to study abroad,” Gallant said. “Many Bates students will graduate with multiple international academic experiences and will pursue international opportunities after graduation. Financial aid and additional grants are available for eligible students for all of these experiences, making international opportunities possible for many students for the first time.”
Bates College doesn’t let finances stop you from life changing abroad opportunities such as these.
1. Penn State University
Penn State is among 250+ colleges that partner with The Institute for the International Education of Students, or IES Abroad. Each year, they send about 11,000 students abroad. Penn State itself offers over 300 programs located in 50 countries. Now that things are online temporarily, they hold Education Abroad Fairs virtually. This gives students the chance to see what studying abroad will look like post-pandemic. Additionally, Penn State offers travel grants and scholarships to help students pay for their abroad studies.
“I took two courses while in Florence, Italy for six weeks. I took an International Sports History course and a PSU Supply Chain course taught by a Penn State professor. Our classes were only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so it gave us a lot of time to travel over the weekends if financially capable,” Penn State junior Drew Linarelli said.
Penn State students can volunteer in Greece, Fiji, Thailand and Ghana in order to help make a difference in their life by teaching locals and taking care of them. Even though these volunteer experiences are non-academic, students get to see another side of being abroad.
“During my time there, I stayed in a six-bedroom apartment with 10 other guys. I personally traveled to Budapest, Vienna, Rome, Cinque Terre and Venice during my weekends there. Overall, it was a cool experience being able to have the time to travel over the weekend, while also learning some valuable tools within the field of Supply Chain,” Linarelli said.
Penn State offers internships and volunteer opportunities abroad as well. You can even find opportunities upon returning by helping other students in their abroad experience when placed under the Student Spotlight page where returning students can share their experience.