Top 15 Study Abroad Programs for Indian Students


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Jun 09, 2022 08:06 PM IST

Various universities throughout the world offer study abroad programmes that allow students to live in and experience a different country and culture. Students also get the opportunity to build connections and obtain a top-notch education. This article exclusively discusses top study abroad programmes for Indian students.

Top Study Abroad Programs for Indian Students

In the last 15 years, study abroad programmes have grown in popularity as an increasing number of students take advantage of the possibility to study abroad as part of their curriculum. The United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, China, Canada, New Zealand, and Germany are major countries that get a substantial influx of Indian students each year. The US is the largest participant in such programmes, sending more than 75,000 students each year to various countries including the UK, Argentina, China, and Italy.

All of this points to the reality that many Indian students value the exposure and information that overseas education gives them. Popular study abroad programmes are offered by a number of universities that allow students to experience living in another nation.

Students from an academic or research background travel to a foreign nation as part of their institution or countrys affiliation with other institutions or countries. Most of the time, these affiliations take place in form of student exchange programmes. Students enrolled in a particular institution may or may not partake in these programmes. Sometimes the programmes are a part of the academic curriculum while in other instances, a separate programme is developed for college students.

Apart from being a life-enriching experience, these programmes also give participants a boost to their future ambitions. Students will maintain their independence, improve their language abilities, and develop a global perspective on a range of subjects. Even though these study abroad programmes normally span a semester or two, they are undoubtedly once in a lifetime opportunities.

Our Study Abroad Experts have counselled a number of Indian students to take the finest courses to study abroad. Almost every one of them has now been accepted into prestigious universities abroad.

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Types of Study Abroad Programmes

Study abroad programmes are not confined to well-known study abroad destinations such as the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. These programmes are increasingly being carried out in collaboration with leading but lesser-known institutions in Austria, Finland, and Japan. Here are some different types of study abroad programmes that students can look out for:

A Faculty-led Programme

A faculty-led programme typically lasts two to six weeks, but some last a whole quarter or summer. These programmes usually rely on a particular subject or discipline, providing more specialisation. Coursework and travelling are done as a team, which helps form stronger ties between fellow peers in a short time. This programme is ideal for students who want to work collaboratively with a faculty member and a bunch of students who are all interested in the same subject. These are more common in research-based academic programmes.

Exchange Programme

As a part of a student exchange programme, students get to visit other universities within or outside the country. The aim of these exchange programmes is to make students experience another country, culture, and environment. This also provides students with much needed international exposure. Exchanges sometimes have substantially lower expenses than other similar-length programmes as either these are fully funded or students are sent on a scholarship. Often, students are encouraged to take courses in the local language or learn a local language while on an exchange programme.

Research Programme

Field research and lab research programme are other kinds of study abroad programme that allows students to visit other states or country. Some institutions that have research collaborations allow their students to visit each others educational institutions to understand, network, and share knowledge on the ongoing research project. This may be an excellent approach for students to gain real research experience for their research portfolio (future graduate school applications) or senior thesis.

Internship Programme

Internship programmes are unpaid, but they provide academic credit toward a student's degree. The internship placement may be pre-selected or students may tailor their experience to match their specific needs, depending on the programme. This is a great opportunity for students to gain practical experience and add value to their curriculum vitae or resume.

Third-party Sponsored Programme

Third-party organizations like CIEE, SIT, IE3 Global, and DIS run sponsored programmes, which add to the large range of options available to international students. Third-party programmes, as well as internships, may be used to fulfil minor, major, or optional requirements as per curriculum requirements. Sponsored programmes are perfect for students who desire to study abroad alongside learners from different backgrounds and cultures

Top 15 Study Abroad Programmes

Most students are aware of the advantages of the top study abroad programmes: foreign travel, gaining academic credit, meeting new people, building a network, and so on. However, did you know that many firms and organisations prefer college graduates with international exposure?

The percentage of students studying abroad is increasing as the handful of top firms that target globally competent professionals is growing. As per the Institute of International Education's (IIE) 2016 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, the number of students earning academic credit for study abroad is growing rapidly each year. Thus, more students are choosing to opt for a university or programme with a curriculum that contains at least one semester of studying abroad.

Now, the question is which study abroad programme to choose? Let us help you decide. Given below is a list of the top 15 study abroad programmes for interested students. Check out these top universities and what kind of study abroad programmes each one has to offer.

The University of Washington (Seattle, Washington)

The University of Washington (UW) in Seattle is the second most affordable institution on this list, with one of the best study abroad programmes. UW provides internships, classes, jobs, and more all over the world.

Net Cost: USD 9,744

Programme Cost: USD 775 onwards (including airfare)

Academic Credits Awarded: 28

Faculty-led programmes, university exchanges, and three to four-week exploration seminars offering five UW resident credits are all examples of study abroad programmes at the UW. It also includes the Oregon University System's IE3 Global Internships, independent learning for academic credit, and affiliate programmes.

Students can attend courses of varying lengths and participate in studies conducted on certain academic themes for six to fifteen credits, depending on the period. Denmark, the Czech Republic, Morocco, and other countries are included in these programmes.

Students can also apply to work as teaching assistants (TA) at the University of Washington. In addition to regional, external, and graduate grants, there is five separate UW-funded study abroad scholarships available.

Students seeking credit for international activities can undertake independent research, internships, clinical electives, practicums, or department/government-sponsored fellowship programmes through independent learning.

Georgetown University (Washington, DC)

Georgetown University (GU) has some of the most extensive and best study abroad programmes and offers nine distinct study abroad scholarships.

Net Cost: USD 26,749

Programme Cost: Approximately USD 5,500

Academic Credits Awarded: 27

At GU, seven types of associated university-managed study abroad programmes are supervised by the Office of Global Education. Service-learning courses, language, nursing, business, and regional studies programmes. These also include affiliates and direct matriculation through partnerships. Georgetown University also offers summer study abroad programmes directed by teachers, as well as the university-granted Villa le Balze living and learning community in Fiesole, Italy.

GU offers a satellite campus in Doha and Qatar, in addition to its main campus, where students can take GPA-factored courses alongside degrees and participate in non-credit internships overseas.

Whether you choose to spend a year in Australia or three weeks in Italy, GU's options are diverse and cheap. Service-learning programmes are diverse, and some involve additional certifications, such as the Certificate in Community Engagement in the Arts and Sciences at Stellenbosch University (CIEE).

West Virginia University (Morgantown, West Virginia)

West Virginia University (WVU) is one of the most affordable institutions with one of the top study abroad programmes, the majority of which are offered by the university.

Net Cost: USD 10,405

Programme Cost: Approximately USD 1,500

Academic Credits Awarded: 25

Foreign exchanges, short-term and faculty-led excursions, the ISEP consortium, and affiliate programmes through third-party companies are all accessible at West Virginia University. Faculty-led international service-learning excursions are worth up to 12 academic credits and can last anywhere from 10 days during spring break to a semester.

There are presently three adventure tours available, each earning six credits, to Chile, New Zealand, and Fiji. Students can learn about topics like sustainable tourism while practising outdoor living and pouring their leadership skills to the test.

The University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, Arkansas)

Students looking to study abroad at the University of Arkansas (U of A) have a number of options at their disposal. U of A research, independent studies, internships, exchanges, faculty-led, external programs, and its Rome Center fall under this category.

Net Cost: USD 14,693

Programme Cost: As low as USD 3,400 (faculty-led)

Academic Credits Awarded: 25

Students at the U of A can participate in research projects, foreign internships, and independent study programmes with the help of their academic departments. The university also offers 13 different study abroad scholarships.

The U of A Rome Center is located at the heart of Palazzo Taverna, just steps from the Vatican, Pantheon, and other cultural attractions. Students can stay in proximity to the school for two weeks to a semester. Students can choose from a diverse curriculum that includes U of A core studies, language, Italian culture, history as well as art.

Besides Rome, students can also enrol in or partake in a foreign exchange programme with one of the U of A's international partner universities. During intersessions and summer terms, university staff lead high-quality and short-term programmes. This programme typically serves students up to three academic credits in two weeks or six academic credits in four weeks. Greece, China, Belize, Italy, Peru, Mozambique, and other countries are also included in these programmes.

St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minnesota)

Students who apply to an international off-campus programme at St. Olaf College are automatically assessed for study abroad scholarships.

Net Cost: USD 26,183

Programme Cost: As low as USD 2,000 (international)

Academic Credits Awarded: 25

St. Olaf's International and Off-Campus Studies department offers a variety of exceptional study abroad programmes that combine academic and experiential learning. One such example is the Global Semester travels that take students to various countries in one semester.

International students can enrol in a single art session in San Salvador during an interim semester or spend up to a year studying in countries such as Argentina, Egypt, Hungary, Sweden, Japan, Chile, and others. Except for student work, students in these off-campus programmes can keep the financial help they would receive on campus while travelling.

Furthermore, any student who applies and confirms involvement in an international programme will be immediately considered for a scholarship worth between USD 500 and USD 5,000. Some programmes, such as HECUA's trip to Ecuador, blend an internship with the chance to earn credit.

Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vermont)

As part of Middlebury College's Schools Abroad program, students can participate in internships abroad and obtain credit for courses. The program sends students to 40 different locations in 17 countries all over the world.

Net Cost: USD 20,197

Programme Cost: As low as USD 21,800 (including tuition and Middleburys fee)

Academic Credits Awarded: 24

For one semester or a full year, Middlebury's C.V. Starr Schools Abroad programme offers over 40 different institutions in the UK, Jordan, Spain, Argentina, Russia, Brazil, Israel, and more. These schools require students to take a range of courses, volunteer, internships and live with host students or a local family.

Students at Middlebury can participate in externally sponsored programmes like exchanges with the University of Nottingham and the University of East Anglia. This includes collaborations with Oxford University's Lincoln College and the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. Students get academic credit through much of the college's semester programmes, but there are also chances for credit through internships, jobs, volunteering, and internships.

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Trinity College has its own campus in Rome, in addition to the nine university-sponsored study away programmes. The Office of Study Away (OSA) coordinates worldwide education initiatives and nine Trinity-managed semester study way programmes around the world.

Net Cost: USD 23,980

Programme Cost: Includes tuition, airfare, and meals in addition to the comprehensive fee

Academic Credits Awarded: 23

External abroad programmes like the Institute for the Council on International Educational Exchange and International Education of Students (IES) have ties and memberships with the OSA (CIEE). The length of the programme varies depending upon the programme model. However, students might spend almost three weeks in the summer or a full academic year abroad. A core course and electives, an internship, independent study, and a community service project, are included in the college-directed semester. These programmes are conducted and taught by a combination of Trinity faculty and host institution professors.

Established in 1970, Trinity's Rome Campus invites roughly 60 students each fall, spring, and summer term for academic trips, art classes, field seminars, internships, and more. Through the Global Ambassador programme, students who are new to the idea of studying abroad can get guidance from experienced abroad students at the college with the pre-departure study away process.

Conn's Global Focus administers the college's study abroad and college-approved external programmes, which yearly send more than half of its students abroad. Each Connecticut College student gets a USD 3,000 scholarship to pursue an international internship.

Net Cost: USD 27,417

Programme Cost: Tuition and comprehensive fees charged by the college

Academic Credits Awarded: 23

Connecticut College has received the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization from the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers (NAFSA). With 11 language immersion, this small college provides many options for students who want to learn a new language while studying in the nation where it is spoken.

Conn also administers the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA) scholars programme, language or overseas club excursions and international internships. Conn offers every student the option to travel overseas or domestically by financing a USD 3,000 internship or summer research work.

The academic emphasis of the programmes varies from country to country and year to year. Students should, however, maintain a regular course load while travelling abroad and take classes from Conn faculty or the host institution. Conn sophomores are expected to start organising their travels soon.

In 1923, the University of Delaware (UD) established America's first study abroad programme. Now, its students now have access to over 100 popular study abroad programmes in more than 40 countries.

Net Cost: USD 15,149

Programme Cost: As low as USD 3,200

Academic Credits Awarded: 22

The University of Delaware is the most inexpensive college as per the Princeton Review's 2017 list of top study abroad institutions. Its Institute for Global Studies (IGS), which specialises in faculty-led programmes and short-term, manages over 100 programmes each year. With the option of a foreign exchange programme, students can study abroad at UD for as long as one semester or as short as one week (spring break).

Whether you choose to spend the winter in Antarctica or do a summer internship in Vietnam, UD embraces both the options to send students. IGS provides two funding programmes to help students afford these trips: need-based grants and the Delaware Diplomats programme.

Students must register for at least 12 credits for semester-long study abroad programmes, and each program's page provides the available course alternatives. Some semester-long programmes involve many locations; some are more challenging than others, and many programmes provide students with both an internship and academic credits.

Many possibilities exist for students at Duke University to study internationally as it has collaborations with institutions like Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, Duke Kunshan University in China, etc.

Net Cost: USD 21,295

Programme Cost: About USD 6,500 (excluding airfare and other expenses)

Academic Credits Awarded: 22

Through the university-directed Duke-In programme, the Global Education Office (GEO) for Undergraduates offers international and domestic study away opportunities. For more than 25 years, participants were involved in the oldest programmes such as Duke in France and Duke in China. Through the university's semester and four to eight-week summer programmes, participants could now travel to 20 different countries. While there is a USD 4,580 study abroad fee for Duke-approved (external) programmes, semester financial help is available for all programmes.

Summer study abroad scholarships are available for Duke students. Students can also opt for a college-sponsored programme where they are automatically deemed for the Stephenson Pope Babcock Scholarships. The GEO presents the Global Education Fair every year to showcase all of the school's study abroad resources.

Students wishing to study abroad at Juniata College can participate in programmes ranging from two weeks to an entire academic year. Approximately 48% of graduates have had international exposure through one of the 59 popular study abroad programmes that take students to 24 different countries.

Net Cost: USD 26,035

Programme Cost: As low as USD 3,000

Academic Credits Awarded: 22

The Center for International Education at Juniata provides university-hosted and outsourced study abroad opportunities for students to travel abroad. These programmes are for the winter, summer, fall/spring semester, or an entire academic year. The majority of Juniata's excursions are two to four weeks long. Staying with local families allows students to acquire one to four academic credits while also immersing themselves in the culture.

In these programmes, students can travel to Ireland and the United Kingdom to learn about peace, psychology, the roles of education, and conflict studies. Juniata's international connections enable students to live and study in China, the Philippines, Germany, Japan, France, and other countries for one semester or the entire academic year.

Students at the College of Charleston (CofC) have access to some of the best study abroad opportunities, including a trip to England to watch and learn about football. At more than 24 partner colleges, the Center for International Education offers faculty-led study abroad excursions and international exchanges. The office advises students interested in any of the college's recognised affiliate programmes.

Net Cost: USD 18,677

Programme Cost: Around USD 1,350 (excluding meals)

Academic Credits Awarded: 21

Students at CofC can study abroad for one week during spring break, up to three months during the summer term, or all four semesters. From travelling to the UK to watch soccer while learning about English football to taking a trekking pilgrimage in Spain for one academic credit. The college's international options are astounding and certain to pique the interest of numerous students.

Students can earn up to 15 credit hours and reside with local families during school-sponsored semester excursions abroad. For CofC's faculty-led programmes, any financial aid a student has will apply as if it were a regular semester. The CIE gives USD 1,500 to USD 2,000 scholarships toward any authorised best study abroad programme and five other college-funded study abroad scholarships.

A summer internship abroad programmes in Germany and France, for three to six credits, are available in Paris and Berlin in a variety of career disciplines. The CIE hosts an annual photo contest with cash awards for study abroad students and offers a peer advisor internship on campus.

Emory & Henry College's study abroad programmes, excluding its collaboration programmes, send students to a range of places throughout the world for nine days to as long as 12 months.

Net Cost: USD 21,299

Programme Cost: As low as USD 1,750 (including airfare)

Academic Credits Awarded: 21

E&H students are exposed to over 150 popular study abroad programmes through organisation partnerships, semester, and full-year abroad programmes. It also provides Emory Abroad courses with short-term international excursions through International Education.

Students can take an on-campus faculty-led Emory Abroad course associated with one of the many places available in Europe, Africa, and South Central or Central America. Students travel abroad for a two-week adventure at the end of the semester. Cross-Cultural Psychology in the Czech Republic and Poland, for example, requires students to go to numerous countries at the same time.

Although all language study and summer abroad programmes are managed by outside organisations, Emory sends its students on semester and full-year exchange programmes. Students participating in the Emory & Henry College Semester in Ireland, Dublin. Students can study Irish tradition and culture while taking classes at Dublin City University and waged 10-15 hours per week in a community group or business.

The international courses and associated adventure excursions start at under USD 2,000. Emory & Henry make studying abroad more affordable by offering three college-sponsored scholarships ranging from USD 1,000 to USD 4,000.

Dartmouth College offers a range of best study abroad programmes that students can participate in for foreign internships, class credit, or fellowships.

Net Cost: USD 21,348

Programme Cost: Tuition and services fees, plus additional costs ranging from USD 3,000 to USD 4000, depending on the programme

Academic Credits Awarded: 21

Dartmouth's academic off-campus programmes are housed at the Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education, where nearly 55% of the student population participates before graduation. Due to the college's involvement, these off-campus programmes and the opportunities they provide are intricately woven into the school's curriculum.

Dartmouth College offers four major credit-bearing top study abroad programmes: Dartmouth Language Study Abroad (LSA and LSA+), Dartmouth Exchange Programs, Dartmouth Foreign Study Programmes (FSP) and Transfer Credit from an unassociated four-year, degree-granting accredited university.

The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding offers non-credit international internships and fellowships throughout the spring, fall, winter, and summer. With maximum financing of USD 4,000 available from 22 different college-sponsored options are available for students. They can participate in short-term programmes through research area-specific Global Insight Expeditions.

The Global Opportunities Programme (GO) at Susquehanna University (SU) provides students with a variety of countries and programme lengths to meet their cultural proficiency curriculum requirements.

Net Cost: USD 27,783

Programme Cost: As low as USD 2,000

Academic Credits Awarded: 21

SU received the top honour from the IIE in 2013 for promoting study abroad options and improving students' cultural competency. Students may be eligible for a GO Short Grant to assist support their education and can keep their usual financial aid during a GO Long semester.

Students at SU can opt for a "GO" short or long programme as per their needs. The university offers two to six week or semester-long programmes and external partners. Many of them have already been authorised by the institution for suitable academic credit.

The least priced semester programmes from each region are listed in the Financial Aid section of the school's study abroad homepage. Most GO Short excursions count for two semester credit hours in addition to the GO requirement.

For many students, studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Study abroad programmes help students develop a multifaceted perspective and a better understanding of their chosen area and its associated difficulties on a global scale. Avail of the many benefits of the 15 best study abroad programmes mentioned above for both personal and professional growth.

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What are short term study abroad programmes?

A short-term study-abroad programme consists of courses that last from two to ten weeks and can be taken by students interested in pursuing educational opportunities abroad. Many colleges, universities, and institutions actively encourage collaboration with other institutes around the world so that students can complete a portion of their education in another country.

What are the most popular destinations for short-term study abroad programmes?

There are many destinations for short-term study abroad programmes. However, short-term study excursions to Costa Rica, Spain, Italy, Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Japan, Iceland, and China, are popular among international students. Short-term programmes allow students to get a taste of studying abroad in as little as two weeks while still receiving academic credit.

Which short term programmes will enable me to study and get a job abroad?

There are many short term programmes that will enable you to study and get a job abroad like Diploma in Business Management, Diploma in International Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Postgraduate Diploma in Management, Diploma in Accounting and Finance, Diploma in International Hospitality and Tourism Management, etc.

How can studying abroad for a short period of time benefit you?

Studying abroad for a short period of time can benefit you in many ways, to begin with, there is usually a reduced time commitment and money expenditure. You can see if you enjoy studying abroad and stepping outside your comfort zone. You will usually have access to a broader range of courses that are not available at home, and you will still receive the same course credits.

Is English proficiency eligibility a mandatory requirement for top study abroad programmes?

Yes, English proficiency eligibility is a mandatory requirement for top study abroad programmes. To be admitted to most institutions that teach in English, you must have a specific level of English language ability. This is to ensure that if you are not a native English speaker, you will be able to cope with utilising the language in an academic context. However, the specific level of language proficiency requirement varies per university.

What are affiliate study abroad programmes?

Affiliate study abroad programmes are accredited third-party study abroad companies that allow students to study a broad range of subjects in different parts all around the world. During a semester,  summer term, or year students can attend courses at a university abroad or at an academic centre run by the host organisation.

What is a dual study-internship abroad programme?

A dual study-internship abroad programme allows a student to study and intern in a foreign country at the same time. Though it varies by programme, students are most likely to take many classes at a locally managed university and then be placed in an internship with a local company as part of the programme. 

How do I choose a short-term study abroad programme?

You can choose a short-term study abroad programme by selecting one of the three most prevalent types of programmes namely, University Partnerships, University-sponsored, and Language Schools programmes. You can study directly with a university, through a programme provider that has an agreement with the university, or at a language school that includes a lot of cultural activities.

Can I enrol in a study abroad programme for a week?

Yes, you can enrol in a study abroad programme for a week to one month. Many universities abroad offer these one-week long courses that provide students with the cultural immersion they desire without committing to months or years away from their homes.

What is Semester at Sea Programme?

The semester at Sea Programme is where international students study on a cruise ship with an ever-changing landscape as their classroom. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel around the world while studying on a cruise ship. Students can choose from 70-72 different courses in a variety of disciplines. Students travel 10-14 countries across three continents in one semester, earn 12-15 credits from Colorado State University, and travel over 20,000 nautical miles.

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