Selecting a study abroad program
Berea College is unique in that:
- We don't charge students a flat or built-in fee for studying abroad.
- We don't restrict students' options to only a handful of providers or programs.
- We grant financial assistance in the form of a grant from the Center for International Studies to each and every student who is approved to study abroad.
Semester? Summer? Winter Break?
Eligible students may choose to spend a semester abroad through one of our six direct exchange partners or through any number of provider programs, or even by directly enrolling in a foreign university (this last option is not recommended for first-time travelers or those who shy away from paperwork).
Or, eligible students may select a summer program anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks in length.
Each year, Berea offers its own programs called BISTs (Berea International Summer Term programs). These programs are generally between two to four weeks' long and always occur during May term. Students must apply to a BIST during the preceding fall in order to join the cohort. During the BIST, students are enrolled in a 1 credit Berea course credit, taught by Berea faculty, and they travel as a cohort to their overseas destination.
In addition to BISTs, students may go abroad through programs offered by providesr, such as KIIS, ISA, API, and many, many more. Students who are unable to do a semester or summer program might want to consider a winter break program - only KIIS programs will be approved for winter! Note that funding a winter break program can be especially tricky.
There are a lot of options out there!
That's why Berea College has partnered with Via, a software system that enables students to explore, filter, and favorite programs. When you're ready, you will apply for Berea's approval right in Via too. You'll start by taking the program match quiz in Via (log in with your Berea email and password) and then you can filter your results in many different ways.
Some questions to consider:
- What part of the world do you want to explore?
- Can you do a full semester abroad? If not, what is the best time frame for you to study abroad?
- Do you want to be in a sprawling metropolis such as Sao Paolo or Tokyo, or would you prefer a smaller place?
- What type of institution would you like to attend—for example, would you prefer a small college like Berea, a large university, or something in between?
- Will you take classes to fulfill major, general studies or elective requirements, or a combination? (Talk with your academic adviser for guidance.)
- Do you want the independence of enrolling directly in a foreign university as a visiting student, or would you prefer to have the additional support that a program provider might offer?
If you are not sure about your answers to these questions, or if you want to speak with someone who has been through the process already, meet with a Peer Advisor, email email@example.com, or stop by the CIE in Woods-Penn 205.