7 Top Study Abroad Programs in the U.S.

These study abroad programs will turn you into an impressive and well-traveled individual. You're welcome.

By Ashley Henshaw | April 21, 2014

Photo: Thinkstock

Why just go away to college when you can go away to college and then to (insert exotic location here)? Studying abroad can be a key component to a well-rounded college experience, so you’d be wise to grab a drink with a mini umbrella in it and read on.

1. Goucher College

Goucher College's study abroad program was recently named the most popular in the country by The Princeton Review, and it’s not exactly a brain teaser to figure out why – every student is required to go abroad at least once, and many do so twice.

The school offers over 60 programs in 32 countries, so going abroad several times is hardly redundant, especially since you can leave for as little as three weeks and as long as a year. If Goucher’s ever looking for a new slogan, we’re thinking “part college, part full-time travel agency” might work out well for them.

Goucher students say "dasvidaniya!" to their old lives in Baltimore as they embark on a chilly year abroad in St.Petersburg.

2. Elon University

Elon University also got some love from The Princeton Review when it was the named the most popular study abroad program in 2012. They offer a comprehensive program that includes semester options, winter and summer term programs, and independent experiences that revolve around internships and research abroad. With that wealth of options you’d have to be a pretty uninteresting person not to find something intriguing (no offense.)

3. University of Virginia

The University of Virginia hosts the extremely popular program Semester at Sea where students hop from country to country via cruise ship. Depending on which voyage they choose, participants get to visit different parts of South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Classes occur on the ship, so students have full reign to really explore once they reach their destinations (and by “really explore” we do mean “party heavily”, just so that we’re clear.)

In Spain, University of Virginia students discover that cultural dancing isn't just limited to twerking.

4. Dartmouth College

Over 50 percent of Dartmouth College students take advantage of the vast study abroad opportunities at their fingertips, ranging from Anthropological studies in New Zealand to German language studies in Berlin. Dartmouth’s curriculum aims to make students more globally aware, so experiences abroad work to inform and enrich what’s being taught back on campus. Pretty awesome sales pitch, right?

5. University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities offers a unique non-credited WIV (Work, Intern, Volunteer) program that allows students to – you guessed it! – work, intern or volunteer during summer and winter breaks. The program is meant to replace or compliment traditional study abroad experiences, and students are drawn to it because it tends to be cheaper and easier to apply to. Cool opportunities include working and traveling in Ireland, interning in Argentina, and volunteering in Guatemala. Sounds a tad more exciting than refreshing Buzzfeed for the 27th time at your summer receptionist job, doesn’t it?

Students from the University of Minnesota cheese it up in Rome.
Photo: Umn.edu

6. University of California at Berkeley

We commend the University of California, Berkeley for making studying abroad affordable: they offer merit and need-based scholarships as well as finance-related workshops, and at only $5,220 dollars for the whole summer, their “Doing Business in China” program nabbed a spot on Diversity Abroad’s list of list entitled Study Abroad Programs You Can Actually Afford. More money for questionable food items and strange souvenirs, we say!

7. Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo College not only has awesome study abroad programs in countries like Israel, Kenya, Japan and Ecuador; they also offer “study away” programs that allow students to study in different parts of the U.S. Opportunities include an arts program in New York City, a science-centric semester in a Tennessee-based laboratory, and a Borders Studies program in Tucson, Arizona. Way to use those domestic resources, Kalamazoo.

So what do you think – are you convinced of these programs’ coolness yet or do you need another umbrella-clad drink?

People Who Read This Article Also Read:

Study Abroad: How to Survive College in a Different Country
Study Abroad Scholarships
International Exchange Programs
International Student Financial Aid

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