How to Choose a Program


The Center for International Education believes that all students should have the opportunity to study abroad. But CIE also understand that one of the outlying questions that students wonder “Can I really study abroad?” CIE believes that there is a study abroad program for all students that wish to go abroad and will utilize all resources available. But the first step begins with the student, here are some things to consider

  • Studying abroad is a great resume-builder and may even open up new opportunities for graduate school or give you an edge over other job candidates.
  • With increasing globalization, it is important to have second/foreign language skills, problem-solving skills, and international knowledge with a global perspective.
  • You can earn credits toward graduation through an EA program, and with some detailed planning, it will not delay your graduation date.
  • As a student, you are eligible for scholarships and financial aid to assist with payment of your program.

How Do I Choose?

Think about the type of experience you are looking to get out of studying abroad.

  • Are you looking to master your fluency in another language? Learn a new one?
  • Do you need to take classes in your major or earn credits towards your degree?  Do you have electives that you have sitting around and want to use by exploring courses outside of your major?
  • Experience a new country or go somewhere less commonly traveled?

Determine what you want to get out of studying abroad by determining your goals. It’ll help clear up the clutter on so many different programs and help you focus on what best fits you and your interests.

Where Do I Start?

There are two places where students can look for programs, the first is to take a look at all of CIE’s programs that are available. Students can look at the 100+ programs that CIE offers that reaches across all majors, minors and/or certificates.

The second area students can look is through the Study Abroad by Majors page, some programs are broken down by schools and colleges to help guide students towards programs that may be the best fit for their major.

Types of Programs

Faculty-led Programs

For this type of program, you travel abroad with a UWM faculty member who teaches a course in a particular subject area. On most faculty-led programs, you will be with the same group of students all of the time and much of the planning of events will be decided by the professor. This makes faculty-led programs a good choice for students who may be apprehensive about going abroad for the first time

Exchange Programs

UWM has entered into agreements with universities all over the world where we exchange students with one another. On an exchange program, students attend a foreign university and choose and attend classes just as they would at UWM. The chief difference is that instead of paying tuition to the foreign institution, the student pays tuition to UWM.

Study Abroad Programs

UWM has entered into agreements with several study abroad providers for a semester or a year. These providers serve as an in-country resource. The main difference between these programs and exchange programs is that you pay a comprehensive program fee in lieu of tuition.