VCU encourages students from every academic discipline to pursue part of their university education in an international setting by studying abroad. Education abroad benefits students academically, professionally and personally; students become more engaged in their academic field of study and often show stronger performance upon returning to campus from their study abroad experiences. Skills gained through education abroad help increase employment marketability upon graduation.
Students are encouraged to study in a foreign country for any length of time including summer, winter session, spring break, a semester or a full academic year as part of their degree program. The VCU Education Abroad office assists students in accomplishing these goals by providing information, advising and administering study abroad and exchange programs.
Participants must be in good standing with the university prior to participation. Please note that individual program requirements may vary.
VCU short-term study abroad
Each year VCU offers a variety of short-term program options during winter break, spring break or summer. Both faculty-led and direct-enroll options are available. Participants earn VCU or transfer credit and study subjects ranging from science, business and foreign language to arts, health care, economic development and beyond. New programs are created every year in countries as diverse as Barbados, Spain, Guatemala, Peru, Italy, Germany, Mexico, France and China.
International Student Exchange Program
International Student Exchange Program is a network of more than 300 colleges and universities in 50 countries that provides exchange opportunities for a summer, semester or academic year. ISEP is well-suited for mature, independent students who wish to be fully immersed into the host culture. Students usually enroll directly into their host university and take classes in the host language. A wide variety of options to study in English is also available. ISEP offers an affordable option to study abroad — many of its locations’ charges are based on the cost of VCU in-state tuition, fees, and room and board.
Departmental and partnership exchanges
VCU has negotiated a number of direct student exchange agreements arising out of specific interest in the university community. Students pay their tuition and fees at VCU and enroll directly in the chosen host university. Options include a variety of destinations including Curtin University in Perth, Australia, University of Guadalajara, Mexico, University of the West of England in Bristol, UK, and the University of Córdoba, Spain.
Affiliate and alternative programs
Students seeking alternatives to VCU short-term programs, ISEP and exchanges may consider affiliate or alternative programs. Students may elect to participate in a program offered by another university or organization. VCU Education Abroad will assist students in identifying and applying to the program, maintaining their VCU status while away, and securing financial aid where appropriate. All programs must be pre-approved by VCU.
Except for specific VCU short-term programs offered for VCU credit, all credit received through study abroad will appear on the students’ transcripts as transfer credit. Students must earn the equivalent of a C, at minimum, for credit to be awarded. Grades are not calculated into the GPA, unless a student is attempting to graduate with honors.