University of Vermont

Step 2: Academic and Study Abroad Advising


Four types of study abroad programs are available to

  1. Exchange programs (either a UVM bilateral or ISEP exchange programs)
  2. UVM short-term programs
  3. UVM semester programs
  4. External programs

Explore these options further...

"When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable."
— Clifton Fadiman

step 2A study abroad experience can be a life changing event. This is why the Office of International Education stresses the advising step of your discovery process so greatly. Planning is the most important part of your process, and our advising staff is here to guide you on how to do the right preparation to ensure a meaningful academic and personal experience.

Academic Advising

Your major, minor and the UVM School or College in which you are enrolled may define a great deal about your study abroad experience. Meet with your academic advisors at least 15 months before you intend to study abroad. If you are a double major enrolled in more than one UVM School or College, meet with advisors in both areas; if you are an Honors College student, also speak with your Honors College advisor (

Select the UVM School(s)/College(s) in which you are enrolled for your Academic Advising Form:

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Word | PDF
College of Arts & Sciences Word | PDF
Grossman School of Business Word | PDF
College of Education and Social Services Word | PDF
College of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences Word | PDF
Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources Word | PDF
College of Nursing & Health Sciences Word | PDF

Once you understand what semester or period of time is best for you to study abroad, and what courses you wish to take while abroad, you can better research your study abroad options. When you locate what seems to be the right program or university for your studies, obtain course syllabi or course descriptions of courses you hope to bring back to meet major or minor requirements. Course equivalencies are never obvious, so you are advised to re-visit your academic advisor with these materials to review these options, for guidance as to which seem best suited to meet your academic needs.

Learn about the program types available to you

The following types of approved programs are available for UVM students who wish to study abroad. What is an "approved" program? An institution or program offered by a provider that has a record of successfully transferring credits back to UVM. Please note that a program's appearance on the approved list does not indicate that it is approved for all UVM students; for example, a program in Italy may be approved for someone majoring in art history, but may not be approved for someone majoring in studio art. Be sure to do your research thoroughly.

  • Exchange programs - UVM bilateral or International Student Exchange Program (ISEP): Exchange programs are an excellent way to spend a semester or year immersed in a new culture,and they offer significant academic and financial benefits. A bilateral exchange implies that you study at an external institution while an international student in turn studies at UVM in your stead. An ISEP exchange program allows that exchange with one of the 42 countries who are part of the ISEP consortium. Students pay the exchange tuition rate. Currently the exchange tuition rate for out-of-state students is equivalent to a 40% reduction on out of state tuition; the exchange tuition rate for in-state students is equivalent to in-state tuition at this time. Learn more about exchange programs.
  • UVM semester programs: UVM offers a semester-long program, the Oaxaca, Mexico program is available spring semester and offers tracks for students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The Buckham Overseas Study Program is for English majors, and is offered for the full academic year, fall or spring semester.
  • External programs: Many students study abroad through programs that are external to UVM. These are programs offered through other institutions and they vary in cost, credit transference and financial aid portability. An approved list has been established for those programs which have a proven record of successfully transferring credits back to UVM. View the approved list of those programs.
  • Direct enroll and ISEP Direct: A handful of students decide to directly enroll in a university abroad and may do so either through ISEP (the International Student Exchange Program) or by going through an administrative office at their chosen institution. Note that these ISEP options are not exchange programs.
  • UVM short-term programs: Faculty-led programs offer unique, short-term (2-4 week) study abroad experiences. UVM faculty members design courses that take place abroad and the class travels as a group to the course destination. Most of these courses are offered through Continuing and Distance Education and students going on a short-term program follow different procedures than students going on other study abroad programs. Learn more about these UVM-led programs.

To compare the features of the different types of study abroad programs, look at the Types of Programs Grid.

Do your research

There are a number of important factors to consider when selecting a study abroad program including language of instruction, types of experience, program type and more. Research is necessary in exploring all of the options before making an appointment to meet with a regional study abroad advisor.

Meet with your Regional Study Abroad Advisor

You are required to meet with a Regional Study Abroad Advisor if you...

  • receive financial aid
  • are considering an exchange program
  • have questions regarding a program or institution at a study site

If none of the above apply to you, although you are not required to meet with a Regional Study Abroad Advisor, we encourage you to do so if you have any questions whatsoever during the process.

Before meeting with a Regional Study Abroad Advisor you should already have attended a "Getting Started" Advising Session (see above), met with your academic advisor (completed the advising form) and completed all of the steps in your iAbroad account up to "Meet with a Professional Study Abroad Advisor".

To schedule an appointment: Please call the main office at (802) 656-4296.

Next step: Financial considerations

Once you understand the basic program types, you are ready to explore how your financial aid may or may not apply to a study abroad program. You may also explore scholarships or other financing options. Move on to Step 3: Research financial considerations.

Last modified February 18 2016 11:15 AM

Contact UVM © 2016 The University of Vermont - Burlington, VT 05405 - (802) 656-3131