While many students pursue experiential education through travel to another country or site, we also strongly recommend considering domestic on and off-campus programs in which students can pursue a combination of study and internships. Examples include the Washington Semester in the Washington DC area, the City Year in Seattle, and the Semester for Impact Program in Boston.
Members of the UVM hockey team sign a dividing wall-turned-mural between two neighborhoods in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2016.
We consider an off-campus program, such as a study abroad program or a domestic program focused on a particular area of study, to be an especially crucial element of the major. Many students participate in an off-campus program, for a minimum of a semester, and in some cases, a whole year. We try to make it easy to fulfill the major requirements through such programs by accepting up to one-half of transfer credits towards completion of the degree.
An Opportunity for Growth
Global studies major Kenny Nguyen ’15 reflected on his study abroad experience in Spain: “Adapting to new situations is a great opportunity to grow. I've learned a lot about myself and how to assimilate into a new culture and new language. It took some time, but with every success, there has to be some sort of struggle. As a global studies student, I strive to leave a profound mark wherever I am in order to improve the world, somehow, because I want to inspire people and make them think twice about their everyday actions."
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Planning for Study Abroad: When to Go
As long as you have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA, sophomore status, and good social standing at the university, UVM will grant you permission to study abroad. Most students go during their third year. A handful go during their sophomore year, and others their senior year, but remember that the university requires you to take 30 of your last 45 credit hours at UVM.
Keep in mind that some courses required for your major and/or minor might be offered only during certain semesters. Plan out your major and/or minor in advance, and consider how study abroad will help fulfill those requirements.
In order to study abroad, you must attend an information session and meet with a study abroad advisor at the Office of International Education (OIE). You should also meet with your academic advisor as early in your planning as possible to discuss programs, the application process, and your plan for completing the major or minor.
Different programs have different prerequisites, which may include language and certain specialized coursework. Be very clear about what you need for your desired program and prioritize those courses in semesters leading up to the time you want to be abroad. Some programs also have minimum GPA requirements.