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Members of the UVM hockey team sign a dividing wall-turned-mural between two neighborhoods in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

We consider an off-campus program, such as a study abroad program or a domestic program focused on your area of study, to be an especially crucial element of your major. With few exceptions, our students participate in an off-campus programs, for a minimum of a semester, and in some cases, a whole year. We try to make it easy for you to fulfill your major requirements through such programs by accepting up to one-half of the credits toward your major as transfer credits.

While many of you may desire to go “abroad” to another country, we also recommend that you consider domestic off-campus programs focused on your particular area of study. There are many programs in this category, including traditional academic semesters like Earlham College’s Border Studies program in Tucson, AZ and internship programs at the United Nations or State Department.

  • Kisseman poses with African children

    Seeing Coursework in Action

    '16 grad Laura Felone reflects on her trip to Ghana: "My month in Ghana was one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences of my life. It was such a humbling experience to visit a place that I had learned about from an academic standpoint, and I loved being able to interact with the people of the country to learn about Ghana and Africa from their perspectives. This actually inspired my senior year Honors College thesis. I'm still in touch with my host family from Ghana, and I look forward to the day I get to return to visit them."

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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.

Seek Advising

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.

While You Are Abroad

Journal: Wherever you go, you will probably experience some culture shock! Journalling is a great way to record you experiences and process your adjustment abroad.

Plan for future work: a study abroad location and experience can provide the basis for a senior thesis, independent study, or term paper after you return.

Save everything: Bring all your syllabi, copies of papers, and other documentation back with you to ensure smooth transfer of credit.

Choosing a Program

The UVM Office of International Education maintains a list of approved programs and exchanges. While you can petition to receive credits from a non-approved program, we strongly advise against it. The reason OIE approves programs is that they meet certain minimum educational standards. If the program that interests you is not approved by OIE, chances are good that it does not provide a quality educational experience. Learn more about choosing a study abroad program.


For more information on study abroad opportunities, visit the Office of International Education.