Selecting the Right Program

Study abroad is a life-changing experience. You’ll carry memories of your adventures away from home with you for the rest of your life. So make it count: Find a program that fits you.

As you begin the process of choosing a program, think about your expectations, academic needs and personal needs.

“I wouldn’t give back my year at Oxford for anything. The experience made me more adaptable both academically and culturally, and it helped me to develop a great deal as a person. Oxford demanded from and taught me critical thinking skills that have been invaluable, particularly in evaluating research methodologies. And, of course, I made wonderful friends who are still in my life despite being on another continent!”

-Norah Oles, Neuroscience and Molecular & Cellular Biology major, Hopkins Oxford St. Anne’s Pre-Medical Program

Step 1 – Answer these essential questions:

  • What is my motivation for studying abroad? (e.g. improving language skills, fulfilling major/minor requirements, internship/research experience)
  • What type of experience/learning environment do I want?
  • How do I react to new environments and ambiguity?
  • How much support do I need from administrators, friends and family?
  • Do I have any special needs that may not be able to be accommodated in all locations or program models?
  • How will I finance study abroad?

Step 2 – Research Your Study Abroad Options

Contact the Office of Study Abroad to set up an appointment with an advisor who can help you find programs that meet your academic and personal needs. This is mandatory. For some students, we also recommend consulting with the Office of Pre-Professional Advising and faculty advisors. Your Study Abroad advisor will help you determine which programs will meet your academic and personal needs best.


Program Types

Hopkins offers two options for study abroad: departmental programs and approved programs that have been vetted by our Faculty Advisory Committee. There are programs available for students of every level of language proficiency and academic interest.

Programs managed by Hopkins or third-party providers offer the highest level of on-site support. Exchange programs and direct enrollment are often well-suited to more independent students who prefer greater autonomy while abroad. We encourage you to consider you personal background and comfort level when choosing a study abroad option.

In most cases you’ll be required to complete a dual application process: an application to Hopkins for approval to study abroad as well as an application to a program or university abroad.

Many academic departments sponsor study abroad programs that directly support major and minor requirements. Whenever possible, qualified students in these majors are encouraged to participate in departmental programs. Credit is approved and may be applied toward major and minor requirements in the sponsoring departments. Hopkins departmentally sponsored programs vary in terms of the level of support that students receive while abroad. In many cases grades from these programs will post on students’ Hopkins transcript and be included in students’ Hopkins grade point average.

Johns Hopkins Departmental Programs include the following categories:

The Office of Study Abroad and the Faculty Advisory Committee have vetted universities and specialized programs that offer courses in specific area. The Director of Undergraduate Studies for your academic department must pre-approve credit transfers for your major and/or minor requirements before you participate. Grades from the programs will not post on the Hopkins transcript or be included in the Hopkins grade point average.

Approved Study Abroad Programs include the following categories:

Direct Enrollment in a University Abroad
You may transfer credit from major colleges and universities throughout the world after consulting with a Study Abroad Advisor. Applications will be submitted to the host university’s international student office as visiting, non-degree students or by applying through a third-party provider. You will take regularly scheduled classes with national and international students.

Third-Party Provider Programs
These specialized programs provide study abroad opportunities for language acquisition, field experience, research opportunities, and disciplinary courses— often in less common locations. Third-party providers offer additional support services, including assistance with applications, housing, registration, visas and onsite support.

Johns Hopkins does not encourage students to participate in non-approved or un-vetted programs. If you have a sound academic rationale for participation in an un-vetted program, you must meet with the Director of Study Abroad to discuss approval of an alternative program. In some cases, you’ll be required to complete a petition process.

Search for Study Abroad Programs