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Types of Programs

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Education Abroad Program Types

We are pleased to offer MTSU students hundreds of approved education abroad program options within 65 different countries!  While it is quite beneficial for students to have a wide variety of choices, it can also be somewhat overwhelming. Therefore, we highly recommend that students read these brief descriptions below before researching programs to assist with their navigation and understanding.

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MTSU Signature Programs
These programs tend to be the most popular among MTSU students.  They are led by MTSU faculty member(s) who teach MTSU courses which are specifically designed for the overseas location.  Each program provides students with an academically enriching experience in the host country while also providing culturally relevant excursions that complement the academic experience.  Programs are taught in English (with the exception of language credit programs) and are generally 3-6 credit hours.  MTSU Faculty-Led Programs are available in the summer and are 2-4 weeks in duration, although a few options during spring and fall breaks also exist.  While any student can participate on Faculty-Led programs they work especially well for those who have not traveled abroad previously, are seeking more guidance and structure, and would prefer to travel with a group.
Consortia: (CCSA)
MTSU is affiliated with a Consortia program option.  This program is very similar to MTSU Faculty-Led programs in that the courses are taught by the U.S. Consortia member faculty (which sometimes means an MTSU professor), are typically 2-4 weeks in duration throughout the summer, and provide a good deal of structure and support as a group option. Short-term winter options are available as well.

Program Providers: (CIEE, ISA, LAC, USAC)
MTSU is affiliated with particular third-party provider organizations to supplement the overall portfolio of education abroad options. As there are hundreds of third party provider programs in existence, MTSU has chosen these five providers for their commitment to academic quality, opportunities for cultural integration, and reputation for their close attention to student health and safety abroad. These programs work well for students who want the immersion of attending a foreign university, but are seeking a high level of support both here in the U.S. prior to departure and while abroad. Application procedures and deadlines vary by provider and programs range in length from a few weeks during the summer or winter to a full academic semester or year.

Exchange Programs: (MTSU Exchange & ISEP Exchange)
These programs are offered through bilateral exchange agreements between MTSU and our partner universities abroad or within the ISEP network.  Exchange options are generally offered as semester or full academic year in length and require the student to be enrolled in a full-time course load each term.  Participants will be enrolled as regular students at the partner university but will pay MTSU fees for tuition (and sometimes room and meals depending on the exchange agreement).  At the same time, students from these partner universities come to study at MTSU!  Exchange programs are ideal for students who want to challenge themselves by fully integrating into the day-to-day academic and personal life of the host country.  Because these programs do not offer the level of support as our other options, participants should be highly motivated, interested in planning their own semester activities and excursions, and feel comfortable seeking out details without a great deal of guidance.

Other Options:
Very similar to ISEP-Exchange with regards to program options, application process, and level of support.  However ISEP-Direct options are not exchange programs and, therefore, students pay the international institution fees instead.  These programs are generally good back-up choices for students applying for ISEP-Exchange programs which have a limited chance of placement.
MTSU is also a member of the Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching, which is a collaboration of 15 colleges and universities in the United States that provides opportunities for its students to have quality student teaching experiences in overseas settings.

Some students wish to participate in an Internship or a Service-Learning project as their study abroad option (meaning for-credit).  Many of our affiliated program providers offer these opportunities as part of or in addition to the regular study abroad program.  As Internships are very individualized students should speak to an Advisor in the Office of Education Abroad for guidance beforehand.  For more information on internships please contact Office of Education Abroad Advisor, Melissa Miller,

Non-MTSU Affiliated/Independent Study/Research: 
We trust that nearly all MTSU students can find an appropriate education abroad program through the extensive list of options above. However, we recognize that some individuals may wish to study very particular topics, need special services, or have other compelling reasons to study in a city, country, or at a university with which MTSU has no pre-approved option.
In order for the Office of Education Abroad to consider endorsement of a non-MTSU affiliated program, students must first email the Director of the Office of Education Abroad, Katherine Kovar, to schedule an appointment in order to discuss the required MTSU EA petition process.  This meeting should occur at least 9-12 months in advance as non-MTSU affiliated petition deadlines are MUCH earlier than the regular EA deadlines (these deadlines will be made available during the scheduled meeting).  Students can expect to spend several weeks to several months working on the petition process if provided as an option.