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Virtual Study Abroad

Join us for change! 

Given the challenges presented in 2020 by COVID-19, the field of study abroad - including the MTSU Office of Education Abroad - has been adapting to meet the needs of students with virtual academic programs. We remain cautiously optimistic about future study abroad and travel. Here are some changes we have implemented to meet the needs of our students while we wait for the world to reopen.  

Virtual Internships 

The Office of Education Abroad offers virtual internships through our affiliated program providers, CIEE, ISA, University of Minnesota LAC, and USAC.   These are great options for students who need an internship experience as part of their degree plan or for those who are interested in gaining collaborative, virtual experiences that are relevant to academic or personal interests.  Set yourself apart from your peers right from home while expanding your network in your chosen field. Get a look at international industry trends, different perspectives, and global issues you likely will not experience through an internship in the U.S.  Gain other skills employers are looking for such as: Cross-Cultural Communication, Flexibility, Independence, Project Management, Remote Work, and International Experience. 

Virtual internships are open to students from all majors and minors. Academic credit will be determined by the department just like any other study abroad program. 

We are thrilled to offer scholarships for summer 2021 virtual internships - 100% fully-funded!
This means:
  • Program fee plus 3 credit hours of undergraduate credit (if applicable) at in-state tuition rate ($1,134)*, or 
  • Program fee plus 3 credit hours of graduate credit (if applicable) at in-state tuition rate ($1,725)*
*Students who choose to earn credit from the internship provider will not receive any funding for tuition since it will not be necessary. The program fee will still be paid. 

Email us for more information since there is a limited number of these scholarships available. 

Students who select a virtual internship follow the same process as other study abroad students. 
  • Find your program
  • Review the virtual option with your academic advisor to ensure it works for your degree plan 
  • Apply for program preapproval on the Office of Education Abroad website 
  • Apply for the actual program with the provider 
Virtual options are eligible for the Office of Education Abroad Scholarship!  

Intern remotely with international companies countries like Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Uruguay, United Kingdom, and more.

3-6 credit internships in academic areas such as: Arts, Business, Business Development & Sales, Business Finance & Accounting, Communications, Data Science & Data Analytics, Design, Digital Health, Education, Electrical & Control Engineering, Engineering, English Language Instruction, Entrepreneurship, Event Planning, Fashion, Health/Wellness, International Business, IT & Computer Science, Journalism, Marketing & Digital, Marketing, Media, Film & Photography, NGO, Pre-Law, Research & Grant-Writing, Social Media Management, Social Welfare & Social Services, Software Engineering, Sustainability & Environment, Tourism, Translation. 

Non-credit internships are also available for students who want the experience and professional development but do not need the credit. 

Use the links below to research our virtual internships.  Questions?  Please contact Emily McAnally, Education Abroad Advisor, for more information:

Virtual International Courses

Highlight: Kansai Gaidai University, Japan 

One of our exchange partners in Japan, Kansai Gaidai University, recently added virtual courses to complement their on-campus academics.  Students from exchange partner universities like MTSU are given a chance to enroll in one or two courses to earn credit abroad while travel is not possible.  Earning credit virtually with Kansai Gaidai University gives MTSU students a chance to learn from professors and students representing a different culture(s), strengthening cultural competency and virtual collaboration at the same time.  

Courses offered include Japanese language, Kanji & Readings, culture courses, and more.  Credit earned can be applied toward the student's degree plan and is appropriate for most Japanese majors and minors and may be appropriate for other academic fields.  As always, students should consult with their academic advisor to determine if any study abroad course is appropriate for their degree plan.  

If Kansai Gaidai University continues virtual course programming for the summer 2021 term and beyond, the Office of Education Abroad will continue offering this option to MTSU students.  Office of Education Abroad scholarships will apply. 

Virtual courses with Kansai Gaidai University also provide the first step toward studying abroad in Japan. Students participating in this program are encouraged to consider Japan for their future study abroad location.  Many of our students who study abroad in Japan graduate to pursue graduate degrees related to their studies or professional teaching opportunities in Japan (like JET).  MTSU offers faculty-led programs to Japan in the summer term.  Longer semester & academic year exchange programs via four exchange partners are available each semester. 

We plan to share our students' virtual course experiences on this page and via the Office of Education Abroad social media channels as the spring semester progresses. 

Interested in a program to Japan?  Links to our Japanese exchange programs are below. 

MT Online Intercultural Exchange 

What is MTOIE? Online intercultural exchange (OIE) is a term for a collaborative virtual instructional approach that involves guided tasks and opportunities for social interaction between MTSU students and their international peers.  Terms such as telecollaboration, virtual exchange and Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) can be used interchangeably with OIE.  The goal of MTOIE is to facilitate a connection among MTSU students, faculty and international peers.  This is done in existing MTSU classes by developing collaborative class activities that bring students together across time zones and language backgrounds.  In this way, MTOIE supports all three pillars of the MTSU academic master plan (enhance academic quality, foster student-centered learning, and leverage resources through partnerships).

Students in a course designated as MTOIE collaborate with students from an international classroom for discussion and possibly a collaborative, virtual project.  The goal is to foster intercultural connections and ideally, the course will result in an international study abroad experience for students from either side of the exchange.  MTSU students may have a chance to study abroad at their partner university/country, partner institution students may have a chance to travel to MTSU (or both!).  Students have the benefit of "meeting" their partners virtually before going abroad.

MTOIE classes/programs are now being proposed for the future, later 2021 or 2022 terms.  Stay tuned! 

Planning Ahead 

Plan ahead with us! We invite you to plan ahead to fall 2021, winter 2021-22, spring 2022, or summer 2022 and beyond. 

Many programs repeat every year, so study abroad advisors can help you determine possible courses and costs now so you can prepare early for your experience abroad. We already have a pretty good idea of the kinds of faculty-led programs we will see in summer 2022 and are excited about those upcoming options! 

Why plan so far ahead? 
  • Early planning gives you a chance to find the perfect program, sometimes this research takes time. 
  • The actual study abroad process takes a bit of time anyway, we recommend planning at least 9-12 months in advance.  
  • Some scholarships have very early deadlines; planning early gives you a chance to apply.
  • Budgeting for a program is essential for most students.  We can provide a cost estimate for your chosen program now so you can adequately budget. 
  • You can map out future MTSU semesters to prepare for taking courses abroad.  
  • (also, it's fun to dream of where you'll study!)
Interested in advising? Schedule an education abroad advising appointment on Pipeline, just like you would for a regular academic advising appointment.  Additional virtual courses 
Study abroad has changed due to COVID-19 and we believe some of those changes - like virtual course and internship options - are for the better! Students who have not traditionally been able to study abroad now have an international option to include in their academic studies. This also allows the Office of Education Abroad to offer students an opportunity for international professional development that was not have been possible before. 

We hope to add more virtual courses from our affiliates and exchange partners as available in the near future.  Even though we expect travel to resume in the future, it is our belief that some virtual options will remain to support the interests and needs of more students.  The Office of Education Abroad website will be updated to reflect those options if/when they occur. 

Students who find a virtual course or internship on their own (not on our website) are encouraged to contact the Office of Education Abroad to ask if the course can be used for virtual study abroad.  We may be able to incorporate the program into education abroad independent study (or similar).