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University of Colorado Denver

Study Abroad/Global Education

What to look for in a Study Abroad Provider


Choosing between providers can be difficult. View the sections below for things you should be thinking about before you decide.​




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Living in another country where you do not speak the language can be intimidating, but your study abroad provider will be there to help you. Most providers will have on-site staff that are fluent in English to orient you and assist you when you when culture, language barrier, adaptation, and/or stress become overwhelming.

Having said that, it is a good idea to prepare before you go abroad in the language of your destination country. Here are some tips to do just that:

Before you go abroad to your program destination, preparing yourself to navigate the language differences is a wonderful way to enrich your experience. Here are some tips to navigate the language barrier:

·       Take a language class offered at CU Denver

·       Take a class offered by another college or university, or by Colorado Free University​

·       Use one of the many web resources to learn a language, like VerblingLivemochaBusuu, or Italki 

·       Buy a travel book, which should not only have great information about your country and helpful phrases to use in your everyday interactions.​


Think about the following questions:

Academic objectives:

·       What types of courses would you like to study?

·       Do you want to take courses specifically for your major or take core requirements?

·       Do you need to take specific courses in order to graduate on time?

·       Are you studying a language?

Personal objectives:

·       What would you like to get out of your experience abroad?

·       Are there certain places that you would like to visit or events that you would like to experience while abroad?

·       What specific things do you want to experience in a new culture? (Food, family, history, language, business...)​

professional objectives:

·       What type of professional skills would you like to gain from your experience?​

·       Are you interested in interning abroad? Some programs offer internship opportunities!

·       How will your chosen country or program fit into your career goals?

As you decide on your provider, you should be asking yourself these type of questions.


For some students, they have known where they would like to study abroad. For others, making that decision can be difficult when there are many unique and diverse opportunities.

If you are having trouble deciding where, think about the following:

·       Do you have experience with a language other than English?

·       Does your family have any history in any particular country that you would like to explore?

·       Are there more options to take classes that go along with your major with programs in certain countries more so than others?

·       If studying in one of your top countries is prohibitively expensive, are you open to studying in a place that is more affordable?

·       What type of city do you want to live in? A big metropolis or a small college-town?

One technique to narrow your search in study abroad locations is to create a list of all countries that you are interested in. Once you have a list, learn as much as you can about these countries. You can either do research on your own, or you can peruse study abroad catalogs given by third-party providers (after you have completed your first advising appointment, we will provide you with as many catalogs as you would like). Through your research, one country will soon become apparent, and you will next decide on a program.​


The type of housing you will have can vary greatly depending on the culture and economics of your study abroad location. Here are a few of the possibilities:

·       Homestaywhich could be a family consisting of two parents and young children, two parents with grown up children living outside of the home, or a single man or woman.  

·       Dorms or community residences, which could be a mix of foreign students with locals, or entirely Americans

·       Apartment, flat, or independent housing

In all of these cases, it is important to ask your provider exactly what they offer so you can decide what is best for you. Are you looking to immerse yourself in the culture and practice the language? Are you more independent and want to cook for yourself? Whenever possible, you should match your personality and study abroad goals to the type of housing you choose.​

One consideration to be mindful of is that prices for third-party programs will vary among each other, even within the same city. When looking at the price of a program, you should consider what is included in the cost of a program.


Tuition at your institution is almost always included in the price. The difference between program costs may be due to the chosen institution of the program. 

In addition to tuition, here are some other components to look for in the program cost:

·         International Health Insurance

·         Housing (host-stay, campus, apartments, etc.)

·         Meals (how many per day, weekend, etc.)

·         Visa support and fees

·         Day-to-day costs (public transportation passes, laundry, phone plans, internet access)

·         On-site support (resident director, tutoring, etc.)

·         Excursions (where are the excursions, how many are included in the price, etc.)

·         ​Orientations (pre-departure, on-site)

·         Textbooks and materials

·         Airport pick-up

·         Volunteer or internship opportunities

·         Transcript support​


If any of these components are not included in the overall price, you should plan on paying for this on your own. Keep in mind that a cheaper program might mean that you are responsible for paying more for things on your own; however, this may not always be the case.

For more information about paying for your program, visit our Funding section.​


If you are receiving financial aid at University of Colorado Denver, then whatever funding you are receiving for the given term that you are studying abroad can be applied towards your study abroad program cost. Qualifying financial aid that can be applied towards program costs are grants, scholarships, fellowships, and student loans. When researching programs, be contemplative about how to maximize your experience without breaking your budget. In addition to financial aid, there are many scholarships that are will help you fund your study abroad, and you can find scholarship information from our website.

More resources: or and


If you are interested in seeing what financial aid may be available to you, please contact Sarah Cozzini at or 303-315-1865.​


The course credit transferred from an approved study abroad program can be applicable towards your degree program at the University of Colorado Denver. The initial step in the credit transferring process is to obtain a course approval form from the Office of Global Education. With this form, you will seek approval from your college advisor, major advisor, and/or minor advisor to determine exactly whether and how the courses/credits will apply to your degree. During this process, please provide them with all the information of your chosen program and course descriptions. We recommend that you get course approvals for at least three additional classes, because course schedules may change upon arrival.

Please stay in touch with the Study Abroad Office with any further questions or concerns about credits and the legitimacy of study abroad programs.​


There are hundreds of programs and providers out there, and finding the perfect fit can be daunting. 

The websites below act as search engines to narrow down programs for you:



·       IIE Passport


Also, many providers feature student blogs, where you can see what life abroad is as a student in a program that you’re thinking of going on.

In order to receive credit and financial aid, the program of your choice must be approved through the Office of Global Education. Make an appointment or send us an email for further information.​

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