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A Division of the International Studies Office

Program Models

Many students have questions regarding the differences in program types. While every program will have unique characteristics that may diverge from the norm, most programs can be categorized into one of the following types. For a specific program's characteristics, see the Fact Sheet and other important details on the program brochure.

UVA Programs

UVA programs are designed, developed and directed by UVA faculty members. The level of immersion on a UVA program can vary widely: from taking courses exclusively with other UVA students, to taking courses at a partner university with local students. While participants are predominantly from UVA, students from other colleges and universities may often participate. The International Studies Office offers UVA programs during the semester and academic year, as well as the January and summer terms. Examples of UVA programs include those which focus on a specific subject matter, such as UVA in the Bahamas: Marine Biology and UVA in South Africa: Public Health Sciences, as well as those with a broader academic offering, including UVA in Lyon and UVA in Valencia.

UVA Partner Programs

Often mistaken for or lumped in with UVA programs, UVA partner programs are programs administered by a partner organization and include students from a variety of US universities and colleges. UVA provides input on the academic curriculum and coordinates the application process for UVA students. These programs can be identified online by their name, such as UVA in Italy: Siena (in affiliation with CET), UVA in Italy: Florence at the Palazzo Rucellai, and UVA in Shanghai at Fudan University.

UVA Exchange Programs

UVA currently has exchange agreements with over 50 universities around the world. Participating in a UVA exchange program allows you to enroll at one of our partner universities around the world alongside local students, offering a high level of immersion. Interested students will first apply to UVA by the UVA deadline. If selected, applicants will next apply directly to the host university. Admitted students continue to pay regular tuition and fees to UVA; students make arrangements through the host or independently for housing, transportation and other expenses. Examples of exchanges include the University of Edinburgh, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the University of Montreal, Bocconi University, and the University of Queensland.

Outside Programs

Programs sponsored by other universities or by private companies specializing in education abroad are referred to at UVA as Outside Programs. A wide range of programs are available, including those that facilitate students enrolling directly at a host institution, those where students take classes exclusively with other visiting students in buildings or classrooms owned by the program, and experiential programs allowing you to do internships, field study or research. The cost, level of immersion and accommodation options can vary widely on these programs. Examples of outside programs include Semester at Sea, CIEE, IES, Danish Institute for Study Abroad and the School for International Training, also known as SIT.