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Selecting a Program

With so many options, OSA provides advice on how to select the program that’s right for you!

Before you get started on your program search, what our OSA Website Tutorial to learn some tips about how to find programs, or watch our Study Abroad 101 video for all the basics in five minutes! 

OSA Website Tutorial

Study Abroad 101

Identifying study abroad programs that are well-aligned with your educational goals requires making some choices about language of instruction, timing of study abroad, housing preference, major requirements, and more. Our website contains comprehensive search features so that you can find programs that meet those variables listed above. For a how-to guide on how to use our search features, click here. The following introduction is intended to help you understand the types of programs approved by Newcomb-Tulane College, and to prepare you for a productive conversation with an adviser in the Office of Study Abroad as you develop an intellectually challenging and rewarding plan of study abroad.

To visit our program portfolio click here.

The study abroad programs on Newcomb-Tulane’s list of approved programs generally conform to one of three program models. Some programs offer the opportunity for students to directly enroll at a host institution, the “classic model of study abroad,” and required a high degree of independence. Alternatively, hybrid programs combine direct enrollment with study abroad program support. You can search for programs based on model: Direct Enrollment, Cohort/Island, Hybrid.

Direct Enrollment at an Overseas University:

Direct enrollment is in many ways the “classic” model of study abroad.  Most of the world outside the United States pursues study abroad in this way, and the long history of students traveling the world to experience new ideas and other ways of being a student is the origin of the term “exchange student” still used commonly to refer to all sorts of international students. (Indeed, Tulane still maintains several exchange agreements with universities around the world, and hosts many exchange students every year).

Direct enrollment offers students the opportunity to study at an overseas institution very much like a student in the host country would.  Students rely on the host university's services to international students, are taught by host country faculty and should be eager to participate in all aspects of foreign university life. Generally, direct enrollment programs also offer students the greatest choice when selecting courses, although students should be aware that universities overseas may or may not permit cross-enrollment in more than one or two academic departments.  Direct enrollment programs may offer a variety of housing situations from homestays to university residence halls to apartments.

Direct enrollment programs can be deeply rewarding, but also challenging.  To succeed students must possess adequate language proficiency and cultural adaptability, and be committed to fully embracing the diverse educational and cultural practices that have been developed in universities around the world.

Cohort/Island Programs:

“Cohort” or “island” programs are so named to distinguish them from the more immersive direct enrollment programs.  These programs are often housed in separate installations and are always staffed by professionals dedicated to assisting students with academic and practical matters, and also to facilitating cultural immersion through excursions and housing arrangements.  Often, a set curriculum is offered exclusively for study abroad students.  Instructors are host country nationals or on-site program staff, and offer courses either in English or the language of the host country. While potentially less immersive than a direct enrollment experience, cohort/island programs allow students to study in countries where the language is less-commonly taught in the United States, and where direct university enrollment would be difficult. These programs also benefit from greater flexibility to develop a thematic curriculum closely aligned with evolving global issues and student interests.  Public health, human rights, ecology, film studies and international development are just a few examples of the themes developed by island programs.

Hybrid Programs:

Hybrid programs combine the characteristics of direct enrollment and island program models. Hybrid programs offer students an opportunity to create a program of study combining one or more university courses taken alongside host country students with courses taught exclusively for study abroad students. Housing may be offered with a host family, in a university residence hall, or an apartment. As with direct enrollment programs, language proficiency is required in hybrid programs. However, students who are less confident in their language abilities often appreciate the additional assistance offered by the professional staff of a study abroad program as they directly enroll in a foreign university for a portion of their academic work abroad.

While locale determines to a great extent what is available, housing arrangement are a key element in the student’s integration into the host culture.  For this reason universities and international partners in study abroad carefully develop their policies about student housing as an integral component of the educational experience.  It is also important to pay close attention to Tulane and program-specific policies about housing.

Watch Tulane Study Abroad Alum talk about their housing experiences here!

HomestayApartment, International Student Housing


Living with host country nationals provides constant exposure to the country’s customs, culture, and daily life.  If foreign language proficiency is your principal objective for study abroad, living with native speakers of that language, whether in a private home or student residence, should be a priority. Students living in a private home or other shared living arrangement may be treated as a roommate/family member or merely a boarder, depending on the individual host and, of course, the preference of the student.  Before moving into a home, students should discuss with the family their expectations, as well as the use of appliances, telephones, facilities, meal hours and kitchen privileges, curfew, and any other household expectations.

Student or University Housing:

When apartment or group housing is available or the only option, Tulane students are generally assigned rooms with other study abroad participants, and whenever possible not with other Tulane students.  In some cases, Tulane students live on corridors and share kitchen facilities with host country students, providing greater opportunities for language immersion and/or cultural exchange.

Many of the study abroad programs approved by Tulane University are language immersion programs. These programs are designed for students who have completed between two and six semesters of a language and would like to continue that coursework abroad in an immersion environment. When possible, students may also directly enroll at a foreign institution and take courses in another language right alongside local students. Click on your language below to find a list of programs available in that language.

Arabic, Chinese*, French, German, Italian, Japanese*, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish

*Students of Asian languages should also look at National University Singapore.

As you progress throughout your four years at Tulane, you’re taking care of the lower-level major requirements that are necessary before you can take some of those upper level core and elective courses. You probably want to find a program where you can take major courses that enhance what you are already doing at Tulane. Good news! The Major search function has just been updated so you should be able to find your major and pull up a list of programs that offer coursework in your field. Once you get that list, you can start visiting program websites to see what types of courses are offered and if they fit your requirements and interests! Here are some examples of programs by major:

This search option provides a great jumping off point to discover programs that offer your major courses. Always make sure to visit the course listing page of the program website to make sure that the program offers the courses that you need. If you don't see your major listed, or can't find a program based on your major, send an email to our office!

Historically, “study abroad” has been known as JYA, or junior year abroad, a time when students spend an entire academic year on an international program. While study abroad for a full year has many, many benefits, it’s not always a feasible option. Your on-campus commitments to such activities as Student Government, Greek Life or community service may prevent you from being able to go abroad for a full year. Have no fear, the Office of Study Abroad offers programs for fall or spring only, as well as over the summer!

Academic Year Programs, Fall Programs, Spring Programs, Summer Programs

Many major departments have guides and resources to help students select study abroad programs that offer coursework that fits into Tulane major or minor requirements. These guides may also discuss departmental limits on courses that can return to Tulane as major or minor credit. 

African and African Diaspora Studies 

Asian Studies

Classical Studies

Communication Study Abroad Page

French and Italian

Germanic and Slavic Studies


Latin American Studies

Political Economy & INSTEP - Please note that PECN majors are not limited to study abroad on the INSTEP programs

Public Health Study Abroad Resources

Spanish and Portuguese 

Summer Public Health Programs

School of Science and Engineering

SSE Faculty Advisors for Study Abroad

Freeman School of Business Study Abroad