Choosing a Program


With over 1,000 programs to choose from, we know that the research process can be a bit overwhelming. That's why all UNC Charlotte students are required to complete Study Abroad 101, which consists of videos and resources to help students better understand how studying abroad works.


The OEA recommends that after completing Study Abroad 101, you learn more about the different program types you can choose from. Click on the buttons below to learn more about each program type. Once you have a good understanding of each program type, you can then use the search function to search all approved programs.


It's important that you take the time to do thorough research in order to choose a program that's a good academic, financial, and personal. Each program type is structured differently in terms of the application process, program length, location, cost, and overall experience. Think about what type of experience you are looking for based on your needs and interests.

Consider the following topics when researching programs:

  • First, understand how academic credit works when you study abroad
  • Meet with your Academic Advisor to determine what courses you have yet to take to complete your degree requirements. Then, search for programs that offer courses that could potentially satisfy those requirements
  • In most cases you will be taking courses with other Americans and international students (if the courses are offered in English and you're studying in a non-English speaking country). However, if you have a higher language proficiency, you can likely take courses with locals. Some programs will also offer courses in English that are open to locals. Consider what type of class environment you'd like to find yourself in.
  • Determine when you're eligible to go abroad 
  • Identify for how long you want to go abroad
  • Do you think you might want to go abroad again? If so, when should you first go abroad to ensure you have time to go abroad again?
  • Costs will vary by program type
  • Check out the Money Matters section to better understand how to determine program cost structures & estimated costs
  • If you are a financial aid recipient the semester you go abroad, learn more about how Financial Aid can be applied
  • Identify and apply for as many scholarships as you're eligible for
  • Learn more about potential housing options you can choose from depending on the program
  • Figure out with which type of option you'd be comfortable and search for programs that offer those options
  • Are you looking for a program that already has travel arranged for you (e.g. day or weekend trips to nearby cities or countries), or would you prefer the freedom of setting your own schedule?
  • Are you looking for a program that offers extra classes for credit?
  • Are you looking for a more structured program where all of the details are already arranged for you, or would you prefer one that allows you to be more independent?
  • Be sure to research programs in approved locations
  • Would you prefer to live in a bigger city or a smaller town?
  • Do you want to be with other UNC Charlotte students, or are you comfortable meeting other Americans and international students on your own upon arrival?
  • Review considerations for diverse travelers (minorities, LGBTQ+, students with disabilities) to determine if certain locations or program types might meet your needs better than others
  • Consider any dietary allergies or restrictions. Will this affect where the best place for you to study abroad would be?
  • Do you have any health conditions that could influence which countries would be a good fit for you to study abroad in? For example, is a medication you take legal in your location of interest, and, if not, would an alternative be readily available and/or advisable (per discussions with your doctor)?