Skip to main content

Study Abroad 101

NSU Spartans Abroad 101: Your First Step to study abroad

Getting Started

Welcome to NSU Spartans Abroad 101!

The NSU Office of Global Learning & International Programs provides support to and guidance on international programs for students pursuing education abroad. 

Progress through the each section of NSU Spartans Abroad 101.

Once you have completed NSU Spartans Abroad 101, you should schedule an appointment with a Study Abroad advisor to discuss your plans to study abroad.

Begin to explore what opportunities are available for you abroad and discover how you would like to shape your experience. In addition to taking classes abroad, you can consider an internship, service learning, or even research.

NSU Spartans Abroad 101 will help you understand program options, how to select a program, funding options, how to earn credit abroad and your next steps.

Don’t forget to check out the FAQs section of NSU Spartans Abroad 101 for answers to commonly asked questions. Here we go!

Choosing a Program

The NSU Office of Global Learning & International Programs website is a key resource in all stages of your study abroad journey. Let’s talk through the first stage: program exploration. There are several short-term options, such as winter, summer or spring break, as well as options for a semester or academic year abroad.

When selecting a program destination, familiarize yourself with NSUs travel restrictions and check out our Navigating COVID-19 Abroad page to learn more about how to navigate the uncertainties of international travel amidst a global pandemic.

Short-term NSU Faculty Led Programs

NSU offers programs to participate with international summer institutes, where you enroll in courses at foreign universities. These programs may have a NSU faculty member teaching a course that you can enroll in too. This is a popular, affordable option for Spartans to spend summers abroad with other Spartans at a foreign partner university.

NSU offers faculty-led programs in locations across the globe that focus on an area of study. Many faculty-led programs are open to all majors. Programs will vary in price point and length of time abroad. This option provides you with the most support as you are guided by NSU faculty and go abroad with peers. There are NSU faculty-led programs offered during winter break, spring break, and summer.

Semester Programs

Going abroad during the semester or academic year provides two pathways:

  1. NSU semester programs
  2. External programs outside of NSU

We are going to talk about each of these, how they differ, and their advantages as you choose the best program for you.

NSU Semester Programs 

NSU semester programs give you the convenience of applying through the NSU Education abroad office to attend one of our partner universities. How?

NSU semester programs are cost-effective and many offer coursework for most majors. Tuition and housing are paid at host university rates, which in most cases are comparable to the cost of NSU in-state tuition and housing.

NSU semester exchange programs are a little different and function as a true one-to- one student exchange where we send a student to the partner university abroad and in return receive a student from that partner university. It is important to know that in order to balance the student exchange ratio, sometimes there may be a limit to the number of students we can send to a particular partner university. For NSU semester exchange programs, tuition is paid to NSU at standard NSU tuition rates through NSU Student Accounting, but your housing is paid directly to the partner institution at the rate set by your host university. So if you are interested in one of the NSU semester exchange options, speak to an Study Abroad adviser to start planning.

External Study Abroad Provider Programs

External programs offer a greater range of destinations and opportunities. What is an external program?

External programs could be through third-party study abroad organizations or program providers, other U.S. institutions, or by applying directly to a foreign university on your own.

Let’s talk about what this means for you. Program providers organize more structured programs abroad, where you may be on the program alongside students from other US universities. External programs can be short, like during the summer, or a semester or year long.

Going abroad with a program provider is a great option for students who would like guidance through the process, support while abroad, organized group travel and activities, and also the freedom to be as independent as you would like. The cost to study abroad through a program provider can vary greatly.  Some providers offer programs at a cost comparable to or even less than NSU’s in-state cost of attendance, but some others may cost more.

If you decide to go abroad through a program provider, other U.S. institution, or by applying directly to a foreign university on your own, you would apply to and pay all costs directly to the organization through which you are going abroad. Prices and deadlines vary. Be sure to contact a campus study abroad advisor to explore this option further.


It is important to spend some time thinking about the logistics of studying abroad. You may have options using financial aid and other sources of existing funding, like pre-paid tuition plans or military assistance, to help pay for your education abroad experience.

Be sure to explore the many scholarship options available listed in the Resources section to learn how you can find the funds to support your education abroad experience. Your study abroad program may also offer scholarships. Financial aid, whether need-based or merit-based, travels with you abroad as long as you maintain full-time enrollment while overseas.

The NSU Office of Financial Aid is a good place to start if you have questions about your financial aid. If you receive a federal Pell Grant, you should apply for an external scholarship called the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.

Certain NSU scholarships may also travel with you. If you use VA prepaid tuition or military benefits, you should talk to a Study Abroad Advisor to go through the steps for using those sources of funding abroad.

Get creative! Many NSU Spartans create Go-Fund Me campaigns for an easy way to share your goal and ask friends and family to support your academic pursuits.

Studying abroad can be affordable! Chat with a Study Abroad Advisor for guidance on making study abroad affordable for you.

Getting Credit

Careful planning of your education abroad experience should keep you on track to graduate, or maybe even help you get ahead! So let’s look at the credit transfer process for studying abroad.

Students studying for a semester can anticipate taking between 12-15 credits and those studying during the summer typically take between 3-6 credits.

Some study abroad programs offer NSU credit, whereas others provide transfer credit, which you’ll need to get pre-approval for.

Be sure to discuss with your NSU Academic Advisor your plans to study abroad and what courses you’ll need to take for your degree requirements. You will need to submit a course approval request form for each course you’d like to take while abroad.

See the credit transfer process section of the NSU Study Abroad website for more information.

Next Steps

Meet your Study Abroad Advisor

Completing NSU Spartans Abroad 101 puts you closer to your goal of studying abroad! So what’s next?

Speak with your academic advisor about your plans to study abroad. You also want to schedule a time to meet with your NSU Study Abroad Advisor. Please feel free to schedule an appointment with your Study Abroad Advisor about where you are most interested in going. The NSU Study Abroad team is here to help you through the process so you can meet your study abroad goals. We look forward to helping you pursue a rewarding & life changing opportunity abroad!