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Embarking on a study abroad trip is a transformative experience that will take your education beyond textbooks and lectures. UIS’ Study Away Program offers various experiences inside and outside the U.S. where students can be immersed in a new culture. Students can apply for a short-term, exchange, or internship program. It all depends on what you’re looking for. These unique experiences allow students to travel and gain a broader perspective of themselves and the world.


There are many reasons students might wish to study away, but the most obvious is to travel and see the world. A Study Away trip allows students to broaden their horizons, just as college does when they first arrive. It’s a new world with a new set of opportunities. Students can travel to new cities and explore a new culture by themselves or with their classmates. The idea is to expand their understanding of the world, which will impact how students view their studies when they return to UIS.


The depth of immersion is dependent on the program. If a student wants a little taste of what a new environment has to offer, then a short-term experience would be best suited for them. The short-term can be either faculty-led or partner-led. Faculty-led is when one of our UIS professors is leading the trip. Partner-led is where the experience is led by one of our partner universities. Our partner universities also offer an exchange program where students can study away for one or two semesters. UIS is a member of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) and National Student Exchange (NSE). These organizations offer students a broader selection of experiences.


Given the unique experiences that studying away gives you, it can set you apart in the job market. When looking at potential jobs and internships, you can add an experience to your resume that will help you be more memorable to an employer. When asked about your ability to adapt to new environments, work with people from different backgrounds, and the fresh perspectives you can bring to a team, each of these questions could be answered with, “Let me tell you about my study away trip.” It shows that you are ready to take on new challenges. Not only does the study away experience make you more marketable, but it is especially helpful with international job prospects if that is something you wish to pursue. Students can gain direct global work experience by participating in international internships. With these experiences, you will be fostering connections that will span across the globe and can last for a lifetime.

An image of Dexter Burns.


Studying away gives students a broader perspective of what the world needs and what they can offer. It may even impact their course of study or their career trajectory. Dexter Burns, a 2014 UIS graduate, became interested in Latin American Music while on his study-away trip to Mexico. That trip led him to pursue a master’s program at UIUC in Latin American Studies. After he completed his master’s, he decided to work as an Executive Assistant in Human Resources at the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. Burns says he has studied abroad many times, but it was his first trip to Mexico with the UIS Study Away Program that piqued his interests in academic fieldwork abroad.

Let’s look at a few logistical questions to start you on your once-in-a-lifetime journey.

  • ●       How will this affect my degree timeline?
    • It depends on the experience you select. Studying away in the summer will most likely have little impact on your degree timeline. On the other hand, an exchange program with a partner university, ISEP, or NSE will require you to work closely with your academic advisors and the advisor in the university you will be studying away at. To ensure that you are fulfilling your degree requirements.
  • How can I pay for this?
    • There are many ways you can finance your trip. We encourage students to apply for scholarships offered at UIS and to explore other scholarship opportunities on their own. Payment plans are available, and students do not need to pay entire program fees all at once.
  • Which program is best for you?
    • At UIS, students can pursue a variety of opportunities to study away. These opportunities include UIS Study Away seminars and exchange programs, as well as programs administered by other universities and educational institutions.
  • Where can I apply?


The first step in embarking on your journey is deciding what programs interest you. Then you can work with your academic advisor to see how that program fits with your coursework. You may then reach out to the Study Away Office to start planning your next adventure.

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