Glossary of Study Abroad Terms

In the University of California system alone (UC Davis, UCEAP, and faculty-led programs offered by the 10 UC campuses), there over 300 programs in more than 40 countries! If you also factor in third-party providers’ programs, that number reaches into the thousands.  Your understanding of the differences between the types of programs will help you find a program that is a good fit for your expectations:

  • Immersion or Direct Enrollment: Through the study abroad program, students enroll directly in a partner institution in a foreign country and take courses alongside regular degree-seeking students of that institution. Examples: some but not all Education Abroad Program “EAP” programs and independent study abroad programs that offer this type of program.  Although students may take regular coursework, they bypass much of the regular admissions process of the host institution and are not matriculating for a degree in the same way native students are.
  • International School: Students take courses with other study abroad (international) students from around the world, but generally not with students from the host country. Examples: some UC Education Abroad Program “UCEAP” and independent study abroad programs, it varies widely.
  • Island:  The study abroad provider creates special courses/programs for American students that may or may not be offered in conjunction with a host university.  Examples: EAP, UC Davis Summer Abroad, UC Davis Quarter Abroad, and some independent study abroad programs.  These are also similar to “Branch Campus/Study Center Models” because they are largely separated from foreign institutions.
  • Faculty-led:  Instructors are from home university and teach subjects in their specialty abroad and credit is issued by US university leading the program.  Examples: UC Davis Summer Abroad, UC Davis Quarter Abroad, and some independent study abroad programs which would be led by faculty from other institutions, not UC Davis, and therefore credit is issued by the university organizing the program.
  • Joint:  Faculty are from UC and the partner institution; courses are with students from both UC and the partner institution.  Example: some EAP programs.
  • Hybrid:  A combination of features of one or many of the above.