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Summer and Intersession Programs

Picture of SIS students with blowguns in the ASEAN 2013 program.

Summer Abroad Programs

SIS organizes a number of short-term, experiential programs abroad as well as internships abroad each summer. Some programs are faculty-led and others are courses offered at partner institutions abroad where students will be directly enrolled. Program locations change each summer to reflect the needs and interests of the SIS student population.The detailed curricula of the programs make them ideal for students who wish to concentrate on a specific region or topic area. Each one offers ample opportunity to interact with local and regional leaders, conduct field research, and engage in challenging internship positions.

All programs operate out of the SIS Office of International Programs (SIS OIP). For more information, contact

How the programs work:

  • Students may apply for their program of choice (all programs are competitive and application does not guarantee admission). Some internship programs also require an application.

  • Students are registered for the respective course by SIS OIP for the summer term.

  • Students pay AU tuition and are billed directly through Student Accounts. Financial aid packages can apply.

  • Some programs include a mandatory program fee. Students can learn about whether or not such a fee exists on each program's respective web page.

  • Summer programs may include (at no additional cost to the student) supplemental international emergency health insurance, accommodation, ground transportation, some meals, site visits and field trips, and internship placement (if applicable). Program specific websites will list any expenses in greater detail.

  • Students are typically responsible for their own airfare, visas (if applicable), supplies, most meals, and other personal living expenses while on the program.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Status as a graduate student at American University. Non-AU graduate students may only apply to select programs (see program specific pages for eligibility).

  • Good academic and university standing. 

  • Approved plan of study. As part of the application process, students should meet with their academic advisors to get approval for the courses they plan to take.

Each program will have additional eligibility requirements listed on its respective website. Please adhere to the specific eligibility requirements before submitting an application.

How to apply:

  • Students should attend an info session for the specific program they are interested in and/or view program-specific application materials from each program website.

  • The priority application deadline for 2017 SIS Summer Abroad Programs will be February 22nd, unless otherwise noted on the specific program website. Applications after the priority deadline will be processed on a rolling admissions basis except for Practica Abroad courses.

  • All application materials are submitted through the online application and processed by SIS. Applications can be found on each program's web page.

  • Most applications consist of a general application form and affidavit, a personal essay, AU transcript, résumé or C.V., and an academic advisor approval form. Some applications will require additional supporting documentation.

Once accepted:

  • Students will be required to attend a pre-departure orientation at SIS prior to attending the summer program. Program details, cross-cultural communication, safety and health concerns, program logistics, syllabi and reading lists, and other important issues will be covered at the orientation.

  • Students will need to submit a flight itinerary and a legible copy of their passport picture/number page.