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SIS Office of International Programs

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Graduate Semester Abroad Programs

SIS graduate semester abroad programs provide current students with the unique opportunity to earn AU credit while studying at a partner institution. Students spend one semester taking courses at the host institution and are fully integrated in student life at the host campus. Students who attend these programs find that the coursework and research done abroad complements their AU degrees and enriches their knowledge in a regional or functional concentration.

All programs operate out of the SIS Office of International Programs. For more information, contact sisabroad@american.edu

How the programs work:

  • Students register for AU/SIS exchange credit for the semester in which they will be studying at the partner institution. These exchange credits typically cover coursework only; research and/or internship credit will be registered under normal AU guidelines. 
  • Students pay AU tuition and fees. This allows them to apply their financial aid packages to their semester abroad. As semester programs are designed for the independent graduate student, additional program fees do not apply.
  • Students pay limited fees to the partner institution. These fees can include welcome program, state-mandated insurance, and activities fees.
  • Students are responsible for their own accommodation, airfare, ground transportation, school supplies, and other personal living expenses while at the partner institution. 

Eligibility requirements:

  • Current status as an AU graduate student. Programs are open to all graduate students from any AU school or college.
  • Good academic and university standing. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA at AU and be cleared by Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Services for participation.
  • Approved plan of study. Students must meet with their academic advisors to get approval for the courses they plan to take prior to departure.

How to apply:

  • Students should first familiarize themselves with the Steps to Study Abroad and then contact or meet with the Office of International Programs staff to discuss specific programs.
  • All students must first apply for the specific exchange program via the SIS online application and may not apply directly to the partner institution. Application deadlines vary according to program.
  • SIS online applications require a personal statement, a list of completed relevant course work, an unofficial AU transcript, a résumé or C.V., and approval from the student's academic advisor.
  • Once the completed application is reviewed by the Office of International Programs, the student will then be prompted to submit an application to the partner institution, which may be online or paper-based, depending on the partner. All paper-based applications and supplemental materials for online applications will be collected by the Office of International Programs and be submitted directly to the partner institution. Note that some partner institutions will require additional information such as official undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts and letters of recommendation.

Once accepted:

  • Students will work with the partner institution to register for classes, find housing, and enroll in welcome programs.
  • Students will be required to attend a pre-departure session conducted by the Office of International Programs prior to attending the host institution. Program details, cross-cultural communication, safety and health concerns, and other important issues will be covered at the session.
  • Students will be required to purchase supplemental international emergency health insurance through the university. The cost of coverage per semester is approximately $85.

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