Program Types

Departmental Programs 

Purdue University colleges and/or departments organize overseas programs that last from four days to four weeks. A Purdue professor leads the program and teaches one course.  Participants earn from one to nine credit hours, depending on the length of the program. 

Departmental programs are right for students who:

  • prefer on-site support from a program leader
  • have never traveled abroad 
  • feel more secure being with a group of Purdue students

Purdue-Administered Programs 

These programs are designed and administered by the Study Abroad Office and typically take place over the summer. Usually a Purdue professor leads the program and teaches one course.  Participants typically earn six credit hours, depending on the length of the program. 

Similar to Departmental Programs, these are right for students who:

  • prefer on-site support from a program leader
  • have never traveled abroad 
  • feel more secure being with a group of Purdue students

Exchange Programs

Exchange Programs are based on agreements that Purdue maintains with academic institutions around the world. Participants will be enrolled as regular students at the partner university but will pay their regular level of tuition to Purdue. The Study Abroad Office reviews student applications, selects participants and coordinates pre-departure orientations. Most forms of financial aid apply to the program costs. Students earn direct credit for coursework completed. Exchange programs are available for the summer, semester or year.

Cost: Students are billed regular Purdue tuition plus overseas health insurance by the bursar.  They will need to purchase plane tickets and pay remaining costs (housing, meals, local travel, and personal expenses) at the overseas study site.  It is important to visit the page on costs and financial aid to learn what and how one pays for this kind of study abroad experience.

Assistance: Most partner universities have a supportive international office staff to provide assistance to exchange students.  However, students choosing this type of program should not expect a lot of individual attention. As regular students in the university, they are expected to act independently and contact the international office when they need help.

Living: In many cases, students live in university residence halls or university-owned apartments. Some exchange programs offer a homestay option. Students pay housing charges on-site.

Classes: University courses often include both local and international students. If Purdue students are proficient, they can also take classes taught in the country's native language.

Registration: Exchange programs offer the broadest selection of courses, but it is possible that you will not be able to take exactly what you had anticipated. Registration for classes is usually not possible until after you arrive at the host university.

Traveling: Students on Exchange Programs are free to travel on weekends or during university holidays. Some universities organize trips for their exchange students, but participants in these programs usually plan their own excursions.

Exchange Programs are right for students who:

  • prefer to pay Purdue tuition and fees for their program
  • yearn for independence
  • want to be fully integrated into the local culture
  • want to plan their own semester activities and excursions
  • desire a broad selection of courses

Direct Enroll Programs

Direct Enroll programs are similar to Exchange Programs in duration, independence and academics; the main differences are that Direct Enroll programs tend to cost more and do not bring overseas students to Purdue.

Co-sponsored Programs

Co-Sponsored Programs Purdue students are eligible to participate in a number of study abroad programs that are organized by agencies specializing in international education (Arcadia, CIEE, IES, IFSA, DIS, etc.). Students accepted by these programs, pay the program fees directly to the co-sponsor and a Purdue study abroad fee to the bursar. Financial aid can be applied to these program costs, and credits and grades are directly transferred to the students' Purdue transcripts. Co-sponsored programs are available for the summer, semester or academic year.

Cost: Students, whether residents or non-residents, pay a comprehensive program fee that usually includes tuition, housing, meals, international health insurance, and a few excursions. Depending on the destination, the program fee may be more, less, or about the same as Purdue non-resident tuition.  It is important to visit our page on costs and financial aid to learn what and how one pays for this kind of study abroad experience.

Assistance: Co-sponsored programs usually have an office, a resident director and a staff that offer a high level of support and assistance to students.

Living: Depending on the program, students will live in residence halls, apartments or private homes with local families.

Classes: Many co-sponsored programs are organized specifically for Americans and other international students. However, participants may sometimes take one or more courses at the overseas university affiliated with the program.

Registration: Students register for classes either before or after arrival. Many courses offered by co-sponsors are developed especially for program participants. Thus, there is a greater degree of certainty regarding the availability and credit transfer of co-sponsor courses. Unless the program has a language requirement (as in Spain, France and Germany), classes are taught in English.

Traveling: The program fee often includes excursions and field trips.  Most include plenty of time to travel independently on weekends or during holidays.

Co-sponsored programs are right for students who:

  • prefer a program designed specifically for U.S. students
  • want a lot of on-site support
  • prefer to travel with organized excursions