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Selecting a Program

Identifying study abroad programs that are well-aligned with your educational goals requires making some choices about language of instruction, timing of study abroad, housing preference, major requirements, and more. Our website contains comprehensive search features so that you can find programs that meet those variables listed above. For a how-to guide on how to use our search features, click here. The following introduction is intended to help you understand the types of programs approved by Newcomb-Tulane College, and to prepare you for a productive conversation with an adviser in the Office of Study Abroad as you develop an intellectually challenging and rewarding plan of study abroad.

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Study Abroad Advisers:

To assist you in clarifying your educational objectives for study abroad and matching them to an appropriate program, students are invited to schedule an advising appointment with an OSA adviser (in the description of some programs you will see that an advising appointment is required).
The Study Abroad Returnee Contact (SARC) Program provides a platform for returnee study abroad students to share their advice and experience with students who are searching for a program and preparing to study abroad. Each semester, the Office of Study Abroad recruits and trains returnees to help prospective study abroad students find the program that is right for them, as well as give insider advice about their host country and its academic culture, history and daily life. Prospective study abroad students can access a list of SARC's and reach out directly via email with their questions!

Study Abroad Fair/Information Sessions:

Each year the Office of Study Abroad hosts an October study abroad fair.  Representatives from Tulane’s overseas partner institutions and program providers, as well as local representatives from cultural and educational institutions are on hand to discuss a wide variety of program opportunities with interested students.

In addition, the Office of Study Abroad offers program-specific information sessions throughout the semester for interested students to learn more about Tulane Study Abroad Programs, international scholarship opportunities and post-graduate career options.

 

 
While each program is unique, there are three general types of study abroad programs to be found on Newcomb-Tulane College’s list of approved programs.

Direct Enrollment at an Overseas University:

Direct enrollment is in many ways the “classic” model of study abroad.  Most of the world outside the United States pursues study abroad in this way, and the long history of students traveling the world to experience new ideas and other ways of being a student is the origin of the term “exchange student” still used commonly to refer to all sorts of international students. (Indeed, Tulane still maintains several exchange agreements with universities around the world, and hosts many exchange students every year).

Direct enrollment offers students the opportunity to study at an overseas institution very much like a student in the host country would.  Students rely on the host university's services to international students, are taught by host country faculty and should be eager to participate in all aspects of foreign university life. Generally, direct enrollment programs also offer students the greatest choice when selecting courses, although students should be aware that universities overseas may or may not permit cross-enrollment in more than one or two academic departments.  Direct enrollment programs may offer a variety of housing situations from homestays to university residence halls to apartments.

Direct enrollment programs can be deeply rewarding, but also challenging.  To succeed students must possess adequate language proficiency and cultural adaptability, and be committed to fully embracing the diverse educational and cultural practices that have been developed in universities around the world.

Cohort/Island Programs:

“Cohort” or “island” programs are so named to distinguish them from the more immersive direct enrollment programs.  These programs are often housed in separate installations and are always staffed by professionals dedicated to assisting students with academic and practical matters, and also to facilitating cultural immersion through excursions and housing arrangements.  Often, a set curriculum is offered exclusively for study abroad students.  Instructors are host country nationals or on-site program staff, and offer courses either in English or the language of the host country. While potentially less immersive than a direct enrollment experience, cohort/island programs allow students to study in countries where the language is less-commonly taught in the United States, and where direct university enrollment would be difficult. These programs also benefit from greater flexibility to develop a thematic curriculum closely aligned with evolving global issues and student interests.  Public health, human rights, ecology, film studies and international development are just a few examples of the themes developed by island programs.

Hybrid Programs:

Hybrid programs combine the characteristics of direct enrollment and island program models. Hybrid programs offer students an opportunity to create a program of study combining one or more university courses taken alongside host country students with courses taught exclusively for study abroad students. Housing may be offered with a host family, in a university residence hall, or an apartment. As with direct enrollment programs, language proficiency is required in hybrid programs. However, students who are less confident in their language abilities often appreciate the additional assistance offered by the professional staff of a study abroad program as they directly enroll in a foreign university for a portion of their academic work abroad.

 

 
While locale determines to a great extent what is available, housing arrangement are a key element in the student’s integration into the host culture.  For this reason universities and international partners in study abroad carefully develop their policies about student housing as an integral component of the educational experience.  It is also important to pay close attention to Tulane and program-specific policies about housing.

Homestays:

Living with host country nationals provides constant exposure to the country’s customs, culture, and daily life.  If foreign language proficiency is your principal objective for study abroad, living with native speakers of that language, whether in a private home or student residence, should be a priority. Students living in a private home or other shared living arrangement may be treated as a roommate/family member or merely a boarder, depending on the individual host and, of course, the preference of the student.  Before moving into a home, students should discuss with the family their expectations, as well as the use of appliances, telephones, facilities, meal hours and kitchen privileges, curfew, and any other household expectations.

 
Student or University Housing:

When apartment or group housing is available or the only option, Tulane students are generally assigned rooms with other study abroad participants, and whenever possible not with other Tulane students.  In some cases, Tulane students live on corridors and share kitchen facilities with host country students, providing greater opportunities for language immersion and/or cultural exchange.
 


Through the Independent Scholar Option (ISO), Tulane students may propose to study abroad for a year or semester through a university or program that has not been pre-approved by the Tulane Study Abroad Committee. The ISO review process is highly-selective, requiring a minimum 3.5 GPA, and a well-articulated proposal for study and research abroad.

All Tulane study abroad policies and procedures outlined on this web site apply to students who participate in ISO Programs. Students remain enrolled at Tulane during their time abroad, and retain Tulane financial aid and scholarships, as outlined in the policies section of this web site.

ISO Petition Procedures & Deadlines:

Before submitting a petition, students considering the ISO are required to have an advising session with the Director of Study Abroad, who will provide the petition form to the student.  Students must then consult with a faculty mentor as they work on the research proposal central to the ISO petition.

Petitions include an essay detailing the research plans that will be pursued in in the proposed study abroad program, the Newcomb-Tulane Study Abroad Application, two letters of recommendation, and one official Tulane transcript from the Registrar’s Office.  All pieces of the petition are due by the deadline for all study abroad applications for a given term on this website.

Students will be notified of approval/non-approval at the same time as all other study abroad applicants and will be expected to follow all of the steps indicated for students accepted to any study abroad program.  Students whose ISO petitions are not approved will be invited to submit an application for an approved Newcomb-Tulane Study Abroad Program.

A Note About Successful ISO Petitions:

The ISO is an opportunity to pursue a unique intellectual interest, not duplicate existing Newcomb-Tulane program offerings.  Given the breadth and variety of Newcomb-Tulane options in the UK, Ireland, Australia, as well as Anglophone Africa and Asia, proposals for work conducted solely in English are discouraged unless a compelling academic need exists.  Proposals for study in countries where the spoken language is offered at Tulane must include a demonstration of appropriate preparation at Tulane (see policy on Language and Culture Coursework).

Transcripts and Credits:

All students studying on ISO programs are responsible for completing a course load equivalent to a full course load at Tulane, and having an official transcript of their work sent promptly to the OSA.  All credits earned will be posted on the Tulane transcript (see “Academic Policies” for further details).

 


In order to seek transfer credit approval for a semester or summer study abroad program not approved by Newcomb-Tulane College, students must complete the Non-Tulane Study Abroad Program petition available in the Office of Study Abroad and consult with the Director of Study Abroad.  Students participating in such programs will take a leave of absence from the university and will handle all study abroad matters directly with the foreign university or program provider. Please note that all credits earned abroad must appear on a transcript from an accredited degree-granting institution overseas or a program provider’s accredited School of Record. Petitions involving programs that are not accredited, such as stand-alone language institutes, will not be approved for transfer credit, nor will leave of absence requests be approved for CIEE-sponsored programs undertaken during the Fall or Spring semesters for which Tulane serves as the School of Record.


A note on travelling programs: Completion of the Non-Tulane Study Abroad Program form is not required for Semester at Sea and similar programs.  Due to the unique structure and objectives of travelling programs like Semester at Sea, Tulane's procedure for participating in such programs is the same as for regular study at any other U.S. university while on a leave of absence from Tulane. Interested students should consult with the Academic Advising Center for further details about procedure for transfer of credit from such programs.
 


Study Abroad Advising Resources
 
Study Abroad Fair / Information Sessions:

Each year the Office of Study Abroad hosts an October study abroad fair.  Representatives from Tulane’s overseas partner institutions and program providers, as well as local representatives from cultural and educational institutions are on hand to discuss a wide variety of program opportunities with interested students.

In addition, the Office of Study Abroad offers program-specific information sessions throughout the semester for interested students to learn more about Tulane Study Abroad Programs, international scholarship opportunities and post-graduate career options.

Study Abroad Advisers:

To assist you in clarifying your educational objectives for study abroad and matching them to an appropriate program, students are invited to schedule an advising appointment with an OSA adviser (in the description of some programs you will see that an advising appointment is required).