Top 20 Summer Abroad Programs for 2018-2019

by Published

Have you always wanted to study abroad but never thought you had the time? Look no further than a summer study abroad program to spend your summer abroad. For college students, the benefits of a summer study abroad program are endless. Program lengths can be the whole summer or as short as two weeks (if you don’t want to cut into your beach time)—giving you plenty of time to not only get tan, but to also gain new perspectives. What else makes a summer abroad GREAT? Summer programs also tend to be an inexpensive alternative to fall and spring programs. 

Girl Backpacking

Take on your summer adventure!

Live the adventure this summer and dive into some of the best programs the summer has to offer. We double dog 🐶 🐶 dare you.

What makes these the best summer abroad programs this year?

  • Reviews & alumni experience. With any major decision, especially the decision to possibly spend your summer in a foreign country, a second opinion always helps. Reading the reviews for your program of choice can give you more insight on what the program is really like and if it’s the program for you.  
  • Clarity of information. The Discovery and learning aspect of a summer abroad program should happen while you’re there, not before. The best study abroad programs have all the information you need to know before you go!
  • Alumni resources. The best programs don’t end the minute your plane lands back home. Some programs have resources to help students stay connected. Whether it be for alumni events or reunions, or career resources. Your summer abroad is not just a chance to see the world, but make your own worldwide network.
  • Care and concern for environment, local culture, and surrounding communities. The best kind of travel isn’t one-sided. The most impactful summer study abroad programs for college students are those that immerse students completely into their foreign communities. Most programs on our list include service learning opportunities for students to participate in.
  • Respect within YOUR field of study. (Cue Aretha) In case you didn’t know, studying abroad is not just a conversation starter, but a resume booster. With highly respected faculty and some trips dedicated to a specific field of study, your experience abroad is sure to garner just a little bit of respect when you get home. 
  • Level of support. Especially in language immersion programs, a level of support is super important. From your professors, classmates, to program staff a little support can make your life in a new country feel like a second home. 
Girl looking through viewfinder

Keeping your eye on the prize of a global network

Top 20 summer abroad programs for college students

Summer study abroad programs will make this your best college break yet. Here are our top picks to get you traveling and studying abroad in the summer in 2018-2019. 

1. University of Cambridge International Summer Program—9.8 rating

University of Cambridge logo

Study for 1-6 weeks at the University of Cambridge this summer. Choose from a wide range of programs, stay in traditional College accommodation and join a vibrant community of international students. Courses are taught at the undergraduate level by leading subject specialists, with the option to write essays for credit from your home institution.

  • Where: University of Cambridge, England
  • Focus/Courses: Business and Entrepreneurship, Science, Literature, Creative Writing, History, Art and Visual Culture, Ancient and Classical Worlds, Medieval Studies, Shakespeare and Interdisciplinary studies. Also offers a three week course on Law for Law Students and Lawyers.
  • Related: Read program reviews 

2. Your Dream Summer at The American University of Paris—9.2 rating

The American University of Paris logo

In AUP’s French study abroad summer programs, you’ll engage in lively discussions, in-depth language study, and intensive workshops with professors & students from around the world. Programs vary in length and students have the option to spend two, three, or six weeks studying in Paris. In this college summer study abroad program, students can earn credits towards your degree and explore Paris through this unique, thought-provoking, international experience.

  • Where: The American University of Paris, France
  • Focus/Courses: Choose among 50 courses offered. Including topics in language, business, art history, psychology and so much more.
  • Related: Read program reviews 
Girl walking on campus

Can you say #campusgoals

3. Seamester: Transatlantic Summer—10.0 rating

Sea|mester logo

For the past 40 years Seamester has offered study abroad summer programs for college students. With no prior experience required Seamester’s Transatlantic summer program gives students hands-on experiences in seamanship with a three credit course in Natural Sciences. For 40 days in the summer students will travel 4,500 miles by sea from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean. This non-traditional study abroad program experience will give students leadership skills and three credits to use toward their degree.

  • Where: Caribbean to Mediterranean (British Virgin Islands, Azores, Gibraltar, and Spain)
  • Focus/Courses: Seamanship, and Natural Science.
  • Related: Read program reviews 
african impact

4. African Impact Volunteer Programs—9.3 rating

African Impact offers a range of summer study abroad programs for college students. With an emphasis on subjects in the African context and service learning component, African Impact gives students practical experience in addition to the opportunity to earn credits. Over the course of four weeks, students will participate in seminars, workshops and local experts in your chosen disciplines.

  • Where: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Focus/Courses: Gender Equality, Development Studies, Education, Anthropology, Human Rights, and Sociology. 
  • Related: Read program reviews 
College friends hugging

Spend your summer with people from around the world

Uppsala International Summer Session logo

5. Uppsala International Summer Session—9.3 rating

Dive into Swedish language, history and culture with this college summer study abroad program. Uppsala International Summer Session is a non-profit foundation that offers student courses ranging from two to nine weeks. While learning the Swedish language through Uppsala’s intensive language courses, students will also learn about Swedish culture and history through weekly excursions. With top-notch faculty and numerous opportunities to participate in Swedish culture and traditions, a summer at Uppsala is a truly engaging experience.

  • Where: Uppsala, Sweden
  • Focus/Courses: Swedish Language, Culture and History
  • Related: Read program reviews
Forum Europe Summer logo

6. Forum Europe Summer: Travel Around 9 Cities in 1 Month—9.7 rating

This Forum Europe program gives students the chance to earn eight credits in this multi city journey. Offering study abroad summer programs across a variety of disciplines this program is great for all majors. While on this trip students will visit universities, companies and international organizations. Visiting world famous sites and studying with experienced and international professors, this summer abroad program emphasizes global learning.

  • Where: Amsterdam, Paris, Chamonix (French Alps), Geneva, Lugano, Como, Milan, Rome, and Rhodes
  • Focus/Courses: Broad range of courses from International Accounting and Finance, to Nursing
  • Related: Read program reviews 
AIFS logo

7. AIFS Study Abroad in Cannes: Summer—9.1 rating

Students are invited to study at the Campus International de Cannes. The AIFS French study abroad summer program offers the opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Cannes in addition to day trips Monaco, St. Tropez, Nice and St. Remo, Italy. But most importantly this summer abroad program allows students to improve their French. With no previous experience in the language required, participants can boost their language skills in AIFS’s 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 week programs. Students can take up to 13 credits through this program that are transferable to their home institutions.

  • Where: Cannes, France     
  • Focus/Courses: French Language Classes.
  • Related: Read program reviews 
Where There Be Dragons logo

8. Where There Be Dragons: North India Summer Program—10.0 rating

Where There Be Dragons takes their travelers in an adventure across the Himalayas focusing on authentic cultural exchanges and meaningful travel. During the four week trip participants explore the road less traveled trekking through beautiful mountainous landscapes and local villages. Outside of seeing the sights and engaging with locals, students take part in collaborative social development projects in the capital of Leh focused on environmental conservation, gender rights and political agency. Students in this program embark on a journey of self-discovery and immersive cultural learning.

  • Where: Leh, India
  • Focus/Courses: While there are no formal courses, the focus of the program is exploring the Himalayas and analyzing the culture of Northern India. 
  • Related: Read program reviews 
Man scaling a mountain

Take your journey to epic heights

Maximo Nivel logo

9. Maximo Nivel: Native Spanish Program—9.6 rating

Maximo Nivel offers the best Spanish immersion program in Latin America. Maximo study abroad summer programs offer native Spanish instructors, small groups and 24 hour bilingual support. Adding more to the language immersion component Maximo’s summer study abroad programs also offer the ability for students to participate in their internship, TEFL and volunteer programs.

  • Where: Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica
  • Focus/Courses: Spanish Immersion Courses.
  • Related: Read program reviews 
TU Berlin Summer University logo

10. Program TU Berlin Summer University Courses 2018—10.0 rating

Visit Europe’s cultural center of Berlin with the TU Summer University course program. The TU Berlin Summer and University offers a broad range of challenging and interesting courses from diverse disciplines. TU’s study abroad summer programs for college students provides students with up to 13 ECTS credit points to take back to their home university. Join students from over 40 countries in TU’s summer study abroad programs for four to ten weeks of adventure and German culture.

  • Where: Berlin, Germany
  • Focus/Courses: Broad range of courses from German language courses to Java programming. Courses available vary by summer session and can be found on their website.
  • Related: Read program reviews 
Performing Arts Abroad logo

11. Blas Summer Music Program in Ireland—9.6 rating

For two weeks of your summer, learn the history and composition of Irish music and song. The Blas college summer study abroad program gives participants access to top experts, fantastic workshops and masterclasses. In addition to learning traditional Irish instruments and songs, lessons in Irish Gaelic language are also included in the program. The Blas program also allows students to receive 3 academic credits for this program.

Sol Education Abroad logo

12. Sol Education Abroad: Study Abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica—9.5 rating

Study Spanish at the accredited Latin University of Costa Rica. In these summer study abroad programs for college students, participants can improve their Spanish and learn more about Spanish culture. Living in Heredia, also known the City of Flowers students will stay with a host family and participate in a long list of cultural activities. By participating in this program students can earn 3 to 4 credits toward their degree.

Taking pictures of food

Taste for adventure? I say yes!

ISA logo

13. ISA Study Abroad in Paris, France—9.4 rating

With the options to attend two different universities, ISA’s French study abroad summer programs offer students the opportunity to build their French skills. Students can study at the American Business School of Paris or the Institut Catholique de Paris. Credits taken at either university can go towards your degree at your home institution. In addition to your course load your summer abroad can also be customized through the inclusion of internships or visiting local companies and service learning opportunities.

  • Where: Paris, France
  • Focus/Courses: Language Immersion/French Language Courses
  • Related: Read program reviews 
TEAN logo

14. TEAN: Gold Coast - Bond University—10.0 rating

Live on the Gold Coast and study this summer at Australia’s first private university. Explore Northern Australia while studying a broad range of topics across ten disciplines. With a calendar similar to the U.S school system, students in this program can fit in 12-16 semester credits toward their degree. Select from our full suite of housing options - live on the beach in our off-campus apartments, adjacent to campus in high quality apartments, or in on-campus housing at Bond. Boasting Australia’s smallest student to teacher ratio, TEAN’s study abroad summer programs for college students is geared toward academic success.

  • Where: Gold Coast, Australia
  • Focus/Courses: Broad range of course offerings from Business to Food Science.
  • Related: Read program reviews 
Round River Conservation Studies logo

15. Taku Watershed Conservation Program—9.1 rating

Beginning in 2003, the Taku Watershed Conservation Program used habitat studies and mapping to benefit the Taku River Tlingit First Nation. Over the course of six weeks, students will have the opportunity to experience a vast wild place while learning about conservation, wildlife, and local Tlingit culture and history firsthand. Students will hike and conduct field research in Atlin sites. In addition, students will also spend time with many community members, including Tlingit elders and resource managers.

  • Where: Atlin, British Columbia
  • Focus/Courses: Natural History of Coastal Temperate and Boreal Forests, Introduction to Biological Field Methodology and, Applied Conservation Biology.
  • Related: Read program reviews 
KCP International logo

16. Lincoln University Intensive Japanese Language and Culture—9.6 rating

KCP International Japanese Language School is a challenging, and intensive language program to boost your Japanese proficiency. Over the course of eight weeks, students are immersed in the culture and language of Japan. With two study abroad summer programs for college students to choose from, students enrolled in this program can earn up to 15 credits. With lectures and cultural excursions around Japan, students have plenty of places to practice their growing language skills.

Men sitting on a cliff

Summer memories to last a lifetime!

LdM logo

17. Program LdM Florence: Summer Program—9.4 rating

While LdM also offers study abroad summer programs for college students on its Rome and Tuscania campuses, Florence is the home of LdM’s summer program. Students in this program can take a variety of classes, including a course in the Italian language even though it is not required. The standard course load is three to seven credits for the month-long course.

  • Where: Florence, Italy
  • Focus/Courses: art history, international business, public relations, and more. 
  • Related: Read program reviews 
American University of Sharjah (AUS) logo

18. International Exchange Programs at Sharjah, UAE—9.7 rating

Study abroad in the United Arab Emirates with American University of Sharjah (AUS). Participants of this international learning opportunity have the chance to increase their Arabic language skills. The six-week, six-credit course offers students conversational instruction from native Arabic speakers. During the program students live on AUS’s beautiful campus. Close to downtown Sharjah and cultural center Dubai, students in this program will immerse themselves in Arabic culture.

  • Where: United Arab Emirates,Sharjah
  • Focus/Courses: College of Engineering (CEN), College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD), School of Business Administration (SBA), and College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).
  • Related: Read program reviews 
IES Abroad logo

19. IES Abroad: Multiculturalism & Immigration in the Mediterranean (9.5 rating)

Spend six weeks in Nice to learn more about its culturally diverse history. This trip will give you a deeper understanding of immigrant and migrant history of the region in the context of the growing diversity of France. Offering two other French study abroad summer programs, the program in Nice is the only IES program with a focus on French politics in modern culture. All courses are taught in English so no prior knowledge of French is required.

  • Where: Nice, France
  • Focus/Courses: Cultural Studies, History, Political Science.
  • Related: Read program reviews 
CELA Belize logo

20. Animal Veterinary Practice in the Tropics—9.4 rating

Get hands-on veterinary experience with this study abroad program in Belize. As Central America’s only English speaking country, proficiency in Spanish is not required to enroll in this program. Designed for pre-veterinary and animal science majors, students in this program will work on animal farms and learn about animal agriculture in Belize. With additional hands-on experience at the local animal clinic students will gain knowledge of important veterinary skills and procedures.

[Browse Even MORE Summer Abroad Programs]

Remember: Best = Best for you!

friends eating ice cream on their summer abroad
These summer abroad programs are setting you up for something sweet.

When it comes to your search, find the program that fits your goals and interests. This summer is your time to engage, experience, and explore. There are 104 days to summer vacation. How will you spend it?

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