Think You Can’t Study Abroad? Think Again!

By Marc Pereira, ISA Student Service Advisor

Picking a study abroad program can be difficult, especially when you have a long list of “Must-haves” or specific requirements for your major. After all, as a student, you want to make sure your experience abroad is enriching not only culturally, but academically as well. Some students think that because of their major, or their class standing, that they can’t go abroad, but that’s not the case at all! At ISA, we have over 200 separate academic programs ranging in length from a few of weeks all the way up to an entire year! With so many different options you can be sure that we have a program for you. It’s just a matter of finding it.


So, how do you find a program when you have a list of very specific requirements?

Good question! It’s really a matter of planning, flexibility, diligence, and knowing who to talk to.

First, ask yourself when you want to go abroad. If you’re still in the early stages of your college career you’ll have more freedom to find a study abroad experience that best fits in your academic timeline. However, if you’re a junior or senior, don’t think you’ve missed your chance. Try taking a look at our summer options. A shorter summer program gives you the opportunity to take interesting courses during your off months while staying on track with courses for your major during the fall and spring semesters.

Next, take a close a look at the courses required by your major for graduation. What classes do you have left? When do you plan to take them? And, are these courses that you can find overseas? Also, do these courses need to come from a specially accredited school with AACSB, or ABET accreditations?

Many students mistakenly think they can only take Gen-Ed or Pre-Req courses abroad, but that’s not the case at all!

It is true that finding a general history class abroad is easier than finding a Visual Programming course that fits in with your Computer Engineering degree, but guess what? The Princess Sumaya University for Technology, in Amman, Jordan, offers courses in Visual Programming, plus it’s ABET accredited! Students with majors like computer science, nursing, healthcare, or other STEM majors oftentimes find it difficult to go abroad, but programs for each and every one of those majors can be found with our Program Search Tool. You can even find specialty accredited schools on our Accreditation Page!

So if you think you can’t go abroad because of your major, take a closer look at the options available to you.


If you’re looking for some suggestions, here are some recommendations for students with majors that typically have a harder time going abroad.


Cape Town, South Africa – University of Cape Town

Expect to find a wide variety of Engineering courses at this amazing university, which boasts an impressive view of the surrounding natural landscape. Some areas of specialization include: Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

Health Care:

Lima, Peru – Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

Explore the colorful city of Lima while taking summer courses in public health and medicine. You can even enroll in a specialized Spanish language course for medical professionals to make yourself even more competitive in job market after graduation! This option works great for students who have a demanding schedule back home. We also have a similar option that’s popular with nursing majors in San Jose, Costa Rica.


Bangkok, Thailand – Mahidol University

Immerse yourself in a world of tradition while taking courses in Calculus, Algebra, and Statistics, all offered in English! Try new food, meet great people, and see some of the world’s most beautiful temples while staying on track for graduation!


As you can see, even the most demanding majors have options when it comes to studying abroad. There will always be options available to you, it’s just a matter of planning ahead and knowing exactly what you want and need.

The last step to finding the right study abroad experience is reaching out to those around you! It’s important to know that you’re not alone on your search for the perfect study abroad program. Your school’s study abroad office is always a great resource.

At ISA, we have over 200 unique academic opportunities for students to explore, and even more internships and service learning options, so odds are we have a program that’s going to be perfect for you. We know it’s difficult to sort through all the information, but that’s why we’re here to help you. Just reach out to us; we’ll help you discover more with ISA.

At ISA our amazing Student Services Advisors are also eager to learn about your goals and help you find the program that’s perfect for you.

Give us a call at (512)480-8522 and ask for a member of our Student Services team or fill out the form below. We’ll gladly help point you in the right direction.

Author: International Studies Abroad (ISA)

Since 1987, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world. ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in 73 program locations throughout the world.

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