Types of Programs


Before searching our database, called ISUAbroad, it’s helpful to understand the kinds of programs we offer — not just the location and courses offered, but the program structure or model.  Let’s start with program sponsors and then look at program models.

Iowa State Programs

These programs are sponsored by ISU and are led by ISU faculty and/or administered by ISU staff. You can use your financial aid and scholarships on these programs, if applicable, and earn credit towards your degree. These programs can be found under a header titled "Iowa State Programs" in ISUAbroad. 

Non-ISU Programs

If your search on ISUAbroad doesn’t provide what you’re looking for, you can consider enrolling through another U.S. institution or program provider or enrolling directly in a foreign institution.  We call this a non-ISU program.  Iowa State has not reviewed these options, so it is your responsibility to research these programs thoroughly before applying. You’ll apply to the institution that provides the program as well as completing a “non-ISU programs” application in ISUAbroad to ensure that your ISU record will remain active while you’re away and that your financial aid can be released to help pay for the program.

Program Model

Exchange Programs

Exchanges are an Iowa State sponsored option in which you attend a partner institution abroad for a semester or a year, and someone from there comes to ISU; you’ll pay ISU tuition and fees.  You will earn transfer credit.

“Semester in” and “Summer in” Programs

These are Iowa State sponsored options in which you and other ISU students go to the host institution together for a summer, a semester, or an academic year; you’ll pay a program fee that includes tuition at the host institution.  You will earn transfer credit.

Group Programs/Faculty-Led Programs

You and other ISU students study with an ISU professor while traveling abroad; you’ll typically pay ISU tuition plus a program fee that covers other program expenses.  You will earn ISU credit if you pay ISU tuition; otherwise, you will earn transfer credit.