Skip to content

Types of Programs & How to Choose

Types of Programs and Choosing
Georgia Southern offers a wide variety of programs to suit a range of student needs and interests. As you peruse the Global Portal and review available programs, this guide will help you understand the differences between the programs and what type may be best for you.

Here are some important questions to ask yourself when selecting a program:
  • Do I need to complete coursework for my major, my minor, or do I have electives to complete?
  • Does the program offer enough coursework in the fields or areas I need to complete?
  • Do I need all coursework to be taught in English? Is this program offered in English?
  • Am I proficient enough in a second language to complete coursework not being taught in English?
  • Do I feel prepared to be away from home for a few weeks or a few months?
  • What is my realistic budget or price limit?
  • What are my personal goals for participating on a program?
Please see the list of program types and their descriptions below. 
Program Type Program Description Program Length Quick Facts
Faculty-Led Study Abroad Study abroad program led by one or a few Georgia Southern Faculty Members
  • Usually summer/spring break/short term programs ranging from a couple weeks to a month.
  • Can also take place as a semester long program
  • Best for students that want to learn more about study abroad or have never traveled before
  • Usually includes a "Program Fee" that includes accommodations, some meals, excursions, and more. May or may not include airfare
  • The "Program Fee" does not include Georgia Southern Tuition and Fees
  • Faculty-led programs are usually subject focused and offer 3-6 credit hours
Exchange Independent program where a student will study for up to a few months at one of Georgia Southern's partner universities around the world
  • One semester (Fall or Spring)
  • Academic year
  • Best for students that want to immerse themselves in another culture and learn what it is like to live in another country
  • Independent-style, longer period of time abroad
  • There are generally not "Program Fees" for exchange programs.
  • Students pay their Georgia Southern tuition and fees directly to Georgia Southern (as though they were still on-campus) and pay housing/meals/living expenses to host institution
Foreign Language Immersion This program allows students to study with trained professionals and international language schools to gain fluency in a variety of languages
  • Many programs are categorized as a "Faculty-Led" program, led by Georgia Southern Foreign Language professors and taking place over a few weeks, usually in the summer
  • However, there are options for longer independent programs, even semester programs
  • Best for students wishing to improve language skills and engage in a completely immersive, language-learning-focused environment
  • Immersion experiences are crucial to learning a language fluently
  • Please contact our office if you are interested in learning a language that you do not see a program offered for here on the Global Portal.
Service-Learning Programs with a service-learning focus
  • Usually 1-2 weeks over spring break or summer
  • Best for students that want to go abroad, and be involved in our international community, by giving back
  • Course credits are generally not offered with Service Learning programs
  • Costs include the program fee, but (if course credits aren't offered), students do not pay Georgia Southern Tuition and Fees
Study-Away Domestic travel programs across the US led by Georgia Southern faculty
  • Summer (1-2 weeks)
  • Spring Break
  • Winter Break
  • Best for students that want to travel but would like to stay in the US
  • Usually subject-specific
Consortium Study Abroad  Study abroad programs offered for students across various institutions
  • Summer (1-2 weeks)
  • Summer (up to 5 weeks)
  • Best for students that want to learn more about study abroad or have never traveled before
  • Great for Freshmen and Sophomores, due to high volume of core courses
  • Examples include: USG Goes Global, KSU Montepulciano, Italy Sessions
3rd Party programs Study abroad programs offered through an external, 3rd party provider. These programs are not coordinated by Georgia Southern University, but OGE staff assists with guidance throughout the application processes
  • Summer (1-2 weeks)
  • Summer (up to 5 weeks)
  • Internships
  • Language programs
  • Semester/Academic year
  • Great for students that are independent and don't see a program they are interested in offered through Georgia Southern
  • Almost all programs (Including internships) have a program fee that is coordinated through the 3rd party provider
  • Some exchange programs are offered through ISEP, which act similarly to Georgia Southern exchanges, where you pay GS tuition and fees directly to GS. Direct programs require a program fee
  • Examples of 3rd providers are 
    • ISEP
    • CIEE
    • CIS
    • and more!
***Our office must be aware of all 3rd party program applications to ensure you are complying with Georgia Southern policy and are not jeopardizing your academic program.
If you are still unsure of where to begin, please feel free to reach out to the Office of Global Engagement for guidance.