21 Organizations That Will Make You Want to Study Abroad

Noah Clayton
college student studying abroad

It’s not about the destination. It’s about the organization. With thousands of programs to choose from, millions of dollars in scholarships given annually, and hundreds of destinations to visit, studying abroad has never been more readily available. The opportunities are endless!

If you’re interested in studying abroad, check out our top 21 study abroad organizations to discover which program fits with your international education expectations. 


1) Education First


Education First


Since 1965, experiential learning has been the philosophy of Education First (EF). Beginning as a language travel organization, EF quickly grew and adopted additional travel programs like educational toursau pair exchanges, and academic abroad programs.

If you’re looking to have an international experience while learning a foreign language, EF is a great program to check out.


2) Summit Adventure


Summit Adventure


Summit Adventure’s vision is to influence, develop, and transform people through adventurous experiences. This Christian-focused organization provides leadership and mountaineering courses in Israel, Mexico, Ecuador, and Patagonia.

General trips last about two weeks. However, Summit Adventure provides semester immersion programs in Ecuador and Patagonia.


3) Forum-Nexsus




For students looking to pick up a few extra credits over the summer, Forum-Nexsus is here to help, offering a variety of courses for both undergraduate and graduate students. Students can look up financial aid services, program coststestimonials, and textbooks for specific classes.

Check out the list of national and international universities that accept credits from Forum-Nexsus.






Since the 1940’s, CIEE has provided study abroad and intercultural exchange programs to thousands of people, fostering world skills in students, educators, and young professionals to make them active and responsible global citizens.

CIEE offers over 200 college study abroad programs in over 40 countries, as well as high school study abroad programs. High school students can choose from 12 different countries and spend 3 months to a whole year living with a host family while studying at an international high school.

CIEE encourages students to fundraise for their trip or apply for scholarships specific to their type of program (college study abroad or high school study abroad).






The Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA) builds “academic-community partnerships for social change.” Student interested in human rights and socioeconomics should consider studying abroad with HECUA’s Norway or Northern Ireland programs.

Study USA program is also offered that deals with issues like income inequality, racial justice, and environmental sustainability. Scholarships are also awarded annually.


6) The Education Abroad Network


The Education Abroad Network


The Education Abroad Network (TEAN) offers study abroad, internship, and full degree programs through partnered universities in the Asia Pacific region. There are multiple scholarship opportunities to apply for as well as other financial options to counter costs.

Before applying for a program, be sure to check out TEAN’s regularly-updated blog for current international news and travel tips.


7) SAI




Ranked in 2015 as “Top Study Abroad Provider” by Abroad101.com, SAI provides study abroad opportunities for high school students seeking college credit and college students seeking credits toward their bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

Each program is specific to a city as well as to a field of study, so there are several options available, and scholarships are awarded every academic year. SAI also includes housingpassport, and visa resources necessary for students to study abroad.


8) DIS




DIS, a non-profit organization, provides semester, full academic year, and summer programs to juniors and seniors from distinguished North American colleges and universities. Choose from the following semester programs based on your field of interest: history, international business, public health, global economics, art and visual customer, and more!

Once you’ve enrolled in all the core classes for your program, you can choose from over 200 elective courses to add to your schedule.


9) Sol Education Abroad


Sol Education Abroad


Sol Education Abroad offers Spanish immersion programs aimed to provide students with an interactive language-learning experience along with interesting travel excursions, daily cultural activities, and transferable college credits. Students, both in high school and in college, can choose from programs located in Spain, Argentina, Costa Rica, or Mexico.

Check out additional travel resources regarding passports, visas, and other study abroad necessities. Also consider applying for scholarships and other financial assistance before you book your program.  


10) CAPA




This award-winning organization hosts academic abroad programs for many American colleges and universities with a mission to provide experiences that challenge and inspire students. Study abroad and internship opportunities are available in Buenos Aires, Dublin, Florence, London, Shanghai, and Sydney.

CAPA includes a “pre-departure resource” section to help students pack, book flights, budget, and understand culture shock before it happens. Need-based scholarships are available ranging from $500-$5,000.


11) Youth for Understanding


Youth for Understanding


Youth for Understanding (YFU) offers a variety of opportunities for students (15 years or older) looking for a life-changing cultural exchange experience. The program offers over 40 countries to choose from, and many programs incorporate a host-family style of living to create a more authentic cultural interaction.

YFU awards 200 full and partial merit-based scholarships as well as need-based financial services. Click here for more information about application details and deadlines.


12) CEA




CEA’s main goal is to provide high-quality international academic programs and services for students to gain valuable skills that enhance their future employability. With 21 cities and 12 countries to visit, you can choose a program that best fits your expectations.

CEA offers a wide variety of programs ranging in length from one week to over one year. Check out the program's scholarships and other financial options to help fund your next study abroad experience.


13) The Experiment in International Living


The Experiment in International Living


The Experiment in International Living is specifically designed for high school students looking to experience life in another country while learning about sustainability, culture, community, art, leadership, and many other topics.

Programs are three to five weeks long and take place over the summer. Discounts are offered to children of program alumni as well as teachers, school administrators, and other education staff at nonprofit organizations.


14) API




One of API’s goals is to provide a wide variety of affordable programs so that students of different backgrounds can experience an international education.

API offers over $500,000 in scholarships ranging from $250 to $1,000 per person. High school programsinternship opportunities, and gap year options are also available.


15) ISA




International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided quality international programs for over 400,000 undergraduate students since 1967. You can choose to study over the summer, semester, trimester, or year depending on your interests.

ISA also offers internship and gap-year opportunities, and resources for scholarship programs are available to students.


16) AIFS




With 50 years of experience serving over 1.5 million students, the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) is a leading provider of study abroad programs.

One perk of AIFS is that program fees are all inclusive, providing housing and a meal plan to simplify the studying abroad experience. Plus, over $800,000 in scholarships and grants is awarded each year to deserving students. Funds are customized for one-month, summer, and semester-long programs.


17) Institute for Study Abroad Butler University 


Institute for Study Abroad at Butler


IFSA-Butler is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide quality study abroad programs and personal support services to qualified undergraduate students in North America.

You can choose to study for a semester, year, or summer at one of the 90 listed universities, depending on what type of program you’re seeking. There are also several scholarship opportunities.


18) International Field Studies


International Field Studies


International Field Studies, a non-profit organization located in the Bahamas, provides high-quality field-study programs for students seeking a hands-on environmental science education. Topics include marine biology, oceanography, geology, archaeology, ichthyology, botany, and ornithology with trips ranging from one week to a semester.


19) AFS




This nonprofit organization provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge and skills essential to foster a more tolerant and just world.

AFS has a variety of programs located in over 40 countries, and students are placed with host families to gain a better cultural and linguistic understanding of the area. Program prices vary, so be sure to check out the scholarship and financial aid resources provided to assist in your experience.


20) CIS Abroad 


CIS Abroad


For over 20 years, CISabroad has offered study abroad, internship, and summer programs for over 15,000 college-aged participants in 21 countries. With 120 programs and 88 supported majors, CISabroad has something to offer every type of student.

CISaborad also provides detailed financial aid and fundraising resources as well as scholarship and grant opportunities.


21) IES Abroad


IES Abroad


The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) provides over 125 programs for college students in the U.S., including international scholarships. Need-based aid, grants, and discounts are also available.


Additional Study Abroad Resources

If you know exactly what type of study abroad experience you want, but you’re still not sure which organization to choose, search for it using one of the following directories. You’ll be able to see which organizations have similar study abroad programs and which program best fits with your budget and interests:

  • ISEP
    With connections to over 300 universities in 6 different countries, ISEP has helped thousands of students find their dream study abroad program. Student can search hundreds of programs on their interactive map to narrow their results by destination, date, subject, and language.
  • Study Abroad.com
    This directory lists hundreds of organizations which provide study abroad, internship, volunteer, teaching, language-learning, and full-degree opportunities.
  • Go Abroad.com
    Go Abroad allows you to start your search by country, term, and subject in order to refine your results.
  • Go Overseas
    Go Overseas allows you to narrow your search by country, term, and subject, as well as read personal reviews of others who participated in each program.


FREE Study Abroad Checklist


Are you traveling to Europe? You may need to possess a Schengen visa. Check out the requirements for a Schengen visa to help you prepare for your study abroad experience! 

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