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Education Abroad Program Types

Education Abroad at UK organizes programs into five major program types.  Each program type has very different implications with regard to cost, credit transfer, on-site coordination, and so forth. 

UK Sponsored Programs
These offerings primarily include those international programs taught by UK faculty.  These programs are typically offered during the summer and winter intersession but are increasingly being offered during the academic year.  Students earn UK credits and may only have to pay for just one credit of regular UK tuition (ISP599) as well.

One of the main benefits of UK Sponsored programs is that students register and receive credit directly for UK courses instead of transferring foreign credit back into UK from abroad. With UK Sponsored programs, there is no need to establish UK course equivalencies, and the credit will be factored into the student's GPA.

After registering as a visiting student at UK, students from other institutions may participate in many of these programs as well.

UK Exchange Programs
These low-cost programs allow UK students to trade places with students at our partner institutions abroad. Education Abroad facilitates three types of exchange programs, all of which allow students to pay regular UK tuition and fees, but spend the summer, semester or academic year abroad.

  • University-Wide Exchanges. UK has established exchange agreements with specific universities abroad that allow UK students from any major to attend these universities for a summer, semester, or academic year.  Each student pays his or her regular UK tuition and fees and in some cases may be asked to pay the equivalent of UK room and board. In this case, the student receives room and board while abroad.
  • College and Department-Specific Exchanges.  Several of UK's colleges have established exchange agreements with institutions abroad specifically for their majors.  For example, the Gatton College of Business and Economics has developed numerous exchange opportunities specifically for its students.  (Please visit the Gatton Education Abroad website for more information on these exchanges.)
  • International Student Exchange Program (ISEP Exchange).  UK is a member of the ISEP network, a multilateral exchange program in 40 different countries at over 100 overseas institutions.  All ISEP exchanges include room and board. Please note that ISEP deadlines are often far in advance and that students should apply early to ensure that they get their first choice of host institution.

UK Consortia Programs
These offerings include select consortium-based education abroad programs for which UK is a voting member. Tuition and fees are paid directly to the program provider and students earn transfer credit.

  • Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS).  KIIS is a consortium of colleges and universities in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. Students from these universities and colleges may participate in summer and semester Education Abroad programs, which are developed and directed by faculty from the member institutions.  Many UK faculty teach with KIIS in the summer.
  • Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA). CCSA is a consortium of U.S. colleges and universities with education abroad programs and internships in English-speaking countries. CCSA is headquartered at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.  UK faculty often teach with CCSA in the winter and summer, in which case students can earn UK credit.
  • Consortium on Overseas Studemt Teaching (COST). COST is a consortium of U.S. colleges and universities acting through their schools, colleges, or departments of education to provide opportunities for quality student teaching placement and supervision in a setting outside the United States.

UK Direct Programs
These offerings include select programs hosted by an international institution in which students enroll directly or facilitated through ISEP-Direct.  Students earn transfer credit.  

  • International Student Exchange Program (ISEP Direct). UK is a member of the ISEP network, a multilateral exchange program with partnerships in 40 different countries at over 100 overseas institutions.   ISEP also offers non-exchange programs called ISEP Direct. For these programs, students pay a fee directly to ISEP in order to attend the foreign university of their choice.

UK Partner Programs
These offerings include select third-party provider programs and other internship/service-learning based programs, for which students earn transfer credit.  Education Abroad is affiliated with particular third-party provider organizations to supplement the overall portfolio of education abroad programs. These affiliations often extend additional scholarship opportunities to UK students and waive certain fees and other requirements. Also, many of these programs embed internship opportunities to complement coursework. The application deadlines and fees vary by partner and program.

UK External Programs
Any UK student who has researched the Education Abroad portfolio of program offerings, but could not find a program that meets his/her academic, professional, or personal goals may petition to participate in an external program. The student must confirm that the external program is offered through an accredited, degree-granting institution, and that he/she will receive a transcript upon completion of the program. Before submitting a petition, students are required to meet with an education abroad advisor to discuss the program and the petition process. If approved, all services and support of Education Abroad will be extended, as appropriate.  The External Programs Petition is available below (opens into a Word document).