Is study abroad possible at Duke?
Yes. Studying abroad is an increasingly popular option for Duke students who want to expand their educational horizons. Duke University is committed to providing an internationally grounded liberal education that will enable its students to understand the world better, appreciate the international contributions to knowledge, and to cope effectively with an increasingly intercultural environment. Duke strongly encourages its students to study abroad: direct experience of another culture is the best way of communication across barriers of custom, language, geography, and politics. An encounter with different values, educational methods, and with a foreign culture can broaden the student's understanding of the world. To see who is studying abroad and where, please review our statistics.
Why should I study abroad?Everyone will give different answers to this question. Duke students who have studied abroad enthusiastically agree about its advantages. They find class work in a foreign country stimulating and their encounters outside the classroom educational and exciting. They come back with a broader, deeper understanding both of another country and of their own cultural background. Entering Duke students should start planning early to enjoy this unique opportunity.
What happens if a student goes on a study abroad program and then has great difficulty with the language? Does this ever happen?
Students who choose to go on language immersion programs generally are placed into the level most appropriate to their skills. We are not aware of any problem with students going abroad and having problems just with the language component.
I'm interested in general evaluations of different programs. Do students equally enjoy the programs? Academic quality? Academic programs?
Students generally speak highly of their academic and personal experiences abroad. During advising appointments, GEO advisors can share with you feedback from online post program evaluations.
Do most students elect to study abroad for a single semester (rather than a full year)?
Yes. Very few of our students study abroad for a full academic year. In 2014-15, 532 studied abroad one semester and 6 went for the whole year.
Do students ever participate in multiple study abroad programs?
Yes. The most common combination is summer and fall, or multiple summer programs.
Are there a few favorite study abroad sites?
In 2014-15, the most popular study abroad destinations among Duke students were Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Australia.
What types of programs are available to Duke students?
There are two types of programs: those administered directly by Duke ("Duke-in" programs), and those sponsored by other American and foreign universities which are approved by Duke. Visit the Programs page to search the list of Duke-approved programs.
What is a Duke-administered program?
These are programs administered and supervised by Duke. Duke faculty are directly involved, and the courses receive Duke credit and grades in most cases, or transfer credit in some cases. Duke-administered programs appear on the Programs page. Direct programs are not Duke-administered programs.
What is a Duke-approved program?
These programs are sponsored by other American and foreign universities and are approved for Duke students by the Duke Committee on Global Education. Over 120 programs are approved for Duke student participation in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Oceania. Students receive transfer credit toward their degrees. Grades are not recorded on the Duke transcript. Visit the Programs page to search through the list of Duke-approved programs.
What about other programs, not in these categories?
There are more than a hundred study abroad programs on the Duke-approved list. If a student is interested in a program not approved or administered by Duke, s/he must meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss the viability of that program. If it appears to be a viable program, a petition packet will be provided. The student must complete this packet, which involves providing more complete information for the program, obtaining DUS approval for the courses they wish to take, and writing an essay describing the academic reason this program meets their needs. The packet is submitted to the GEO-U, and reviewed by the Faculty Committee on Global Education, where the petition will either be approved or not. Students interested in studying at foreign universities by direct enrollment (without a U.S. college program's sponsorship) may apply directly to these universities in order to attend regular university courses. Direct enrollment must also be approved by the Committee on Global Education.
What is the difference between direct enroll and provider programs?
Please see the detailed description about enrolling in a university directly vs through a provider on our Programs page.
How many Duke-In study abroad programs do we currently have? What are they and how many students attend each year?
There are 14 Duke-in programs and about 25 summer programs. Among Duke students, the most popular semester Duke program is Duke in Madrid and the most popular summer program is Duke in Oxford. You may view GEO-U statistics here.
What about Semester at Sea, or other programs that visit many places in one semester?
Duke considers programs such as Semester at Sea and the Scholar Ship to be domestic programs, which means Trinity students can only transfer up to two course credits for a semester program, and Pratt students up to four. Domestic transfer credit is handled by a student's academic dean, and not the Global Education Office. The rationale behind this policy is that the programs do not provide an immersion experience abroad.
Where can I find more information about study abroad programs?
The first step for any Duke student who wants to study abroad is to read this website thoroughly. You may also make an appointment to speak with an advisor in the Global Education Office, Smith Warehouse,114 S. Buchanan Blvd., 2nd Floor, Bay 6.
The Global Education Office assists students in clearing their study abroad plans through Duke and in understanding Duke's policies on study abroad. Students may schedule appointments with the GEO advisors to receive individualized guidance in their planning for the best possible international educational experience. For more information about scheduling an advising appointment, see our Advising page.
Housing is guaranteed on most study away programs and Duke University requires students to live in established program housing when the housing is guaranteed by the host institution or program provider. Duke University believes that program housing is best for health, safety, cultural immersion, and pedagogical reasons.
If students choose to or must secure independent housing on a Duke approved program that does not guarantee housing, they should note that the Duke Global Education Office will not be able to assist students in securing or be liable for any logistical, financial, or legal issues that may arise regarding independent housing. If students choose to live in independent housing, they must be prepared to accept all associated risks and will be responsible for all expenses and arrangements.
What about housing when I come back to Duke?
Students should be in touch with the Housing Office. There is a form to fill out that will alert Housing to a student's plans and ensure that there will be campus housing available when the student returns. Click here for more information.