Short-Term Study Abroad: Everything You Need to Know

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College Study Abroad

If you’re itching for a study abroad adventure, but not interested in a semester or year-long commitment, don’t worry. You have tons of options! Read on as we detail everything you need to know about a short-term study abroad experience with CIEE.  

What is a Short-Term Study Abroad Program?  

A short-term study abroad program is just as it sounds – a briefer, but impactful study abroad option!  

When most students think of study abroad programs, they likely think of taking classes as they would at their institution, lasting an entire semester or year. But with CIEE’s flexible study abroad options, you can choose from short-term programs lasting anywhere from three to 12 weeks. Most short-term study abroad programs occur in between semesters too, usually during summer and winter breaks.  

Benefits of a Short-Term Study Abroad Program  

Short-term study abroad programs have lots of benefits. We’ve listed a few top ones here: 

  • Less costly: There’s a lot packed into every study abroad program CIEE offers, and our short-term options offer tons of perks at a less expensive cost 
  • Earn some extra credits: Take interesting courses and earn extra credits toward your degree without interfering with your time back on campus 
  • Time on campus: If you don’t want to miss any activities or events on campus, you won’t have to with a short-term study abroad program 

castilla leon spain

How Long Are Short-Term Study Abroad Programs?  

The length of a short-term study abroad program depends on the CIEE program you choose. And we offer quite a few different short-term options! These include:  

  • J-term programs: Three to four weeks in length 
  • Summer programs: Four to 12 weeks in length 
  • Open Campus Block programs: Six to 18 weeks in length  

How Do I Choose a Short-Term Study Abroad Program?  

The best way to choose a short-term study abroad program is by aligning it with your personal and academic goals. If you’re pursuing a business degree, seek out short-term programs with fascinating business courses. If you’ve been dying to go to Australia, search our short-term options in the country! Deciding on program location and courses will help you narrow down your options.  

The next first step is deciding which short-term study abroad duration makes the most sense for your schedule. From there, explore our scholarship and grant options and check out our How to Apply page to thoroughly prepare for the application process. And we promise the application is simple! These are just some straightforward resources to help guide you.  

From there, you’re all set to get started on your application. We’re always available for questions, too. Just contact us! 

ghana boats water

Top Short-Term Study Abroad Programs  

As we’ve mentioned, CIEE has many short-term study abroad programs to choose from. Check out some of our top programs here to help you with this exciting decision!  

Our summer study abroad programs are a lot of fun, so get ready for the summer of your dreams with CIEE. You’ll get to choose from 40+ study abroad locations, explore dozens of courses, and most importantly, dive deep into the history of so many intriguing cultures.  

Plus, with a short-term summer study abroad program, you won’t miss out on any on-campus semester activities or events.  

We currently offer three different summer study abroad programs:  

  • Summer Sessions: Lasting four to 12 weeks 
  • Summer Blocks: Lasting six to 12 weeks 
  • Summer Internships: Lasting eight weeks  

Explore some of our summer programs that span the world:  

And tons more!  

Featured Summer Program: Summer Language + Culture (Barcelona)  

One of our most spectacular short-term summer study abroad programs is our Summer Language + Culture option in Barcelona, the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region. In this beautiful city, you’ll get to explore Spanish culture and language, learn about the city’s history, and experience its art, cuisine, and more, all while earning extra credits toward your degree. This is one summer you’ll be reminiscing about for a long time.  

Program details:  

  • Length: Four weeks 
  • Credit: 3-4 per session semester hours/4.5-6 per session quarter hours 
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA 
  • Cost: $4,450  
  • Featured Course: Catalonia and Spain Through the Arts  
  • Excursion Highlight: Visit the Gràcia neighborhood, famous for its art and unique culture  

barcelona side street

Our January study abroad programs are an exciting way to spend your winter break and explore entire new countries and cities. This short-term study abroad option is the perfect opportunity to become a world traveler and never miss out on semester or summer plans!  
Read More: 10 Best J-Term Study Abroad Programs 

Featured J-Term Program: January in Paris  

What better way to spend part of your winter than exploring Paris, one of the most iconic cities in the world? With our January in Paris program, you’ll get to take a short, but memorable trip to the capital of France and dive into French culture, cuisine, history, art, architecture, and more. Trust us when we say you’ll be busy during this short-term study abroad option!  

Program details:  

  • Length: Three weeks 
  • Credit: 3 semester hours / 4.5 quarter hours 
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA 
  • Cost: $4,250 
  • Featured Course: Economics of Wine  
  • Excursion Highlight: Take a day trip to visit Chantilly, home to the historic and important castle, Château de Chantilly  

paris hazy skyline

Our Open Campus Block program is a unique and exciting option for those interested in short-term study abroad programs. With this choice, you get to design your own study abroad experience by deciding on courses, program length (with options of six, 12, or 18-week blocks), and choosing one or up to three incredible CIEE locations!  

Check out our video on how you can explore three cities in a matter of weeks!  

Featured Open Campus Block Program: Rome Open Campus Block  

Spend one of your six-week Open Campus Blocks exploring Rome, the capital of Italy. Known as The Eternal City, you’ll discover Italian food, art, culture, history, and more with this amazing program. You will be impressed by every corner of this incredible city.  

Program details:  

  • Length: Six weeks  
  • Credit: 6-7 per Block semester hours/9-10.5 per Block quarter hours  
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA 
  • Cost: $6,950 
  • Featured Course: Exploring Rome, the Birthplace of the Modern Museum  
  • Excursion Highlight: Visit iconic Italian attractions like the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s Basilica, and much more  

rome spanish steps fountain

Short-Term Study Abroad is Calling 

A short-term study abroad program is the perfect opportunity to explore the world, gain some extra credits toward your degree, and meet some incredible people. Although briefer, these programs are unforgettable. We can’t wait for you to get started!