Difference Between Study Abroad and Faculty-Led Programs

Our office operates two different branches: Study Abroad and Faculty-Led. Theses two types of education abroad programs are vastly different, and are easy to mix up. Here’s a guide to understanding each type of program.


  • Faculty-Led is just how it sounds: a faculty member (a professor, department head, or staff member) leads a short-term trip abroad with a class of students from ISU.
  • If you go on a Faculty-Led trip, you take a course at ISU then go abroad as a conclusion to your course. Some trips are in between the course schedule (ex. one week at ISU, one abroad, and one at ISU again).
  • Faculty-Led trips typically last from 7-15 days and include destinations all over the world.
  • Faculty members submit proposals to the Faculty-Led Committee, who then approve the programs and provide extra assistance leading up to the trip.
  • Seminars, lectures, hands-on activities, field trips, and presentations may be completed during the class as well as abroad.
  • Limited space is available for each trip. By submitting a payment (or in some cases, an application to the trip leader), you can confirm your placement.
  • Payments are submitted leading up to the short-term travel.
  • Faculty-Led trips change each year and so do the courses offered.
  • About 10% of Faculty-Led trips occur at a time other than Spring or Summer Break. The most popular time of travel is in May.
  • Faculty-Led programs typically feature upper-level courses only. Sometimes these trips allow graduate students to join in addition to undergraduates.
GH 301 Faculty-Led program to London, Summer 2016

Study Abroad:

  • Study Abroad includes hundreds of programs that allow an individual to go abroad and take courses at a foreign university that will transfer as credit to ISU.
  • You study abroad as an individual, not as a group led by a professor. There will be plenty of other international students and possibly other ISU students also studying abroad at your host university.
  • Study abroad programs fall into three time frames: Spring, Summer, or Fall. Going abroad for multiple semesters or a full year is also an option.
  • There is not a limit to how many ISU students can study abroad each term. There are requirements and an application process that determine one’s eligibility.
  • There are many scholarships available to study abroad students participating in a Study Abroad program partnered with ISU.
  • When studying abroad, you take at least one course over the summer and at least three over a semester. In order to remain a full-time student (for financial aid and scholarship purposes) one must take at least 6 credits over the summer and 12 during a semester.
sierra Scotland.JPG
Sierra in Stirling, Scotland, Summer 2016

Although these two types of programs are quite different, ISU students have the option to participate in both (or more than one of each!). To learn more about our Faculty-Led programs visit our website here and click on the ‘programs’ tab. To learn all our study abroad programs, visit our website here and click on the ‘destinations’ program. For any further questions, contact ISU-StudyAbroad@mail.indstate.edu.


One Comment Add yours

  1. YouStudy says:

    Great post đŸ™‚


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