Study Abroad

Want to spend a full semester or year abroad? If so, you can apply to be an exchange student at one of our partner universities in Asia or Europe, or enroll in a program offered through our provider network.  For shorter-term options, consider one of our faculty-led travel-study courses.

Most programs are aimed at undergraduates, but graduate students can participate in short-term travel-study, service learning programs, and overseas internships. Whatever your degree program, you’ll meet new people, see the world from a different perspective, and learn about your host country’s history and politics.

And the benefits don’t stop when you return home. Your experience gives you insights into global culture, which can help you stand out to potential employers.

Before you pack your bags, you’ll need to do some planning. In most cases, you’ll need to start the process at least a semester ahead. Our Study Abroad Office will guide you through the process.

Undergraduate Study Abroad

If you’re a student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or the College of Art and Design, here’s the information you need to apply for study abroad.

Eligibility

To be eligible to study abroad, you must:

  • Complete at least two semesters at Lesley (one for transfer students)
  • Demonstrate a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7
  • Be in good conduct standing (no unresolved conduct violations on your record)

Types of Programs

Lesley undergraduates can study abroad as exchange students, sign up for provider programs, travel abroad with Lesley professors for short-term programs, or secure international internships.

“Studying abroad relates to all majors, as it is experience that gives an entire new perspective on life and learning.”
Jess Visconti ’16, Expressive Arts Therapy

Apply to Study Abroad

  1. Have an idea about the program you want, the country you’re interested in, and what courses you might take.
  2. Complete the brief online preliminary interest form at least one semester before you plan to study off campus. The Study Abroad Office will contact you to set up an in-person meeting.
  3. Register for Lesley courses and participate in the housing lottery as if you were going to be on campus. When your study abroad plans are confirmed, you can drop on-campus courses and withdraw from the housing lottery.
  4. Meet with your academic adviser to determine whether you plan to take courses in your major or to fulfill general-education and elective requirements. These will be recorded in the study abroad course approval form.
  5. Apply for or renew your passport.
  6. Work with the Study Abroad Office to complete the application process and make sure you have the appropriate approvals.
  7. Obtain a program-cost estimate from the Study Abroad Office and meet with the Financial Aid Office to review costs and resources.

Application Deadlines

March 1 for summer and fall programs

October 1 for spring and January programs

Financial Aid & Study Abroad

Follow these 4 steps to use financial aid toward a study abroad program.

  1. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as you normally would.
     
  2. Apply for a Study Abroad Program one semester before you plan to go abroad.
     
    1. Get a cost estimate for the program from the Study Abroad Office.
    2. Meet with the Financial Aid office to review the study abroad cost estimate and your financial aid options.
    3. Complete a Study Abroad Contractual Agreement. This is so your aid can be disbursed for study at an institution outside of Lesley University.
       
  3. Financial Aid is credited (disbursed) to your student account.
     
  4. Pay for your study abroad program by the program’s deadline.
     
    1. You’ll get a bill from your study abroad program for tuition, fees, and room/board. Use your financial aid funds to pay the bill.
       
    2. The bill may be due before your financial aid is available. In that case, you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket or negotiate payment extensions with the provider.

Payment Process

Each type of study abroad program has a different process for paying your bill.

  • Exchange Programs

    Students from a partner school and Lesley “exchange” places for a semester or a year.

    • You’ll be charged Lesley University tuition
    • Lesley grants and scholarships remain with you, and will be applied to your tuition
    • The exchange partner bills you for room and board. Pay the partner directly.
    • You’ll pay airfare and out-of-pocket expenses directly (such as visa charges, immunizations, books).
  • Provider Programs

    These are programs offered by Lesley’s partner agencies.

    • You won’t pay tuition or fees to Lesley University
    • The provider bills you for tuition, room, and board. Pay the provider directly.
    • You’ll pay for airfare and out-of-pocket expenses directly
  • Short-Term, Lesley Faculty-Led Travel Study Courses

    These are courses taught by Lesley faculty that contain a travel component.

    • Register for the travel-study course on LOIS, at the regular registration times
    • Fall or Spring travel courses are included in the Lesley tuition for that semester
    • Summer travel courses are billed at the summer tuition rates
    • You’ll cover your own travel costs

Orientation Meeting

The Study Abroad Office hosts a pre-departure orientation meeting that you’re expected to attend. Your parents are welcome, too. The meeting builds community among the students, and also helps you know what to expect.

Leaving Your Comfort Zone

It’s totally natural to experience culture shock when you first arrive in a new country. What will help is to remember that’s why you went there in the first place: to meet new people and discover a different culture. It’s also helpful to know that culture shock goes through five distinct stages. 

  • Stage 1: Euphoria

    Also known as “the Honeymoon Phase.” This is when you arrive at your destination and everything is new and exciting!

  • Stage 2: Distress

    You start to miss home, you can’t communicate well, you’re not crazy about the food. You start to doubt your abilities to adjust and become comfortable in this new culture.

  • Stage 3: Adjustment

    You start feeling more at ease. You’re trying out the host language, finding your way around, and settling into a daily routine.

  • Stage 4: Adaptation

    You’re feeling confident and happy. You’re using the host language more and making friends. Remember that adaptation takes time and everyone’s experience is different.

  • Stage 5: Recovery

    You’re completely immersed in the culture and feel a sense of pride and belonging. You have assimilated the culture’s customs and you don’t want to leave.

“Experiencing Paris’s rich history and cultural atmosphere in person really helped me connect everything we’d learned in class.”
Kristina McCue ’18, Art History

Graduate Study Abroad

As a graduate student, you have the opportunity to build international study into your degree program. Depending on your program, you may choose to participate in a creative writing residency in Europe, fieldwork in a developing country, or design independent research outside the United States.

Summer Residency in Wales

As an MFA in Creative Writing student, you can expand your experience at the Dylan Thomas International Summer School in Wales, a 10-day residency offering workshops, lectures, and readings with internationally known writers, as well as visits to cultural sites in the Welsh countryside.

For more information, contact Jana Van Der Veer at jvanderv@lesley.edu or visit Dylan Thomas International Summer School.

Internships Abroad

You can satisfy your internship requirement for the International Higher Education and Intercultural Relations master's program by participating in an overseas internship, where you’ll apply your skills in another culture.

“My time in Haiti studying the role of the arts in health, education, and cross-cultural exchange added much depth to my graduate program.”
Helen Joseph ’15, Expressive Arts Therapy dual degree program
Contact the Study Abroad Office