Tufts Global Education

Currently, approximately 40% of the junior class chooses to study abroad for either a semester or academic year, while some students opt to participate in short-term global opportunities either in addition to or instead of semester- or academic-year options. Tufts Global Education helps them identify programs that align with their personal and academic goals. While we focus on programs of longer duration, we also offer opportunities for short-term experiences abroad in the summer and, eventually, over winter break as well.

Where are Tufts’ own semester- and academic-year study abroad programs located, and how can students learn more about them?

Tufts Programs Abroad has been offering culturally-immersive and linguistically-rigorous semester- and academic-year programs across the globe for over fifty years. We have options that suit students with a variety of interests and backgrounds.

What opportunities exist for students on external study-abroad programs?

If a student is not interested in a Tufts Programs Abroad, they may alternatively choose from a wide variety of External Recommended Programs.

What advice should I give my student interested in global education?

There is a dedicated office on campus to help students plan for studying abroad: Tufts Global Education in Dowling Hall. We can advise them on which programs are approved/recommended, how to compare Tufts and external programs, how to petition for credit for courses taken abroad, etc. We also offer a “Study Abroad First Steps” presentation both in person and online.

When does my student need to apply for semester- or academic-year study abroad?
  • In the year prior to the academic year in which they wish to study abroad for a semester or academic year, students must declare their plans to study abroad via the ‘Intent to Study Abroad’ application/registration process. For instance, a sophomore who wishes to study abroad during their junior year must submit their ‘Intent to Study Abroad’ registration in the fall of their sophomore year (exact dates and link to form on our website); students who do NOT register their intent in the academic year prior are ineligible to study abroad for a semester or year and their program applications will not be approved.
  • If they plan to study abroad through a Tufts Program Abroad, they would then apply February 1 of the sophomore year for study abroad during the junior year (December 1 if they are applying to Tufts in Oxford).
  • If they plan to study abroad through an external program, they would then typically apply in the *semester prior* to study abroad, although external-program application deadlines vary, with many programs admitting students on a rolling basis.
Why would a student want to take a semester or year away from Tufts to study in another country?
  • For many students, the opportunity to super-charge their language ability in a setting that compels them to use the language all day, every day is an important draw.
  • Others see value in spending an extended time in a part of the world they will probably never get to explore or visit otherwise.
  • Some are attracted by the academic reputations of prestigious partner universities that offer courses in the subjects of students’ major disciplines, taught from a distinct perspective, using the teaching methods of the host country.
  • Regardless of the initial motivation for studying abroad, nearly all students come away with more than they expected: more challenges, more experiences, more friends, more knowledge, and more personal growth. Indeed, it is possible that 20-year-olds, emerging from adolescence into adulthood, can benefit more than anyone from the positive shock of encountering and coming to terms with a completely new environment. Year after year, when we ask students in evaluations what they gained, the word we read most often is “independence” and the sentence we read most often is “It was the best year (or semester) of my life.
  • Later, the experience of crossing cultures to live and study in another country gives students the confidence and flexibility to move after graduation into the work world or further education. The skills that they have developed through the global experience (independence, self-reliance, ability to navigate new situations/environments, capacity to interact and communicate with individuals from varied backgrounds) are invaluable in helping them achieve their life and career goals. Global education sets them apart from other candidates for positions and opportunities, giving them a rich background to draw on and sustain them as they launch the next phase of their lives.
Can my student take coursework toward their major and/or graduation requirements abroad?

Yes! While we do encourage students to leave some flexibility to take courses abroad that are not available to them at Tufts, with careful planning most students are able to count at least one or two courses from abroad toward the major, and general graduation requirements can also be fulfilled abroad. Students should discuss their course plans with their Major Advisor(s) so that they are informed of any major-specific policies or restrictions on taking credits toward the major abroad. Students attending Tufts Programs Abroad will receive Tufts credits for courses taken abroad, while students attending external programs will receive transfer credits for courses taken abroad (provided they submit the necessary approval requests).

How much does study abroad cost?
  • Students attending Tufts Programs Abroad pay essentially the equivalent to the total of tuition plus full room and board on campus, and they can use the full financial-aid package they receive for studying here on campus.
  • Because students attending external programs take a Leave of Absence to study abroad, they are not charged Tufts tuition and room and board for that period and pay program fees directly to the program. They are, however, charged a one-time study elsewhere fee by Tufts, which is currently $1,250.
  • There is further information about Financial Aid and Study Abroad on our website.