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Autonomous Study Programs

  • There are many countries where it is very cheap to enroll into a university (tuition for public universities in most European countries ranges anywhere between no tuition to $ 1000 a semester, even for non-EU students)
  • Key is to check if the university allows semester enrollment even if VT doesn’t have a partnership with them 
  • This option can be cost effective for both in-state and out-of-state students

Tuition and fees are paid directly to the host university at local rates (you don’t pay any VT tuition)

$ 50 (GEO fee)

  • You pay room and board to the host university
  • You need to work with the host institution to determine most affordable housing
  • Housing varies from dorms to apartments
  • Transfer credit (T-credit)
  • Grades do not transfer
  • Does not impact GPA
  • Must achieve a "C" at least to receive T-credit

Depending on the university, spaces for international non-degree seeking students may be limited

Usually require a minimum 2.5 GPA (UK programs often require a min. 3.0 GPA)

  • Summer
  • Winter session
  • Semester
  • Academic Year

High immersion level (live and study with local / international students)

Application through host university website

REQUIRED (register right after you’ve applied to your study abroad program)

Application deadlines vary: you can often enroll until close to the start of the academic year

  • Is the program open to all majors?
  • Is the program open to all years (freshmen)?
  • Are courses taught in English? (If you want to study in the host language, we recommend that you have successfully completed a 3000-level course in the local language)
  • Are there specific requirements (i.e. GPA, pre-requisite courses)

Go to the host institution’s website (international section) and verify the following:

  1. Non-degree seeking: do they accept fee-paying visiting students, often referred to as ‘free-movers’ (which is different than international students who enroll for a degree)
  2. Non-partnership: do they accept semester/academic year students even without a partnership with Virginia Tech
  • You are responsible for finding universities that allow autonomous study
  • You are responsible for preparing and submitting the application on your own
  • European universities might have different tuitions for non-EU students
  • Be aware that some low/no tuition institutions have limited study places for students from outside Europe
  • The host university will be able to point you to the most affordable and easily obtained housing options

Click on the icon below to see how Autonomous Study compares to the other program types