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Program Types and Credit

Our Programs

  • These programs are usually designed by Virginia Tech faculty and sponsored by a specific department.
  • Many programs are short-term programs offered during summer or winter sessions or embedded within the spring semester.
  • Often specific courses are offered, but many are open to all majors.
  • You pay Virginia Tech tuition and fees for the number of credits you take (20% discount on winter and summer session programs).
  • You also pay a program fee which may or may not include airfare.
  • You earn Virginia Tech credits and receive a letter grade.
  • These programs are usually designed by Virginia Tech faculty and sponsored by a specific department.
  • Faculty may travel with students for a period of time to offer support services or teach a course module.
  • Programs are in partnership with study abroad providers or host universities.
  • Tuition and fees are not paid to Virginia Tech (which means that only certain types of financial aid or scholarships apply).
  • You earn transfer credit.

Virginia Tech has forged partnerships with universities worldwide that engage in student exchange. In addition, the university is a member of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), a nonprofit educational organization with a network of more than 200 institutions.  

  • Virginia Tech exchange students “switch” places with a student at a partner university.
  • It is a very immersive experience with the chance to live and study like a local student.
  • Typically, semester-long or a full year, but some universities offer a summer exchange.
  • You pay Virginia Tech tuition and fees, so it can be very cost-effective for in-state students.
  • Transfer credit is awarded by the host institution.
  • You must first complete and submit the Virginia Tech application. Upon review, the university will nominate a select number of applicants. If accepted, you will then receive an application for the exchange partner. 
  • Exchanges require an exchange balance, which can mean limited spots and making certain universities more competitive.
  • For Virginia Tech exchanges:
  •  You pay tuition to the host university, instead of to Virginia Tech (can be cost-effective for out-of-state students).
  •  You are guaranteed placement at the university of your choice (unlike with an exchange).
  •  Transfer credit is awarded by the host institution.

These programs are specially selected study abroad provider and direct-enroll programs supported by departments and colleges at Virginia Tech that have determined they are a great fit for students. Usually, these programs align well with a specific college or area of study, but some are open to all majors. Most are semester-long programs. 

These are study abroad or internship opportunities that allow for global experiences while at home.

Most virtual global programs offer asynchronous teaching elements, as well as synchronous meetings to build community and provide mentorship with peers, faculty, and staff in addition to engagement with local students/community members to enrich your cross-cultural experience. 

For more information, click here.

Non-Virginia Tech Programs

Many non-Virginia Tech-affiliated organizations administer study abroad programs and act as intermediaries for logistics like housing and transcripts. They often have on-site staff who offer orientation, support services, excursions, and cultural activities. Many offer a range of program lengths. Students pay tuition directly to the program provider and receive transfer credit. Placement is usually guaranteed. 

Remember that all students participating in third-party programs must register their participation with Virginia Tech in order to have their transcripts processed by the Registrar’s Office upon return.

When selecting a provider, consider looking into discounts/scholarships offered, fees (application), costs for requesting a transcript (which needs to come from a U.S. School of Record or accredited host university).

  • CIMBA – Business in Italy
  • The GREEN Program – Sustainability and Engineering
  • SFS – School for Field Studies - Biology, Ecology, Sustainability, Environmental Studies & More
  • Loop Abroad – Veterinary Studies 

Not sure where to start your search? The IIE Passport Study Abroad offers a search engine allowing you to compare various third party programs. 

This is for students who feel confident planning their own experience abroad by applying and paying directly to a host university. It’s a good fit if you are interested in a particular university or location where Virginia Tech doesn’t offer a program, or if the cost is less expensive to your Virginia Tech tuition. Some universities refer to this as being a “free mover.” There is some research required: does the university offer a spot for a non-degree seeking student, even if there is no partnership with Virginia Tech?

Transfer Credit

To get your courses pre-approved, you must submit the Authorization to Take Courses Abroad Form in your study abroad account (instructions and transfer credit policies are on the form).

  • Transfer credit is awarded by the host institution.
  • Transfer credit can be applied toward your Virginia Tech degree (only courses with a ‘C’ minimum will transfer).
  • Transfer credit does not factor into your GPA and a grade does not show up on your transcript, but rather shows as T-credit.
  • All Criteria for Transfer Credit
  • You can access the form in your study abroad portal (once you’ve registered with our office), or you can download it here
  • You must submit the Authorization to Take Courses Abroad Form (instructions are on the form). Submit the form through your study abroad account (we don’t accept forms sent through email). All students studying abroad must create a study abroad account See here.

  • Final approval of the transcript and number of credits awarded will be contingent upon the Registrar.