Study Abroad

Study abroad can be either long-term (generally one year) or short-term. The university offers two basic options for long-term overseas study, the Exchange Program and General Study Abroad. Those interested in a short-term experience abroad can choose between Overseas Language Courses, which focus on intensive foreign language training, and Short-term Overseas Study Programs, which provide an opportunity to improve one’s language skills while building one’s academic expertise.

Long-term Study Abroad

1. Exchange Program

The Exchange Program offers opportunities for long-term study abroad at one of the many overseas institutions that have student exchange agreements with Sophia University (approximately 180 partner schools as of this writing). Among students in the Faculty of Foreign Studies, the most popular destinations for study abroad are countries where the official language is English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, or Portuguese. While many of our students choose their destination to match their major language, a growing number are opting for countries where their second foreign language is spoken. For example, a student in the Department of English Studies who wants to master Spanish as a second foreign language can take courses in English at a university in Spain and build his or her Spanish skills through daily contact with the language. At a Canadian university, one can take courses in English while studying French at the same time.

Unfortunately, the Exchange Program cannot grant every student his or her first choice. Applicants are screened and scored on the basis of grades, language proficiency, and interviews, and students with the highest scores are given their first pick of host schools. However, with a bit of flexibility, virtually any student meeting the university’s basic criteria can find a suitable placement under the Exchange Program. The duration of study is one year as a rule, and participants are charged only their normal Sophia University tuition. Up to 30 course credits earned at an overseas partner institution can be applied toward Sophia University’s graduation requirements.

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2. General Study Abroad

Sophia students interested in other options for long-term study abroad (one to two years) can make use of the General Study Abroad program or the system of Planned Educational Leave.

Under General Study Abroad, students can choose any degree-granting overseas institution with the prior approval of the dean of their faculty and the head of their department, and up to 30 course credits can be applied toward Sophia University’s graduation requirements. However, each student is responsible for all arrangements and must pay tuition to both Sophia University and the host school.

3. Planned Educational Leave

Students who opt to study abroad under the Planned Educational Leave system are free to choose any destination they like. Tuition is reduced for the period for which leave is granted. However, because the period on leave does not count toward the university’s course length requirements, students who take advantage of this system will need more than four years to graduate. Course credits completed abroad under Planned Educational Leave cannot be applied toward graduation.

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Short-term Study Abroad

The options for short-term study abroad encompass a wide selection of Overseas Language Courses and the more academically oriented Short-term Overseas Study Programs. Both are offered over summer and spring break.

1. Overseas Language Courses

These are language enhancement programs of three to five weeks’ duration, offered during the university’s summer and spring breaks. Students build practical language skills in approved courses taught at universities in the United States, Germany, France, Australia, China, and other countries. Some programs incorporate field trips and cultural experiences as well.

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(a) Overseas Language Courses, Spring Session

English University of Wollongong; University of Queensland; University of Auckland; University of California, Davis; University of British Columbia
Spanish Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Chinese Peking University
Korean Sogang University
French Université Catholique de l’Ouest, Angers

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(b) Overseas Language Courses, Summer Session

English University of California, Davis; McGill University; University of Auckland; School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London; Ateneo de Manila University
German University of Freiburg
Italian University for Foreigners of Perugia
Chinese Chinese University of Hong Kong
Korean Catholic University of Korea

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2. Short-term Overseas Study Programs

Short-term Overseas Study Programs are intended for students who have already achieved some level of proficiency in their foreign language and wish to take advantage of summer or spring break to study a particular discipline at an overseas university. Short-term Overseas Study is recommended especially for students in the Department of English who are eager for an overseas experience but are unable to go abroad for an extended period of time. Students in this department generally have already achieved a high level of English language proficiency.

(a) Short-term Overseas Study Programs, Spring Session

English University of North Carolina, Charlotte; Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po); École Supérieure des Sciences Commerciales d’Angers (ESSCA)

(b) Short-term Overseas Study Programs, Summer Session

English University of California, Los Angeles; Exeter College, Oxford University
French Université de Franch-Comté, Besançon
German Universität Trier
Spanish Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

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