UKIC / Education Abroad & Exchanges / What is Education Abroad?

What is Education Abroad?

Education Abroad can be most simply defined as earning academic credit in an international setting.

So what does this really mean for you? Education Abroad provides you with the opportunity to explore the world on your terms: You choose the courses you want to take abroad; you choose the type of experience you want; you choose your program; you choose your destination; most importantly, you choose what you get out of your education abroad experience.

UK Education Abroad & Exchanges offer different types of experiences and programs throughout the world. Program length, destination and cost vary based on the specific program you choose but know that we have options for everyone. 


No matter what you are interested in doing, UK EA is ready to make your goals to go abroad a reality. Get ready to #SeeBlueAbroad.

Experience Types


Take classes that you need for your UK degree or explore a new topic while earning credit towards graduation. You can take a class abroad taught by a UK faculty member or enroll directly in a university abroad.


Gain valuable work experience in a field that complements your career goals. Fulfill internship requirements or explore professional opportunities while earning credit towards your UK degree.


Prepare for your education certification with classroom teaching experience abroad. If you are not an education major you may still have the opportunity to gain international teaching experience.


Conduct clinical, field-based or applied research in an international setting. Earn credit for research alongside a UK faculty member, through an organization or independently.


Engage with a host community by participating in service-learning abroad. You can also earn academic credit for community engagement abroad.

Program Types

UK Faculty-Directed
  • Directed by UK faculty
  • Earn UK credit
  • Participate with UK peers
  • Most are short-term winter or summer programs
  • Some can be embedded into regular courses (e.g., travel component over spring break)
UK Partner
  • Programs arranged by partner provider
  • Earn transfer credit
  • Peers are other U.S. students
  • Built-in excursions and on-site services such as housing and airport arrangements are included
  • Program options available in all terms
UK Exchange
  • Attend a foreign institution but pay UK tuition
  • Earn transfer credit
  • Peers are students from all over the world
  • Take courses in English or host language
  • Semester and academic year options
UK Consortia
  • Directed by faculty from the Kentucky region
  • Earn transfer credit
  • Peers are other college students from the region
  • Mostly summer or winter terms programs
UK Direct
  • Attend a foreign institution and pay their tuition
  • Earn transfer credit
  • Peers are students from all over the world
  • Take courses in English or host language
  • Semester, summer or academic year options
UK Organization
  • Combination of groups on campus
  • Facilitated by UK faculty, staff, and students
  • Participate in an Alternative Service Break or Shoulder to Shoulder Global opportunity

Next: Why Go Abroad