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A faculty-directed study abroad program is a University of Kentucky course designed and led by UK faculty or staff. These programs provide students with the chance to engage in immersive learning experiences, combining traditional classroom instruction with hands-on activities and cultural exploration. The guidance of the faculty members ensures academic continuity while enabling students to gain firsthand insights into different cultures and environments, fostering personal growth and a deeper understanding of global perspectives.

Faculty-Directed Programs:

  • Guided by UK Faculty on-site
  • Participate with UK Peers
  • Short term programs: Winter, Summer
  • Earn UK credit that counts towards your UK GPA 

UK also offers multiple programs through our partner and exchange programs that offer a variety of locations and credit offerings

Faculty-directed programs are just one program type you can choose from. To see our Partner and Exchange programs, return to the A&S page and click the Explore Programs by Major dropdown or visit our full program search

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From Science to Culture: Exploring Drug Use and Addiction

Students will study current neuroscientific theories that explain the motivation for drug use as well as those biopsychosocial mechanisms that mediate the progression from drug use to drug dependence and addiction. These theories will be applied to better understand cultural differences that exist between the US and the Netherlands regarding drug use, dependence, and treatment.

HIGHLIGHTS (Tentative*)

  • Guest lecture from SICAD- National Institute for Preventative
  • Amoc: Innovative drug treatment service provider
  • Jellinek Clinic: Provider for public information on drug use, dependence, and treatment
  • Transnational Institute: World view on drug policies
Term: Summer 2024 Course(s) PSY 375

Full Program Details and Application


Off the Beaten Path: Wildlife Survey and Conservation in Belize

Three wildlife corridors exist in Belize, with the recently recognized Central Belize Corridor of primary importance because it connects Belize's two largest protected forests.  However, much of this corridor is privately owned and threatened with unsustainable development.  A Conservation Action Plan for the approximately 300-square-mile Central Belize Corridor is in its infancy, and gathering information to help focus this conservation goal is crucial.  In this course, students will learn:

1) basic conservation biology principles and their application to Belize; and

2) how to identify Belizean wildlife using established monitoring techniques such as bird mist-netting, camera-trapping, and scat sampling. 

Term: Summer 2024 Course(s) BIO 355

Full Program Details and Application

Students in Monkey Bay River

Social & Environmental Justice in Oaxaca, Mexico

This research-based, eight week program offers students the opportunity to design and conduct their own social or environmental science research project under the supervision of knowledgeable and experienced local advisors. This preparation entails in-depth learning about the diverse environments of Southern Mexico and the rich and heterogeneous cultures of Oaxaca’s distinct regions. Through field visits, guest lectures and classroom activities, students will learn about the historical and contemporary dimensions of the relationship between the peoples of Oaxaca, the land and resources, and a global political economy. The program introduces and engages students in the use of different research methods and design, as well as offers opportunities for collaboration in local projects.


  • Explore one of the most ecologically diverse regions on earth through field visits around the state
  • Learn from local movements in southern Mexico and their struggles for social justice.
  • Create a research project in collaboration with local advisors.
  • Improve Spanish language skills through optional classes.
Term: Summer 2024 Course(s) GEO 365, GEO 431, GEO 406 | ANT 352, ANT 399

Full Program Details and Application

students in oaxaca

Stress Reduction & the Cultivation of Happiness

Students will have the opportunity to enroll in either 3 or 6 credit hours to learn about two complementary areas of Psychological Science: PSY 120 – The Science of Happiness (3 credits) and/or PSY 375 – Special Topics in Psychology: The Science of Stress Reduction. Students will learn about techniques related to fostering happiness and reducing stress (e.g., gratitude, mindfulness, physical activity) during class meetings. They will also learn experientially, through education abroad excursions.


  • Welcome & farewell dinners
  • Yoga, meditation, & hiking excursions
  • Day trip by boat to the isle of Capri
  • Day trip to Mt. Vesuvius & Pompeii
  • Italian cooking classes
Term: Summer 2024 Course(s) PSY and/or PSY 375

Full Program Details and Application

students doing yoga
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