Study abroad for the summer, semester, or year

Seize your opportunity for academic exploration and hands-on learning while you earn college credit from universities around the world. Through immersive study abroad experiences both inside and outside of the classroom, you’ll gain insights you simply can’t get on campus at MIT. 

No matter where in the world you land, you will receive comprehensive support from MISTI staff to ensure academic fit and to help you prepare culturally and professionally for your exciting time studying abroad.

Compare: Exchange and Pre-Approved Direct Enroll Programs

Exchange Direct-Enroll
MISTI Exchange Programs involve the exchange of students between MIT and a university overseas. Students pay MIT tuition and the host university room and board, and financial aid will be applied. For the Imperial Summer exchange, MIT students receive departmental funding (including airfare and housing). MISTI Direct Enroll Programs require students to enroll directly at a university abroad. Students will pay full tuition, housing, and board to the host university. Financial aid will travel with you for semester and year programs.
Exchange Direct-Enroll
  • Good academic standing (4.3 GPA minimum)
  • Submit a MISTI application, along with a personal statement, reference letter, and transcript, and complete an interview with department major and MISTI
  • Completion of pre-departure prep and training sessions
  • Good academic standing (4.0 GPA minimum)
  • Submit a MISTI application (application, personal statement, reference letter, transcript) and complete an interview
  • Receive approval from MISTI for the host institution selected
  • Submit an application to the host institution and be accepted
  • Completion of pre-departure prep and training sessions
  • Some programs may require language proficiency
    Exchange Direct-Enroll

    Deadlines

    • Fall, Spring, Academic Year: February 15th
    • Imperial College London Summer: February 14th

    Instructions

    • Apply for MIT exchange for the term you wish to study. Go to the MISTI Portal, find your program, and apply before the deadline.
    • MISTI will be in touch regarding an interview with the applicable MISTI Program Manager and major department.

     

    Apply for Exchange

    Deadlines

    • Fall, Spring (certain programs), Academic Year, Summer: April 1
    • Spring: October 15
    • Oxford Direct Enroll (Fall and Spring): Late January

    Instructions

    • Apply directly to the host university/program provider by their program deadline. (Their deadline may be earlier than the MISTI deadline.) 
    • Apply to MISTI for MIT approval to study abroad before the deadline for the term you wish to study. Go to the MISTI Portal, find your program or use the Direct Enroll General Application to apply.
    • MISTI will be in touch regarding an interview with the applicable Program Manager.

     

    Apply For Direct-Enroll

     

    Before your study abroad, you’ll attend MISTI prep and training sessions designed to help you make the most of your experience.

    Exchange Direct-Enroll
    • You will pay MIT tuition and the host university room and board.
    • Financial aid will be applied. For the Imperial Summer exchange, MIT students receive departmental funding (including airfare and housing).
    • You will pay full tuition, housing, and board to the host university.
    • Your financial aid will travel with you for semester and year programs.

    You can use your financial aid to study abroad during academic terms. Awards will be adjusted based on expenses such as airfare, living expenses, and local tuition costs. 

    You should meet with your financial aid counselor and a MISTI Program Manager at least one term before you go abroad to start planning how your aid will be affected. MISTI and Student Financial Services will work together to gather and verify cost information, and we will advise you on your adjusted financial aid package and process any refunds accordingly.

    Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

    The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program provides scholarship opportunities of up to $5,000 for U.S. students on Pell Grants to help fund study abroad experiences for the summer, fall, spring, or full year. In 2010, the Gilman program launched a new summer scholarship program for students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

    Boren Scholarships

    Boren Scholarships offer up to $20,000 for U.S. undergraduate students interested in language studies in areas of the world that are underrepresented by many study abroad programs. Boren offers similar fellowships to graduate students.

    Boren launched a special summer initiative for STEM majors. The scholarships fund up to $8,000 for summer study (minimum eight weeks).

    Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA)

    Freeman-ASIA provides up to $7,000 in need-based funding to assist U.S. undergraduate students with the cost of the study abroad program and related expenses, including airfare, basic living costs, local transportation, books, etc.

    The Bridging Scholarship

    The Bridging Scholarship program provides 60 scholarships to U.S. students interested in studying in Japan. Undergraduate students majoring in any field of study and attending any recognized exchange or independent program are eligible to apply. Recipients will receive stipends ranging from $2,500 to $4,000, depending on the length of their study program.

    China Government Scholarships

    The Chinese government offers the China Government Scholarship to provide full funding for a select group of MIT students to study in China for one semester or one year. Interested students should contact MISTI at for further information.

    The Critical Language Scholarships

    The Critical Language Scholarships program provides 7–10 weeks of group-based overseas foreign language instruction and cultural enrichment experiences for U.S. citizens who are students at the undergraduate, master's, and doctoral levels.

    Morgan Stanley Japan

    Morgan Stanley Japan awards two $7,500 scholarships per year to undergraduate students studying abroad in Japan who have an interest in economics and international finance and have been accepted to study in Japan for the full academic year. Applicants must submit an essay on a designated public policy topic with their application.

    Study Abroad FAQs

    Study abroad when it best suits your academic and personal goals. Begin planning and meet with MISTI for advising during your first year. For IAP and summer programs, you may participate as early as your first year or the summer before your second year. For semester or year-long opportunities, these are most commonly undertaken in the third year.

    Complete the MISTI and program application process in your first year by the deadline (programs have variable deadlines). The MISTI approval process for fall sophomores includes advisor approval and a letter of recommendation. MISTI approval to study abroad will be contingent on a review of first-year spring grades.

    Consider the academic calendar where you plan to study. Calendars often do not synchronize with MIT commencement, transcripts from study abroad will be issued after the MIT grade deadlines, and credit transfer will not be finalized by the end of the MIT term. MISTI recommends studying abroad spring of senior year only if the subjects taken and credit received are not required for graduation (i.e. you are cleared for graduation prior to your term abroad) and you accept that most likely you will not be able to attend commencement back at MIT.

    As soon as possible! It's helpful to start planning for study abroad in your first year, so you can plan what courses you must take at MIT verses courses you could take during study abroad. 

    You should consult the Transfer Credit Examiner (TCE) list to determine whom to contact.  For example, if you took a literature course, then you would contact the TCE from the Literature department.  Registrar’s Office Reminder: Students should consult the Transfer Credit Examiner before starting a study abroad program to ensure the subject is suitable for transfer credit and to check if a minimum grade is required.

    The completed form should be submitted to the Registrar's Office by the end of the eleventh week (drop date) of your first term back.  If your transcript has not yet arrived to MIT in enough time to meet this deadline, the Registrar’s Office will work with MISTI to add the credit to your record after this date.  You will not be penalized for a late transcript, but do make sure to request the transcript from the host institution at the beginning of your study abroad program. 

    MISTI requires you to request transfer credit, so you have the units reflected on your MIT record for possible use in the future.  It can be helpful to show the additional coursework you completed when applying for graduate school.  You can request transfer credit for general elective credit towards the total number of units required for graduation.  This can help reduce the number of units you need to take at MIT, or simply increase the number of units you took while at MIT.

    Transfer credit is similar to the Pass/No Record notations for subjects taken Freshmen year.  If you did not pass a course abroad, then the course is not eligible for transfer credit. You would not complete the Request for Additional Credit for a failed subject and the subject would not appear on your MIT transcript.

    If you apply to graduate school in the future and need a confirmation that you participated in a particular study abroad program sometime during your undergraduate years, MISTI can provide you with a letter confirming your participation in the program. Contact our office at misti [at] mit.edu (subject: Study%20Abroad)  to request a letter. 

    If you are in MIT campus housing before studying abroad, then you are guaranteed MIT campus housing when you return. Here's what you have to do to arrange it:

    Reference the Housing office's information, forms, and process for study abroad.

    You will receive your assignment via email in mid-to-late December for the spring term or in mid-to-late April for housing during the following term

    • email us at misti [at] mit.edu (subject: Study%20Abroad)
    • talk to your academic advisor
    • talk to your department's transfer credit examiner
    • talk to other students who have studied abroad

    Additional Questions?

    Switzerland Train Bing Hao

    Email us at misti [at] mit.edu.