The University of Richmond recognizes study abroad as essential to the undergraduate liberal arts education. A global perspective and cross-cultural communication and linguistic skills are crucial for all graduates.
A full semester or year abroad is the hallmark length of time for which UR students study abroad. With more than 75 study abroad partner and affiliate universities and programs in more than 30 countries, students of all majors can find an opportunity that matches their interests. These global partnerships enable students to study alongside local and international students, with courses taught in both English and native languages. This approach is different from that of many U.S. liberal arts universities our size, where many students study abroad only through third-party providers or with a faculty-led group.
Study abroad also is made financially realistic—the tuition for a semester abroad on a UR program is the same as on campus and all Richmond financial aid is applicable.
We believe that our exchange-based model of study abroad benefits students greatly because students are learning in another university framework, philosophy, and pedagogy, which is often very different from the way Richmond approaches education. Richmond students abroad are expected to be very independent and self-reliant in both the academic and non-academic realms, yet they have the support of colleagues abroad at our partner universities, all of which have international offices just as we do at Richmond.
It is for these reasons that applicants to semester/year study abroad are required to make at least one of their first or second choice programs an exchange/direct enroll program. The other choice may come from our list of affiliate programs.
In most cases, students on exchange programs take regular classes with local students, or a combination of regular classes plus classes arranged specifically for visiting international students. Studying in the local university system abroad is both rewarding and challenging. Richmond's study abroad team is always available to assist our students in dealing with the differences and challenges they encounter.
Finally, having exchange relationships with universities in other countries enhances and expands internationalization at Richmond. Our partners are carefully selected with input from faculty across all the schools of the University. These relationships foster faculty collaboration, thus enhancing the educational experience of Richmond students on campus. Additionally, exchange students from our partner institutions enroll in classes at Richmond, offering new perspectives in the classroom, thus enriching and raising the quality of education your student receives even before he or she leaves the country.
In addition to studying directly in universities abroad, each year Richmond sends about 25 percent of study abroad participants to third-party affiliate programs designed specifically for U.S. students. In some cases, these programs provide the best academic match for certain students, as they are centered on very specific themes, or they may be a better fit for students who do not have high levels of skill in foreign languages, or they may be good for students who want or need a high degree of on-site support. Another reason for which we do offer a limited number of third-party affiliate programs abroad is that we have found that it is not practical to offer exchange programs in all locations.
As an alternative to a full semester, the University offers a variety of short-term programs, such as faculty-led trips embedded in UR courses, summer study abroad classes in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies with an abroad component, the M.B.A. international residency, the business school’s global management course, living-learning programs for sophomores, and summer internships.