Affiliate and Alternative Programs
Affiliate and alternative programs cover a diverse range of program types, academic disciplines, locations, and price points—there are literally thousands of options! An affiliate program means that VCU has an established and articulated agreement with that program; you can search VCU’s affiliate programs in our Program Search. VCU does not have an agreement already in place with alternative programs.
Regardless of whether you participate in an affiliate or alternative program, VCU Education Abroad will assist you with registering your plans with VCU; maintaining your VCU student status while you’re off campus; and securing financial aid. Your adviser can also provide you with information about preapproving the courses you take abroad to transfer back to VCU. In order to receive credit for your courses abroad, VCU must receive an official transcript from your host institution or program provider.
Affiliate ProgramsVCU Education Abroad has established affiliation agreements with several trusted program providers.. You may be eligible for special scholarships and discounts as a VCU student. Provider programs, like those listed below, typically offer a supportive and structured environment with on-site staff and planned excursions.
Academic Programs International (API)
API provides scholarship funding to VCU to be awarded to students participating in API programs of up to $500 for a summer term or $1,000 for a semester or year.
CAPA International Education (CAPA)
CAPA provides a $300 scholarship to VCU students on a CAPA summer program, $600 scholarship on a CAPA semester program, and $400 on a CAPA quarter program.
CEA Study Abroad (CEA)
CEA provides travel grants to VCU students participating on CEA programs of $1000 for a year program, $500 for a semester program, and $250 for a short-term or summer program. In addition to student travel grants, CEA provides scholarship funds to VCU to award to students participating in CEA programs.
CET Academic Programs (CET)
Center for International Studies (CIS Abroad)
CISabroad provides VCU students with a program discount of $250 for a semester program and $100 for a short-term or intern program.
International Studies Abroad (ISA)
ISA provides VCU students with a $200 discount on ISA programs.
Alternative Programs are for students who wish to study in a country or subject area not covered by any of VCU's study abroad options. Thousands of study abroad programs exist, so make sure to look only at alternative programs that offer credit from an accredited university. Language schools are not acceptable unless they are able to issue a transcript through an accredited university.
- U.S. universities
You may go through another U.S. university’s study abroad program. Universities with large study abroad departments often recruit students from around the country. We recommend that you begin your search by considering programs sponsored by other universities in your home state as the cost may be based on in-state rates.
- Foreign universities
Applying directly to a foreign university is also an option if you have an interest in a specific area of study or a particular region of a country. Directly enrolling in a university overseas can be logistically challenging, but gives you a truly immersive view of life as a student in your host country and in some cases may be more affordable.
- Independent study abroad program provider
There are many study abroad providers with whom VCU does not have an affiliation agreement, but who run high-quality programs. You can review a list of recommended alternative providers below.
The following websites can be used to search for education abroad programs:
Search engines: Program review sites:
Consider the following Alternative Programs in which other VCU students have participated:
American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS)
AIFS provides all VCU students with an automatic grant of $400/semester and $200/summer.
School for International Training