international students researching and taking notes on study opportunities in the USA

Step 1: Research Your Options


The United States offers an incredible diversity of short-term study programs lasting 12 months or less. In addition to programs offered by universities and other organizations, the U.S. Department of State’s J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program offers multifaceted opportunities to teach, study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills, or receive on-the-job training. Search to find the programs that meet your personal and professional needs.

Program types include:

  • Exchange programs
  • University exchanges
  • Professional exchange programs
  • Certificate and executive education programs
  • Internships
  • Visiting fellows and scholars

No official ranking system for short-term programs exists for colleges and universities in the United States. The best college or university for your short-term program is the one that is best for you and meets your requirements—academic, financial, and personal. Ideally, you should begin your search at least a year prior to the period when you hope to participate in a short-term program.

If you are currently studying at an institution of higher educatio, find out if there is an international education office at your school as they may already offer exchange or study abroad programs. Many institutions will only credit towards your current degree if the program has already approved. Others may require pre-approval.

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