Study Abroad and Domestic Exchange

We encourage you to study abroad or go on domestic exchange!

The Department of Communication strongly encourages students to study abroad or go on domestic exchange. Communication majors study all over the world and across the United States, bringing back new personal and academic insights and the broadened cultural awareness that comes from living in another place. Each year, approximately 60 Communication students study abroad. In the last few years, Communication majors have studied in Australia, Germany, Israel, the Czech Republic, Japan, Peru, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Brazil, England, France, South Africa, and Ireland—and there are yet more options. Communication students also go on domestic exchange every year, to locations such as California, Nebraska, and Las Vegas.

Click here to learn about the experiences of COMM majors who studied abroad recently.

Click here to learn about programs from around the world where you can study Communication.

Here are some benefits to studying abroad:

  • Make progress toward Communication major requirements while studying in another culture.
  • Your classes abroad can satisfy the Global Education requirements.
  • Study abroad programs expand curricular options in recognized academic institutions from around the world.
  • The special skills and experience you acquire can make you more appealing to employers and augment further training for graduate and professional schools.
  • You will carry new ways of thinking about yourself and the world with you long after you have forgotten the details of your coursework.

Here are some benefits to going on domestic exchange:

  • Make progress toward Communication major requirements while exploring another part of the country.
  • Take advantage of different course options available at your domestic exchange institution.
  • Learn about the diversity that exists within the United States.

FAQs

How do I find a study abroad program?

Consult the International Program Office Education Abroad website and the Education Abroad Advising Center (455 Hills South, 545-5247) for information and counseling on study abroad.

How do I find a domestic exchange program?

Attend an information session about domestic exchange run by the Undergraduate Advising Office.

How do I choose the right location?

Any country can offer you a valuable experience, but we urge you to consider places where English is not the main language. Why not consider countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia?  The economic, cultural, political, and linguistic differences you’ll encounter in different parts of the world can help you understand yourself and the world in whole new ways.

For other things to think about when choosing a location or a specific program, check out the International Programs Office explanation of different program types.

Do study abroad and domestic exchange classes count toward my Communication requirements?

Classes taken while studying abroad or on domestic exchange can only count for the major if prior approval has been granted.  To receive prior approval, make an appointment with the Undergraduate Program Director by calling 413-545-1311. Bring your ICAF form (which you get through IPO advising for study abroad, or the Undergraduate Advising Office if going on domestic exchange), as well as course titles and descriptions for any courses for which you hope to receive prior approval.

Can I intern while studying abroad or on domestic exchange?

The London, Sydney, and Beijing CAPA programs have an internship option with a classroom component. Three credits from these internships (representing the classroom component) can count toward the Communication major as a 300-level course. In general, students can get UMass 298Y internship credits for any internship that they do, whether on-campus, abroad, or on domestic exchange.

What about financial help while studying abroad?

The College of Social and Behavioral Science offers the following study abroad scholarships:

  • The Ansin Study Abroad Fellowship. Based on financial need and/or academic excellence. A committee chooses recipients in the spring semester for study abroad programs during the following summer or fall, or for yearlong programs. About 20 fellowships ranging from $500 to $2,000 are given annually.
     
  • SBS Spring Study Abroad Scholarship. Based on financial need and/or academic excellence. A committee chooses recipients in the fall semester for travel abroad in the spring. About 20 scholarships averaging $1,000 each will be given this academic year.

Commonwealth Honors College and the International Programs Office cosponsor the following:

  • International Scholars Program (ISP). Apply for this at the end of your freshman year. ISP lets qualified undergrads integrate international studies coursework and study abroad. It’s highly competitive, admitting only 15 to 20 students per year, and awards $750 per semester abroad.