External programs open a world of additional study abroad opportunities to JMU students. There are literally thousands of study abroad options and we can help you find the best one for you. Even though external programs are technically "non-JMU" programs, you will still apply to JMU's CGE, remain a JMU student, and keep all of your JMU services. 

All external program participation must be approved by the CGE.

Why choose an external program when JMU has so many of its own?

Many of JMU's own programs fill up quickly, so there may be long waiting lists. There are also more selections to choose from when you attend an external program. With so many different non-JMU programs available, study abroad can work for all majors and minors in just about any region. FYI: about 200 JMU students each year go abroad on non-JMU programs.

There are three kinds of external programs

  • Another U.S. university's program
  • A national study abroad organization/program provider
  • Direct enrollment at an overseas university

Which option is best for you? 

Well, it depends on your personal preference. There are several factors to consider with each type of program: Where, and with whom, will you be living? What kind of credit is granted? How much does it cost? Will you be taking classes with just Americans, or with locals of that country? Are classes taught in English? Are excursions included in the fee? By looking for the answers to each of these questions and others, you can find the program option that will be best for you.

This sounds interesting. Where can I get more information?

External Options

What program providers do most JMU students use? 

JMU does not limit students to a specific list of providers, but we are officially affiliated with many study abroad program providers, and works closely with many others. Some affiliate programs may offer scholarships to JMU students. MOST ALSO OFFER VIRTUAL INTERNSHIPS AND COURSES. Search their websites below for offerings.

For affiliate SCHOLARSHIP info:  Click here | For affiliate MONEY SAVING PROGRAM offers:  Click here 

  • Academic Programs International (API)
    (Argentina, Australia, Bhutan, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam)
  • American Institute for Foreign Studies (AIFS)
    (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Summer Multi Country, Internships and Volunteer Abroad)
  • CAPA
    (Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sydney, Australia; Shanghai, China; London, England; Dublin, Ireland; Florence, Italy, Barcelona, Spain and Internships)
  • CEA Global Education
    (Argentina, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Spain and Internships)
  • CIEE
    (42 program sites in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America, Internships and Work opportunities)
  • CIS Abroad
    (Argentina, Australia, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Scotland, South Afria, Spain, Thailand and Internships)
  • College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS) 
    ( multiple countries and internships)
  • EdOdyssey
    (Florence and Sicily, Italy; Lima, Peru)
  • The Education Abroad Network (TEAN)
    (Australia, China, Fiji, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. Internships available)
  • IES Abroad
    (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, China, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Internships)
  • IFSA
    (Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, England, India, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Scotland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Wales, Internships and Community based learning)
  • ISEP Direct Exchange Programs
    (Choose from 50+ programs in 30 countries with ISEP Direct!)
  • International Studies Abroad (ISA)
    (Argentina, Australia, Chile, Czech Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Scotland, South Africa, and Spain. Service learning, Internships, Research and Mission Programs available)
  • Syracuse University Abroad
    (Florence, Madrid, Santiago, Beijing, Hong Kong, Strasbourg, London)   

Other recommended programs:

French majors are encouraged to look at:

German majors and minors are encouraged to consider:  

Application Process

To be considered for study abroad, you must be in good academic standing, holding a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00. Approval is based on verification of your records in the university's information system, which includes checking your status with Academic Affairs, Student Affairs University Finance and the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices. Your participation may be denied if university records or conduct prior to departure raise doubts that you should be allowed to participate in an international experience.

Application Deadlines:

  • Provider Program Application - Set by Program Provider.
  • JMU External Program Application - Must be completed in conjuction with the Provider Application.

A JMU External Program Application is required at the same time as your Provider Application in order for us to assist you with the JMU process. Our applications are open year round for submission. It is recommended that you complete your provider application well before the assigned deadline in order to have a better chance of space availability. 

Application Materials
The application for admission requires paperwork with both JMU and your External program. A completed External Program application consists of the following components:

  • JMU External online application.
  • Permission to Take Courses for Transfer Credit Form:
    • Available from the Registrar's Office or downloadable here in Adobe Acrobat format.
    • Required of all students studying abroad on an External program. 
  • Independent provider's application form:
    • Most independent providers' applications require an approval signature from home institution's study abroad office.

Submitting JMU External Application
You start your JMU online application by clicking on the Apply Now link. Once approved (or at the same time), you may start your provider's application. Your completed transfer credit form can be submitted to the Center for Global Engagement, Holland Yates Hall (formerly Madison Hall), 100 East Grace Street, MSC 5731, Harrisonburg, VA 22807.

The decision for admission into a program comes in two steps:

  1. JMU approval, which is based on your general suitability for study abroad and will be considered based on:
    • Your most recent cumulative GPA (must be 2.0 or higher).
    • Disciplinary records.
    • Complete application.
  2. Official acceptance offer from the external study abroad program.

External Program Fee
An External Program Fee of $500 per term for Fall or Spring and $250 for Summer term will be charged to each student’s JMU account and be due just prior to the start of their program. This fee allows JMU to cover ongoing administrative costs to assist students who go abroad on non-JMU programs.

Financial Aid
JMU allows financial aid to be applied on External programs subject to the standard restrictions. For more information, please contact JMU's Financial Aid Office. You MUST complete a "Request to Enter into a Consortium Agreement" if you wish to apply your financial aid to an External Study Abroad Program. Donna Sharpes in the Center for Global Engagement will help you through this process once you are approved to study abroad.

Upon Acceptance
  • Be sure you have completed all transfer credit forms needed.
  • Complete all "Post decision" items in your JMU application.
  • Follow up with your provider by following all their preparation requirements.

Things To Remember:

  • Plan in advance the classes you will need to register for your return semester.
  • Contact the Office of Residence Life before you leave to go abroad if you plan to live in a dorm when you return to JMU.
  • Know who your JMU advisor is and how to contact him/her before you leave.
  • Make sure you have no holds on your account.
  • Be aware of the safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural and religious conditions in your host country.
  • Obtain and maintain appropriate insurance policies and abide by any conditions imposed by your carrier.
  • Make sure you have provided your program with accurate physical and mental health information that is necessary for a safe and healthy study abroad experience.
  • Understand and comply with the terms of participation and codes of conduct of your program and obey host-country laws
  • Let your parents know how to contact you abroad and give them the Center for Global Engagement's (CGE) contact information.
  • Be aware of local conditions when making daily choices and decisions.
  • Behave in a manner that is respectful of the rights and well-being of others.
  • Just as at JMU, you are responsible for your own decisions and actions.
  • Make your study abroad experience a great one!
Contact List
  • For any questions or concerns:
    Donna Sharpes
    Center for Global Engagement  
    Tel: 540-568-6419  
    Fax: 540-568-3310  
    Email: sharpedv@jmu.edu

  • For transcript or credit transfer issues:  
    Elizabeth Hash   
    Office of the Registrar  
    Tel: 540-568-2920  
    Fax: 540-568-7954  
    Email: hashea@jmu.edu

  • For account holds:  
    Linda Combs 
    Director, Student Financial Services  
    Tel: 540-568-6505  
    Fax: 540-568-6402 
    Email: combslc@jmu.edu

  • For financial aid or scholarship questions:  
    Susan Moyers  
    Financial Aid & Scholarships  
    Tel: 540-568-7820  
    Fax: 540-568-7994  
    Email: moyerssk@jmu.edu

 Once You Are Abroad
Send the Center for Global Engagement changes or additions to your contact information (email address, mailing address and phone number). Also, please let us know if you are having any problems. We are here to help!

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