Office of International Programs

Study abroad has become an integral part of a well-rounded undergraduate experience. A period of study abroad will allow you to develop a broader perspective on your academic field of study while earning credit towards a Rensselaer degree. You will gain a deeper understanding not only of the culture in which you will be living, but also the culture of the U.S. and its place in today’s global society.

Rensselaer Education Across Cultural Horizons, or REACH, is part of Rensselaer’s initiative to provide all undergraduate students with an international experience. Initially launched in spring 2009 as an exchange program for engineering students, REACH has evolved to include all international opportunities for undergraduates, including semester-long study abroad and exchange opportunities, short-term and faculty-led international programs, and other international experiences such as internships and service learning. All students are encouraged and expected to take advantage of some sort of international experience during their four-year undergraduate education.

Rensselaer offers study abroad and exchange opportunities for undergraduate students in more than 15 countries on 5 continents. Most of Rensselaer’s study abroad programs are administered by the Office of International Programs, but some are managed by individual academic departments. Click on the Program Options link for a list of current program options.

River walk in London

Where to Begin - Assess your own academic and personal goals. How can a study abroad experience help you to meet these goals? Do you want to be in a specific region or country? Would you like to learn a foreign language? Do you need a lot of support or would you be okay on your own?

Do Your Research - Read about the program options. Review the information on this website to learn about general policies and procedures. Visit the websites of the host institutions and familiarize yourself with the types of courses that are offered, program dates, the services offered to exchange students and the housing options.

Academic Requirements and Eligibility - Generally a 3.0 minimum GPA is required. More importantly, students must make sure that a period of study abroad will not delay their graduation date. Although students typically study abroad during the junior year, sophomores and seniors may be eligible.

Application procedures and deadlines - Generally an RPI study abroad application and official transcript as well as an application from the host institution are required. Deadlines vary by program but are typically September for spring and February for fall. You should begin the research process at least one semester prior to the semester of application.

Fees and Billing - Students who participate in affiliated study abroad or exchange programs are charged the cost of regular RPI tuition for their term(s) abroad. Some programs carry an additional fee. Unless otherwise noted, transportation, housing and other living expenses are paid directly by each student and are not billed by RPI.

Financial Aid - With the exception of work-study money, all forms of financial aid can be applied to Rensselaer-affiliated programs. Students must maintain full-time status (the equivalent of 12 Rensselaer credits or above) in order to be eligible for financial aid.

Grades and Credit - Full credit is granted for courses completed with a grade of C- or above. All courses must be approved by the relevant academic department in order for the transfer of credit to take place. With the exception of the Architecture programs, grades earned overseas are not factored into the GPA.

Orientation - a mandatory pre-departure orientation session takes place at RPI each semester. In addition, most host institutions hold their own on-site orientation programs for international students.