Global Engagement takes many shapes at Elon. Very broadly, most opportunities are either a Global Short-Term Program, or a Center, Affiliate or Exchange program.

The main difference? Global Short-Term Programs are developed, approved and taught by Elon faculty; are typically shorter in duration; and follow a structured itinerary. Elon offers around 30 Global Short-Term Programs annually.

Center, Affiliate and Exchange programs, conversely, are often developed and delivered primarily by an on-site host or provider. Elon offers seven Center, over 100 Affiliate, and around a dozen Exchange opportunities.

Each Center, Affiliate or Exchange program is unique, but most can be grouped into the following categories.

Elon Center, Affiliate and Exchange program categories


Exchange: Elon works directly with a partner to administer the program. This is the most traditional model of study abroad — often, the host program will send students to Elon while Elon students study at the host program. Students are supported directly by the host institution’s equivalent to the Global Education Center.

Affiliate: The program is offered through a provider, such as CIEE or SFS. Sometimes, the provider acts as a third party to support a student’s enrollment at a local institution, and sometimes, the provider operates the program directly.

Center: Elon works with a provider host a program customized to Elon’s needs. Center programs often include an Elon faculty in residence and a strong sense of Elon community among the cohort.

Faculty-Led: Elon faculty teach an Elon study abroad or Study USA course, often over Winter Term, as a semester travel-embedded course, or during the summer. Only Elon students enroll in these programs, and courses are approved and transcripted directly by Elon.


Direct-Enroll: Students take courses directly with a local institution.

Supported Direct-Enroll: Students take courses directly with a local institution with the help of a provider.

Standalone: Students take courses at a study center through the provider rather than at a local institution.

Elon-Taught: Students take a course/courses taught by Elon faculty, approved and transcripted by Elon.

Hybrid: Some mix of models, such as courses taken with a local institution but a core course taught directly by the provider.


Internship: The program focuses heavily on an on-site internship, from placement to support to reflection. While the program may include features and coursework beyond internship credit, the internship is the primary driver of the program.

Field Studies: The program operates as a field station with intensive, immersive work within that field (environmental studies, biology, etc.)

Research: The program aims to deepen a student’s research skills and often includes hands-on faculty mentorship and rigorous expectations of research process and production.

Language Study: The program is organized to drive intensive language learning. The program may include multiple language study courses, a language pledge, a homestay, or other features to support the student’s goal of language growth.

Integrative: While the program may include an internship, language study, opportunities for research, etc., it is not organized intentionally around any one element.

Other: The program may be unique in some other way, such as a dance intensive, or comedy studies, or other elements that make the program one of a kind.


Flexible: The program includes access to a large list of courses (perhaps the entire course catalog). Typically, a flexible program makes available all (or nearly all) of the curriculum and campus resources that exist at that host institution.

Balanced: The program may include a curated list of courses, but students have flexibility in organizing their class schedule.

Rigid: The program has a short, set course list with minimal flexibility. Typically, programs with a rigid curriculum have an dedicated focus and are structured to support students toward that focus.