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Study Abroad Opportunities in the Summer

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Yes, you can study abroad in the summer! BOSP offers full summer quarter programs in both Santiago, Chile and Cape Town, South Africa. In addition, BOSP also offers shorter Overseas Seminars and Faculty-Initiated Programs over the summer, including two programs in Oaxaca, Mexico.

For official information on BOSP's summer programs, follow the links below. Read on for an explanation of your different summer options, and why you may want to consider studying abroad in the summer.

BOSP Santiago Program
BOSP Cape Town Program
BOSP Overseas Seminars and Faculty-Initiated Programs (including Oaxaca)

BOSP Summer Programs

BOSP offers a full-length summer quarter in Santiago, Chile. Santiago includes a focus on sustainability and the environment and international relations, with local faculty teaching courses that would appeal to students majoring in Earth Systems, STS, International Relations, Iberian & Latin American Studies, Public Policy, Civil & Environmental Engineering and Political Science. Students can also take advantage of various volunteer or internship opportunities during the program.

BOSP also offers a summer quarter in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town has a focus on organizational projects. Students studying in Cape Town can arrange a directed reading guided by a Cape Town program lecturer or campus-based Stanford faculty member.  The Center for African Studies offers a writing workshop for students pursuing Africa-related honors theses. Students who have participated in the Stanford Program in Cape Town, especially those who have completed research, are well prepared to meet the requirements for honors certification in their departments and are welcome to participate in the Honors Thesis Workshop.

Can't go abroad for the entire summer quarter? BOSP also offers summer Overseas Seminars and Faculty-Initiated Programs that run from 1-4 weeks long. These programs change each year, and cover a wide range of topics and locations. BOSP also offers two recurring Faculty-Initiated Programs in Oaxaca, Mexico: a Community Health program and a Bio-Cultural Diversity and Community-Based Conservation program.

Why Go Abroad in the Summer?

Student-athletes may want to look at summer quarter abroad, since it is less likely to interfere with competition schedules. Consult a UAD for Student Athletes to discuss whether you can integrate training with time abroad, and the possibilities for athletic aid.

Engineering students in majors with tight course sequences and advanced courses that are only offered once per year may also find summer an attractive time to go abroad. The School of Engineering offers more advice.

For frosh, study abroad can be an excellent way to spend this first summer. Studying abroad early can also create connections that become the foundation for later work--for instance, many Cape Town students have built on their experience with community partners to develop independent research or honors projects.

Co-terms and seniors are eligible to go abroad in the summer as long as they delay their undergraduate degree conferral. These students can still participate in spring quarter graduation ceremonies, but would receive their actual diploma at the end of summer quarter.


If financial concerns are the only thing stopping you from applying, please consult a BOSP advisor and/or a staff member from the Financial Aid office. For the shorter Overseas Seminars and Faculty-Initiated Programs, BOSP may be able to provide financial assistance to students with demonstrated financial need.

As of 2020-21, summer enrollment in a full-quarter BOSP program does count as one of your 12 quarters of financial aid. Talk to the Financial Aid Office to decide if this is the right move for you. You can find further Financial Aid details here.

In addition, be aware that “trading” a summer for another quarter later can open up new opportunities:

  • taking leave in an autumn quarter might enable you to do a six-month internship where you take on greater responsibilities and build more skills than a summer can allow.
  • taking leave in a spring quarter might let you participate in a program that normally begins before Stanford finishes the school year in mid-June.

Next Steps

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