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Direct Enrollment

Direct Enrollment Programs

Direct Enrollment Programs are approved study abroad options in which a student directly enrolls at another university or foreign language school.

Quick Facts


April 1 – Summer

May 1 – Early Fall & Autumn

November 1 – Winter & Spring

*Some direct enrollment programs have earlier deadlines. Please consult the individual program brochure for specific deadlines. 

Direct enrollment program applications will open 3 quarters before departure. 

Duration & Credits

Programs vary in length and credit amounts awarded.

Typical terms and credits are:

  • Quarter – 12 credits
  • Semester – 20-24 credits
  • Year-long – 36-48 credits

Exact UW credits and courses will be determined upon return to UW.


Fixed costs paid to UW:

  • Study Abroad administrative fee
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance (waived for some providers)

Fixed costs paid to Partner

  • Program fee

Additional estimated expenses vary based on the program and can be found in each brochure. 

Application Process

Direct Enrollment Programs typically require TWO applications.

Step 1: Begin a UW Study Abroad application.

Step 2: Begin an application with the program provider.

To get started, begin a UW Study Abroad application.

If the direct enrollment program is through a department, you will work with the department on the next steps.

Delve Deeper

Direct Enrollment programs are well-suited for students who seek coursework in specific or varied fields of study, desire on-site support, and may or may not have proficiency in a foreign language. Depending on the program, instruction may be in English, the language of the host country, or a combination of the two. Some programs focus on specific topics while others offer a wide range of course options in various subjects.

Direct enrollment program options include summer language programs and direct enrollment in a partner university abroad. Unlike an exchange, no incoming students are taking your spot and you pay program fees directly to the institution abroad.

UW has approved a limited number of direct enrollment programs through study abroad providers. 

Certain departments such as Engineering and Business also have departmental-specific offerings.

Each direct enrollment program has a UW program brochure with useful information about that specific program. There is also a link to the specific partner website, where you’ll find more detailed information about costs, courses, housing, program dates, and more.

Direct Enrollment Options!

Direct enrollment programs vary widely so please take some time to research what you’re looking for in a program. Below are some things to consider:

  • Program length – Direct enrollment programs vary in length from a couple of weeks through a semester or an academic year.
  • Level of Independence – Direct enrollment programs typically require students to have a medium-high level of independence.
  • Location -The locations vary depending on the program.
  • Academic options – Some direct enrollment programs focus on specific topics while others offer a wide range of course options in various subjects.
  • Housing options – Housing options vary by program. Some of the direct enrollment options have housing provided, but you are responsible for securing your own housing otherwise. 
  • Program Cost – You pay a program fee directly to the partner provider or institution. UW Study Abroad also charges a study abroad fee and a student abroad insurance fee that will appear on your MyUW statement. UW Study Abroad has many resources to help you plan to pay for study abroad. Visit the Financial Planning section of our website to learn more.
  • Cost of Living – The cost of living will be dependent on the city in which the program takes place.  Each program brochure has a cost sheet with an anticipated budget for each term a program is offered. You should also check the institution-specific website for a list of program costs.
  • Health Insurance – All students going abroad through UW Study Abroad are automatically enrolled in Student Abroad Insurance.
  • Financial aid eligibility – Financial aid eligibility will depend on program duration and alignment with the UW academic calendar. The UW Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) reviews program term dates to determine eligibility. Visit the UW Study Abroad Financial Aid webpage for more information about dates review and timelines. 
  • Scholarships – There are many scholarships available for study abroad – some are location-based and some are merit-based or need-based.
  • Deferrals and WithdrawalsDeferring your program acceptance to another term is not permitted once you’ve contracted. If you aren’t able to participate in the program for the term you are contracted for, you will need to submit a withdrawal request and submit a new application for a future term. Please read the withdrawal information in your contract carefully before signing. 
  • COVID requirements – requirements and masking mandates may vary by country. Please familiarize yourself with the UW Study Abroad COVID resources page and any requirements of the country you hope to study in.

To be eligible for a partner program, you must:

  • Be in good academic standing.
  • Meet all program-specific eligibility requirements as described in the program brochure. This may include a minimum class standing and/or a minimum GPA.
  • Be cleared for study abroad by UW’s Community Standards and Student Conduct Office.

For most direct enrollment programs, you’ll need to complete two applications: 

  • UW Study Abroad application
    • Electronic signature on several study abroad policy documents
  • Program provider application
    • Statement of purpose  
    • Home school nomination
    • Unofficial UW transcript
    • Additional materials depending on the institution

Direct enrollment program deadlines vary based on the program term.

  • April 1 – Summer
  • May 1 – Early Fall & Autumn
  • November 1 – Winter & Spring

*Some direct enrollment programs have earlier deadlines. Please consult the individual program brochure for specific deadlines. 

  • UW Study Abroad Application – Begin a Study Abroad application. 
  • Program provider Application – Begin an application with the partner institution.
  • UW Home University Support – Most direct enrollment programs require approval from your home university. The UW Study Abroad Office completes this approval, sometimes called a letter of support or a nomination. Once you have been cleared by the conduct office, UWSA can complete the home university approval piece of the partner program application.
  • Application review – The program provider will review and approve your application upon review or on a rolling admissions basis. UW Study Abroad will approve your UW Study Abroad application after the program provider has accepted your application on their end.  
  • Direct enrollment program acceptance – After you’ve been accepted to a program, you have 3 weeks to commit to the program and sign your contract. 
  • Program preparation and pre-departure requirements – Take a look at the Get Ready page to see everything you need to do before you leave.
    You must complete several mandatory pre-departure requirements that are outlined in your study abroad application (submit a copy of your passport, attend orientation, submit a payment contract, complete a health survey, etc.) in order to be concurrently enrolled.
  • Passport and visas – A valid passport or travel document is needed for all programs and the visa process can often take time. Please look at visa requirements early! Visit our Passports and visas page for more details. 
  • Course enrollment while abroad
    • Enrollment at UW: All UW students participating in a program for UW credit must be concurrently enrolled with UW Study Abroad. Concurrent enrollment maintains your student affiliation with UW while away, allows resident UW credit for courses taken abroad, and may allow you access to financial aid if the term is eligible. Students are automatically enrolled in FSTDY 300 placeholder course after the deadline for the completion of pre-departure requirements. To maintain full-time enrollment, you should bring back a minimum of 12 UW credits per quarter of enrollment. You can verify your quarters of enrollment in your contract. Use the Credit Conversion Scale (found on the Academics tab of each brochure) for your school to get an idea of credit equivalencies.
    • Enrollment in the partner program courses: you are responsible for enrolling in courses through the partner provider. You should ensure that you’re fully enrolled at the partner university.
  • Credit conversion – When you return, you’ll work with your academic advisers on how courses can be converted back to UW credit using the credit conversion process. UW equivalencies cannot always be determined before departure to a partner program.

Below are some terms that you may encounter during your application process:

  • Commit – this lets us know that you plan to participate in your exchange. There is no financial obligation to commit.
  • Contract – once you sign a payment contract, you are financially obligated to the program and will owe the fees specified in your contract. 
  • Home School Nomination – part of the partner program application requires someone from the UW Study Abroad office to approve your application. For our office to approve your application, you’ll need to have completed the UW Study Abroad application. 

  • How competitive are direct enrollment programs?
    • The competitiveness of programs typically depends on the individual program. Some programs have limited space, and some have more availability. Certain programs do fill up before the deadline so we recommend that if you know that you would like to do a certain program, you should apply as soon as possible.
  • When do direct enrollment applications open?
    • Partner programs typically open about 3 quarters prior to the deadline.
  • What if I don’t get placed in my first choice?  
    • UW Study Abroad recommends that students apply to multiple direct enrollment programs at a time. If you are not accepted, you can work with the provider to identify a second option.
  • What can I study on a direct enrollment program? 
    • Different programs offer different types of academic credit. Courses taken on partner programs can be used to fulfill major or minor credits, general education credits, or electives.
  • How many credits should I take abroad? 
    • You should be enrolled full-time at both the partner program and at UW. You should enroll in enough credits to bring back at least 12 credits for each quarter you are enrolled in FSTDY 300. 
  • Is there a foreign language requirement for direct enrollment programs?
    • Depending on the program, instruction may be in English, the language of the host country, or a combination of the two. If there is a language requirement, it will be listed on the brochure and/or the partner website.
    • That being said, it can be useful to speak at least some of the language of the country where you will be studying since outside of the university, many people won’t speak English.

Ready to Apply?

Visit our upcoming programs page to see a list of open programs

Upcoming Programs