Study Abroad

Study abroad is an opportunity to continue your Roger Williams University education while living in another country. Our world has become increasingly inter-related and learning about globalization and intercultural perspectives is necessary for success in our communities and our workplace. Study abroad is relevant and meaningful for students in any academic discipline interested in getting the most out of the RWU experience.

Get Started with Study Abroad

Hundreds of Roger Williams students you see on campus are either just back from a semester or short-term program abroad, or just about to leave for one. Right now, students are studying theater in London, arts and architecture in Florence and marine biology in Bermuda and Belize – all programs that are directly sponsored by Roger Williams University.

Central to Roger Williams University's mission is the belief that a complete college education today involves study abroad. Our message to students is simple: Go Global! Experience other cultures. Develop a new worldview. Carry the knowledge gained from study abroad into your life-long learning and careers that increasingly are enhanced by first-hand international and intercultural experiences.

Roger Williams University offers several study abroad programs that are administered directly by Roger Williams University as well as programs offered through our affiliated partners.

No matter what type of experience you're interested in, Roger Williams University has a program for you.

Semester and Academic Year Programs

Semester and Academic Year Programs offer many different program models. University-based programs provide a well-structured opportunity for students to expand their knowledge of the host culture and to develop a well-grounded perceptual understanding of their new environment. Academic credit is primarily acquired through classroom instruction, although certain courses (e.g., art, history, civilization) will complement classroom instruction with field trips and cultural excursions. Language and culture-based programs are designed to encourage and motivate students to immerse themselves as much as possible into the local culture. Discipline-specific programs allow certain majors to participate in an immersive program that incorporates field work into the academic offerings.

Our study abroad programs are either run directly by Roger Williams University , by our partner schools overseas or through affiliated program providers. 

RWU has developed formal affiliations with a carefully selected list of quality program providers that are recognized nationally for their proven academic integrity, strong focus on experiential learning and excellent reputation for providing quality support services to students abroad. In order to make the study abroad process as seamless as possible, RWU students who participate on these affiliated programs will, in most cases, continue to pay their tuition, fees, room and board directly to RWU. This arrangement allows RWU students to remain eligible to receive federal and state financial aid, as well as institutional aid.

RWU students have a choice between different styles of programs. Each type of program will give students specific academic and living experience, depending onw hat the students is interested in pursuing.

RWU Flagship Study Abroad Programs

The RWU in Florence offers an exceptional academic experience in one of the world's most culturally rich cities. Students can take courses in architecture, art history, visual arts, political science, history, cultural studies and Italian language.

The London Theatre Program allows students to experience life in a vibrant and truly cosmopolitan city, while being part of intimate cohort of students.  Truly the best of both worlds. While traditionally organized for Theatre students, the program now accommodates students studying Dance, English Literature, Creative Writing, Graphic Design as well as Elementary and Secondary Education.   

Affiliated university-based programs

Affiliated university-based programs provide a well-structured opportunity for students to expand their knowledge of the host culture and to develop a well-grounded perceptual understanding of their new environment. Academic credit is primarily acquired through classroom instruction, although certain courses (e.g., art, history, civilization) will complement classroom instruction with field trips and cultural excursions.

Language and culture-based programs

Language and culture-based programs are designed to encourage and motivate students to immerse themselves as much as possible into the local culture. Although classroom lectures are an important dimension of these programs, a major focus is placed on experiential learning, i.e., the development of opportunities for students to have direct contact with the host culture, be it through a field research project, involvement with community service projects or student teaching.  Students who are particularly motivated to undertake the rigors of direct cultural immersion and who are accustomed to working independently might find field-based programs to be particularly rewarding.  

Discipline-specific programs

Discipline-specific programs allow natural science, business, engineering and other majors to incorporate an international dimension into their studies.  RWU is aware that students outside the humanities and social sciences have traditionally had few options for study abroad, short of extending their studies an additional semester.  We have consequently identified a number of quality discipline-specific programs that will allow such students to study abroad, confident that they are continuing to make progress towards graduation. Careful planning well in advance of the semester abroad is important, so students from these disciplines are particularly encouraged to work closely with both the SCGIP and their faculty advisors to identify the program that is right for them.

Online Application System

For more detailed information on the many programs offered and the process required to apply you can visit the new online application system:

Faculty-led Programs

Faculty-led Programs are another option for Roger Williams University students. These programs are offered during Winter Intersession, Spring Break, Mini-Mester and Summer Session timeframes. These program are academically based, credit bearing courses that incorporate travel to a specific location.

If you are interested, please contact or stop by the Spiegel Center for more information.

  • RWU "Bridging the World" & "Global Engagement" SCHOLARSHIPS are available and should be filled out at the time of application.
  • It is not guaranteed that each program will run every year.
  • Requirements include a satisfactory GPA, judicial history and faculty leader approval. Additional requirements may apply.
  • All information is subject to change.


Roger Williams University reserves the right to cancel Faculty-led programs offered during the academic year for insufficient enrollment or for any other reason. Should it prove necessary to do so the school will notify all registrants.

Scholarships for Faculty-led Short Term Programs

Students applying to RWU-sponsored short term study abroad programs are eligible to apply for the Bridging the World and Global Engagement Scholarships. 

The Bridging the World Scholarship has 2 criteria for which scholarships can be awarded:

  • Scholarship awards based on academic merit only
  • Scholarships based on financial need and academic merit

The Global Engagement Scholarship is a need based scholarship only based on an the applicant's FAFSA score.

Students can obtain a scholarship fact sheet and application at the Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs.


Service Learning and International Internships

Service Learning and International Internships are two areas that students are very interested in pursuing while studying abroad. Roger Williams University offers many programs that incorporate both service learning and internship opportunities. There are also some internship-specific programs available where students can earn credit for their work experience.

Service Learning

At Roger Williams University, we believe the college experience should encompass a lot more than classroom study and on-campus activities. Service learning while studying abroad is a great way to become more involved in the local culture. This will enhance your overall study abroad experience and allow you to gain more personal benefits.

Many of the study abroad programs offered at Roger Williams also have service opportunities available to students. We encourage our students to explore these options. Please speak with the staff at the Spiegel Center to learn more about the service opportunities available.


Roger Williams University currently offers two international internship programs. These are academically based, credit bearing programs that integrate a cultural element to the workplace experience.

Sydney Summer Internship Program (offered through Arcadia University)

University of Westminster Semester Internship Program

Study Abroad Resources & Forms

Where Can I Go?Students explore historic building

Whether you're considering going abroad for a semester, a summer session, a winter term or an academic year, you literally have the world available to you!

RWU’s semester programs in Florence and London provide carefully structured opportunities for academic study and cultural immersion in these two monumental cities. Additionally, we’ve developed formal affiliations with a select list of nationally recognized program providers that deliver profound academic and cultural immersion experiences on five different continents.

Find Your Destination

Which Program is Best for Me?

Depending upon your particular geographical interest and field of study, you have a choice between traditional university-based programs abroad, culturally immersive programs and discipline-specific programs.  Several study abroad programs offer students internship and service learning opportunities as well.

Students high five children.Semester option not for you? Not to worry, our short term programs can take you to places like England, Spain, Chile, Ireland, Morocco or Belize (and we’re expanding these options…stay tuned for more!)

Take a moment to reflect on your academic and personal desires and preferences. Not all programs are appropriate for every student. Are you adventurous? Maybe a culturally immersive or language-based program would work best for you. Would you prefer a more structured program that offers traditional classroom settings? Then you should look into conventional-type programs. Here are some more questions to ask yourself to determine what type of program you should consider:

  • Would you prefer a university setting or a more intimate and personal setting?
  • Do you need to take courses to fulfill major, minor and/or Core Concentration requirements?
  • Do you prefer to live in a large city or a small town?
  • Would you prefer to live with a host family? In an apartment? In a dormitory?
  • Which study model will work best for you? Independent or one similar to the U.S.?

In most cases, students can maximize their semester experience abroad by satisfying a Core Concentration in International Studies. Please consult the guidelines for completion of this core concentration.

These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself before you decide where you want to study.

Find the Perfect Program for You

Eligibility Requirements

  • Admission to a Roger Williams University (RWU) study abroad program is based on good academic standing, dean/advisor approval, meeting all judicial standards requirements, a completed application with associated forms.
  • Minimum GPA requirements will vary from 2.5 to a 3.0. Check the specific program's website or with the Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs for individual program cumulative GPA requirements.
  • Some faculty led programs will have course prerequisites to be eligible.
  • Some faculty led programs do have restrictions according to class year (Junior, Senior, etc)
  • Some semester programs do have a minimum number of credits completed to be eligible.

Start an Online Profile and Application

Even before you are ready to study abroad, it is beneficial to visit our study abroad portal so you can access study abroad program information, scholarship information, communicate with study abroad advisors, get invited to information sessions and presentations, and make the study abroad office aware of your interest in study abroad.  By completing your online profile, you will be able to access all of the information you will need to move ahead with the process.

(Please note that for many of our Semester-based Study Abroad Programs, you will be required to complete application materials for the program host in addition to the required RWU materials.)

Meet with your academic advisor as soon as possible to discuss a semester abroad. This step is important in determining which semester will work best for you and which courses you need to focus on to graduate.

You must follow RWU's deadlines for application and NOT those of the affiliate program that you are applying to:

Faculty Led Program Deadlines

Winter = October 1
Spring Break = November 1
Summer = December 1

Semester Deadlines

Spring Programs = October 1
Fall Programs = March 1
ALL Architecture Programs for the following academic year = March 1

Semester Credit Info

When selecting study abroad courses, you will need to have RWU course equivalents assigned. It is your responsibility to take the course descriptions to the appropriate department for equivalency determination.

  • When selecting courses for a study abroad program, make sure you also select at least 4 alternative courses as well.

Keep in Mind

Study abroad is a privilege and not a right. Your ability to participate in a semester-long sponsored/affiliate program is based on your application, reference, academic record and judicial history.

Program costs, including deposits, are based on RWU fees (and NOT those of the sponsoring/affiliate program) and are paid directly to RWU. Nothing should be paid to our affiliated program sponsors. Additional costs may apply to specific programs and/or courses.

Check with the Spiegel Center for more information.

Paying for your Trip 

For most of the RWU study abroad programs, both our own flagship programs and the affiliated programs, students will pay your standard RWU semester tuition in addition to the standard housing fee, semester fees and when applicable the standard meal charges will be in effect.   

Please remember, students are responsible for the cost of airfare, their own spending money and independent travel costs.  Students need to budget independently for optional and extracurricular activities, including personal travel and spending money.  Also, knowledge of the current exchange rates in relation to the local currency of where you will be studying will help you budget effectively.

Students will normally be covered under their regular health insurance.  If students are covered under the RWU CHP Policy, this will also cover the student while studying abroad.  Some programs will provide additional health insurance coverage that is dictated by visa regulations.

Please consult with the Financial Aid office to determine how your particular aid will be affected by a semester abroad.
Tuition remission and tuition exchange does not apply to most study abroad programs.

Learn About Study Abroad Scholarship

We invite you to call Roger Williams University's Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs at 401-254-3899 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m EST during the academic year, Monday through Friday to discuss any concerns you might have about your daughter's/son's participation in a study abroad program.

Program Costs

Most parents normally respond to their student's request to study abroad with "What is this going to cost me?" It is important to discuss this question with the Office of Financial Aid to determine your specific financial aid status. Your student's financial aid may be applied to the approved roster of study abroad programs.

Roger Williams University students will pay RWU all fees if participating in an approved program. Typically these fees will include tuition, room and health insurance fees. Programs that include meals will vary and we encourage you to check with the Spiegel Center for the most up to date listing.

Additional expenses including airfare, books, passport and visa fees, in-country transportation and incidentals, which inmost cases are not included. Students should provide the Office of Financial Aid with estimated costs.

Safety Abroad

We don't joke about safety abroad. We take this subject very seriously. We constantly evaluate the academics, service and quality of life available in our programs.

All of our programs provide limited health insurance because we care about the welfare of our students. Programs have highly trained staff available 24 hours a day on-site to deal with situations that may arise.

Risks are inherent in any study abroad program. We discern and broadcast risks so students can take the necessary precautions. Our warranty of safety abroad is the same as the guarantee of safety in the U.S. However, there are events that are outside of our control, and responsible behavior by your daughter or son lessens the risks associated with being abroad. Students who behave responsibly usually do not have difficulties abroad.

Credits and Academics

With proper planning a semester and even a year-long study abroad program will not delay graduation. A student should work with an academic advisor and the Spiegel Center to plan a course of study that works for the student’s academic benefit. Coursework completed on approved programs comes back as graded courses for academic credit.


Health & Safety

Culture Shock & Transition Adjustment


Financial Aid

Returning Home


Main Line
(401) 254-3899

Fax Number
(401) 254-3575

Kevin C. Hayden
Director of Study Abroad Programs

Becky Denson
Study Abroad Program Manager