Multi-Destination Short-Term Study Abroad: 5 Reasons Why It’s Beneficial

January 29 , 2020

multi-destination short-term study abroad
Photographer: Sangga Rima Roman Selia | Source: Unsplash

What is a multi-destination short-term study abroad program and why should your organization consider it for your next program?

Multi-destination short-term study abroad programs are 8 weeks in length or less and travel to more than one city or country throughout the course of the program. Europe is the perfect destination for these programs with sought after countries and cities all in close proximity to one another along with the benefits of the Schengen Visa.

Read on to find out the five reasons why multi-destination short-term study abroad should be considered for your future program development.

1) Maximize your time abroad

Short-term programs demand that the time spent abroad is maximized to the fullest extent possible and these programs should not be considered less impactful to students. In fact, our research study, The 2019 European Internship Impact Survey, looked at the impact of study abroad and internships in Europe via an in-depth survey.

In our second report, we looked at the factor of time and how it affects the perceived impact of students on their skill development and overall evaluation of their experience abroad. We sought to answer the question: “Does study abroad length matter?” To read more, download our free report.

In sum, the factor of time did not change the perception of how impactful a study abroad experience is for students. A multi-destination short-term study abroad program maximizes the students’ time abroad and emulates a longer study abroad experience where students typically have more opportunities to travel and visit multiple destinations.

2) Exposure to multiple cultures

When you visit various cities and countries, your students are exposed to a variety of cultures where they have the opportunity to experience the assorted social traditions, food and beverage customs, and varied perspectives of new communities. Studies have shown that exposure to foreign cultures has a significant influence on cultural intelligence.

The study, “Cultural exposure, emotional intelligence, and cultural intelligence: An exploratory study” by Kerri Anne Crowne of Widener University, goes even further to purport that, “…It is evident from this analysis that it is not simply whether one has been abroad or not, but also the number of countries to which one has been exposed and the type of experiences one has had which will have an impact.”

This research provides evidence for the argument that organizing a multi-destination short-term study abroad program will result in a more impactful experience for students and their cultural intelligence.

3) More opportunities for academic enrichment

Include multiple destinations on your program and you will provide the opportunity for additional academic enrichment by including business site visits, special guest lectures and other subject-focus related inclusions to your program in a variety of destinations that allow reflection and cross-cultural comparison.

Multi-destination short-term study abroad programs present your students with the opportunity to make academic and professional connections across these locations and expand their international network.

4) Added value for students

More destinations = more value for students. Students who are considering studying abroad, have a desire to travel and experience new cultures. Through multi-destination short-term programs students are getting more value for their program fee. Adding additional destinations can result in increased costs, depending on the locations, but this is typically not an exorbitant increase and can be done without your program’s budget.

If you’re concerned that additional destinations are going to balloon the program cost, we’d encourage you to inquire with pricing through outside support providers and tour operators whose economies of scale keep programs affordable for students.

5) Experience European transportation

For your European program, your students will have the chance to experience the efficient network of trains, buses, and planes that will allow them to travel with comfort and ease. Europe has a sophisticated transportation network that makes traveling from country to country convenient and affordable. Whether you decide to take private bus transfers, high-speed trains, or short-haul flights, a multi-destination short-term study abroad program would not be complete without experiencing the offerings of European transportation.

Want to discuss organizing your short-term study abroad program? Contact us today.

Program Development

7 Best Questions To Ask When Choosing a Tour Provider

If you’ve decided to start planning your study abroad program and search for a tour provider but don’t know the questions to ask potential providers, we’ve got you covered. Based on 15 years of experience, we have compiled our list of the 7 best and most necessary questions to ask during your process of selecting a tour provider for your program.


Sammi DiBacco

Sammi DiBacco