Academic Excellence

Our Beliefs, Our Goals, Our Academics

Our academics are focused around the goal of developing our students’ critical thinking skills, comfort with ambiguity, skills for navigating difference, and appreciation for nuance and complexity in approaching the world. We seek to challenge our students, both academically and experientially.

Education in Everything

Academics aren’t just for the classroom. The value of study abroad lies precisely in what students can learn outside the classroom in order to inform and enrich their academic work. We develop programs that bring academics into every facet of the student experience: internships, traveling seminars, language practica, field-based study and research, and excursions with local roommates.

A Liberal Arts Ethos For All Disciplines

Our programs cultivate a liberal arts-inspired spirit of intellectual inquiry for students from all academic backgrounds and interests. We challenge our students to engage with their coursework and context as critical thinkers, experiencing formative intellectual growth while progressing towards their degrees.

Targeted Programs, Small Classes

Our programs target specific academic themes and learning outcomes. Whether the goal is near-native language skills in Beijing, expertise in film production in Prague, or an understanding of social movements in São Paulo, smaller, targeted programs give us the ability to move nimbly, customize around student interests, and engage meaningfully with our host communities.

How Our Academics Operate

  • In our Academic Policies, we ask students to approach their academic work with seriousness, dedication, and honesty, and to respect the rights of their classmates, roommates, and faculty to do the same.
  • Our Syllabus System balances our US partners’ need to review course content in advance with our faculty’s need for flexibility in updating readings, assignments, and other course elements each term.
  • Our Credit Recommendation System, developed in consultation with US partners, ensures academic rigor in all courses and fair credit allocation across programs.

Working with US Partners

We understand that each school has its own academic framework and its own priorities for internationalization. When we work with schools, our response is partnership—a genuine, authentic partnership. We aim for a two-way street of collaborating, sharing goals, and strategizing on how best to meet them.

While our belief in strong academics is consistent, our program models are diverse. What’s more, we love to develop programs around our partners’ unique institutional needs and goals. We welcome the innovations that our partners bring to our academic portfolio. Making it your program is our way of making it ours.

Working with Overseas Partners

Our partnerships with overseas institutions walk the same path as our partnerships with US universities—same collaborative approach, same emphasis on flexibility. Whether we are bringing faculty from the Film & Television School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague on board as experts for our ATA-Smithsonian Cannes program, or assisting Osaka Gakuin University with their campus internationalization efforts, our goal remains reciprocal, responsive, and sustainable relationships that work for both sides.

Joining forces with overseas partners in this way allows us to deliver the best of study abroad—a mediated experience that offers students outstanding direct-enroll course options within curated curricula, expects students to embrace different teaching styles, and encourages students to form meaningful connections with local students and faculty.