Who Will Benefit from ACA Programs

ACA programs are designed for more than those pursuing a major or minor in a modern language. Students majoring in other areas may find the year abroad personally and professionally rewarding.

Second-language skills are becoming more and more necessary for successful participation in an ever-shrinking global village. For persons concentrating in an area of the humanities that allows for considerable amounts of electives, the year abroad need not extend the time for completion of a degree program at the ‘home campus’. Although three of the seven international schools offer little or no course work in the natural or behavioral sciences, students may, by care in planning with their advisers at the beginning of their freshman year, satisfy requirements even in these areas within the normal time frame.

Students who require some time extension generally indicate that they would not trade the international experience for anything. In addition to new cultural perspectives and language skills, students who plan well will have have completed requirements for foreign language minors and most requirements towards a major in foreign language, if offered at their home university. For professional programs such as business, nursing, medical technology, and other allied health professions, a year abroad may extend the time necessary for graduation. However, by prudent use of the allowed electives the added time may be limited to one or two summers’ work. Students who cannot spend a full academic year abroad may achieve a portion of these benefits by enrolling in one of the ACA Summer Language Programs. They can also enroll for one quarter or two. Information about these programs appears under summer Programs.

Important notice on language pre-requisites:  Before applying for the academic year programs in Argentina or Spain, students must have completed either 2 years of Spanish language in High school or 1 year of Spanish in college.

ALL other programs (academic year + summer) accept students who are total beginners in the target language. There is NO language pre-requisite for the summer program in Spain.

However, for all academic year programs, students who have completed one year or more of college-level language study will have a much easier adjustment and will probably be enrolled in higher level courses right on their first quarter/semester abroad. In addition, please be advised that intermediate and upper level students are eligible for internships at the study abroad program.

The general prerequisites for admission to the program are:

  • A college GPA of 2.00 overall.
  • For academic year programs in Spain and Argentina only: A college GPA of 2.50 in the pre-requisite language, showing competence in the language.