Academics People and Community

Interest in study abroad surges

With new global location offerings, the University of Miami Office of Study Abroad is ready to support students in finding the best fit for their international educational experience.
Study Abroad
A camel ride in Asilah, Morocco. Photo: Sarah Schuringa

When Richard Grant spent a couple of months this summer in South Africa, he was on a mission to refamiliarize himself with a country he hadn’t visited since 2020 when the pandemic struck. 

A professor in the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences, Grant has been conducting research in South Africa and other African nations for more than two decades. He has led the University’s student study abroad program to Cape Town, called UCape Town, since 2013. 

He is excited about the UCape Town program starting up again in spring 2024 after a pause was put in place because of COVID-19. 

“This study abroad program increases a student’s cross-cultural competency,” said Grant, noting that Cape Town has a rich culture but is steeped in the dark scars of apartheid and the amazing story of Nelson Mandela. A global hero who spent 27 years in prison for opposing oppression before being released, Mandela later became the country’s first democratically elected president. 

“Study abroad enables students to see firsthand the challenges of the people in the global south and the differences between—in my case—living in South Africa versus the United States,” Grant said. “It builds a student’s confidence and their worldview. It enables them to engage in cross-cultural learning much more than conventional travel.” 

This year, the Office of Study Abroad has seen a surge in interest for its academic programs, which are expanding in spring 2024 to UMadrid, ULondon, and UCosta Rica. 

The new locations complement existing locales, which in addition to UCape Town include UGalapagos, UBarcelona, ULatin America, UParis, UPrague, URome, USeville, and UShanghai. “Spring applications are up over 40 percent compared to this time last year,” said Devika Milner, assistant dean and director of the Office of Study Abroad. It partners with international institutions that align with the University’s academic standards. There are three types of programs offered—U Programs, UM Partner Programs, and Faculty Led Programs.


The U Programs are semester-long study abroad opportunities offered during the spring and fall semesters. Students who enroll will study alongside other University students sharing academic coursework and activities. On several U programs, a University faculty member teaches onsite at the international location during a portion of the semester. 

The UM Partner programs give students the opportunity to be active learners as exchange students at an international institution for a semester or full academic year. Faculty Led Programs are short term and exclusive for the January intersession, spring break, or summer semester. 

Typically, locations in Europe are the most popular, Milner shared, though the Study Abroad staff encourages students to be open to exploring nontraditional locations where they can benefit from living and studying in communities that are different from their own. 

“Study abroad,” said Milner, “blends a cultural experience with an immersive learning environment. The benefits to students are immense as they expand their global knowledge through firsthand experiences and interactions across cultures.” 

Learn more about Study Abroad programs and information sessions. The deadline to apply for most Spring 2024 U programs is September 1.