The Ultimate Guide to Quarter Study Abroad Programs at CIEE

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Summer in Rome

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College Study Abroad

If you’re a student attending an institution with a quarter system, bookmark this post as we provide the ultimate guide to studying abroad with our different quarter programs 

What is a Quarter Study Abroad Program 

A quarter study abroad program is a traditional study abroad program that is broken down by the quarter system. The quarter system, as opposed to standard semesters, follows an academic calendar that’s usually divided into three 10-week terms, whereas a semester system is usually two 15-week semesters.  

With CIEE, students can build their own study abroad quarter programs to meet their academic obligations and stay in line with their institution’s academic calendar! 

Check out our partner Quarter and Trimester Schools below:

University of WashingtonNorthwestern UniversityCalifornia Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
Western Washington UniversityPortland State UniversityCarleton College
Oregon State UniversitySeattle UniversityKalamazoo College

Can You Study Abroad for a Quarter?  

The short answer is yes, CIEE participants can study abroad for a quarter! However, we recommend designing your own quarter program by combining different CIEE programs, such as Open Campus quarter blocks and summer blocks. 

With these combinations, you can create a study abroad program that lasts anywhere from eight, 10, or 12 weeks. And this way, you get to travel to more destinations and take many interesting courses! 

Most Popular Academic Tracks for Quarter Study Abroad  

We offer just about every academic track you can think of with our quarter study abroad programs! This allows students like YOU to earn credits toward your degree all while exploring the world. Talk about a win-win!  

We offer high-quality (and fun) courses in the following areas of study 

No matter what you’re studying, you’ll stay on track with your coursework in our quarter study abroad programs.  

berlin students walking campus

Most Popular Cities for Quarter Study Abroad  

When it comes to designing your own quarter, we offer options in 16 amazing cities around the world: 

  • Berlin: An incredible, European economic hub full of complex history and cool, modern culture 
  • Buenos Aires: Beautiful and lively, this multicultural cosmopolitan city is an ideal study abroad location 
  • Cape Town: A stunning city packed with history and natural beauty  
  • Copenhagen: Known for its happy culture, beautiful canals, and biking, this is one unique city 
  • Dublin: An enchanting city esteemed for its greenery, history, and pub culture 
  • Kyoto: An ancient cultural capital of Japan, boasting teahouses, temples, and beautiful natural landscapes 
  • London: Known for its history, global impact, and interesting attractions, this multicultural city is a great place to meet people from all over the world
  • Madrid: A lively city packed with culture, fútbol, and delicious cuisine
  • Monteverde: Regarded for its ecological practices and wildlife, Monteverde is a fascinating natural city
  • Paris: An iconic city featuring some of the world’s most famous museums, galleries, and attractions
  • Rome: Italy's historic capital known for its culture, museums, and out-of-this-world cuisine 
  • Santiago: Boasting fun nightlife, attractions, and culture, this is one extraordinary city  
  • Shanghai: An impressive modern city known for its incredible landmarks and museums 
  • Singapore: With a thriving economic center, natural beauty, and efficient, modern culture, Singapore is fascinating 
  • Sydney: Famous for its beaches, attractions, and architecture, you can’t beat the beautiful city of Sydney
  • Yucatán: Discover rainforests, jungles, and incredible ancient history in this marvelous city 

No matter where you decide to go on your quarter study abroad program, you’ll be delighted at every turn – each of these locations guarantees an incredible study abroad experience!  

madrid arc study abroad

Top Quarter Study Abroad Programs  

We offer many amazing quarter study abroad programs, but there are a few absolute standouts! Read on to discover program details about our top quarter programs.  

There’s just no beating a trip to Rome! Known as The Eternal City, Italy’s capital is famous for its world-renowned landmarks, museums, galleries, architecture, history, cuisine, and more! Really, there’s so much to see and do in this incredible city, and that’s why it’s an ideal study abroad location.  

Program details:  

  • Length: Six weeks 
  • Credit: 6-7 per Block semester hours/9-10.5 per Block quarter hours 
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA 
  • Featured Course: Mythology and Architecture in Rome  
  • Excursion Highlight: Visit some of Italy’s World Heritage sites like ancient Pompeii and Michelangelo’s David  

Berlin is a fascinating city. As the capital of Germany, the city is known for its landmarks, vibrant culture, and complex history. A study abroad trip to Berlin will be memorable.  

Program details:  

  • Length: Six weeks 
  • Credit: 6-7 per Block semester hours/9-10.5 per Block quarter hours 
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA 
  • Featured Course: German Fairy Tales: Grimm Brothers to the Present  
  • Excursion Highlight: Visit the Kreuzberg district, a center for the arts, music, and digital technology.  

What better way to spend part of your summer than in glorious Paris? Known as the City of Light, Paris is known for just about everything – fashion, food, culture, history, museums, galleries, natural landscapes, and probably even more than that! You’ll have plenty to do during a study abroad program in Paris.  

Program details:  

  • Length: Six weeks 
  • Credit: 6-7 per Block semester hours/9-10.5 per Block quarter hours 
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA 
  • Featured Course: Intercultural Communication and Leadership  
  • Excursion Highlight: Visit the iconic Louvre Museum and see the Mona Lisa with your own eyes
eiffel tower sunset haze

The capital of England, London is a lively multicultural city boasting cafés, museums, galleries, theaters, and more! Studying abroad in London guarantees the experience of a lifetime. 

Program details:  

  • Length: Six weeks 
  • Credit: 6-7 per Block semester hours/9-10.5 per Block quarter hours 
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA 
  • Featured Course: British Women’s Literature  
  • Excursion Highlight: Take a trip to Oxford or Cambridge and join a walking tour through some of the oldest and most beautiful colleges.  

We award millions in scholarships and grants each year to help make study abroad dreams a reality for as many students as possible. We offer special awards for each of our programs, including quarter study abroad programs.  

Because the quarter system is slightly different than a typical semester system, we break down our scholarships based on blocks – two consecutive blocks (like summer blocks or Open Campus Blocks) equal one quarter! So, any eligible quarter student will receive aid for an entire quarter.  

Our scholarships are bucketed in three types:  

  • Need-Based Quarter Scholarships: Based on students’ Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 
  • Merit Quarter Scholarships: Based on academic achievement 
  • Other Quarter Scholarships: Based on other factors like program, alumni status, or enrolled institution 

Make sure to explore our quarter study abroad scholarships page to learn more about applying! We’re always available if you have extra questions, too.  

student hammock laptop scholarship research

Design Your Quarter at CIEE 

A quarter study abroad program is an exciting way to explore the world and expand your horizons – get started today!