Overseas Seminars are an exciting and rewarding way to engage in short-term study abroad with Stanford University. Taught and led by Stanford faculty, these programs are specifically designed to integrate course content and program location.  

Program Structure

Overseas Seminars are courses that take place over the summer, providing alternative study abroad opportunities for Stanford undergraduates. Programs are taught and led by Stanford faculty at various locations around the world that have direct relevance to the course content. Locations and topics change every year. 

Each program is limited to 12-15 students. Grading basis is either mandatory satisfactory/no credit (S/NC) or mandatory letter grade as determined by each faculty leader.

Find out more about each program by exploring the program locations.


Determine eligibility by reading through Step 1 of the Application Process.


Participating students pay a program fee as outlined below. Stanford provides students on all programs with room and board, transportation and course activities for the duration of the program.

Program Fee =  $600 (3-weeks or less) or $800 (4-weeks) 

The program fee does not cover:

  • International travel costs to and from the program location
  • Visa costs 
  • Pre-departure immunization/vaccination costs
  • Course materials
  • International health insurance
  • In-country cell phone costs
  • Other incidental expenses (such as: laundry and souvenirs)

Some financial assistance towards the program fee may be available from BOSP for students with demonstrated financial need as determined by the Financial Aid Office. Students will be notified by BOSP regarding their eligibility for a fee waiver after they get accepted or waitlisted for a specific program. Based on eligibility, some students may qualify for a seminar travel grant to use towards the cost of travel. Eligibility will be determined by the Financial Aid Office. Students may only receive one seminar travel grant during their time at Stanford. Students have until the withdrawal deadline (March 15, 2019) to withdraw without a financial penalty. Please contact the Financial Aid Office directly if you wish to discuss the possibility of taking out student loans to cover program costs.

Expectations and Preparation

All program participants are required to attend the entire program, from the scheduled arrival date/time through the scheduled departure date/time. Prior to their programs, BOSP and faculty leaders conduct a series of mandatory orientation sessions, which includes an online orientation module and two orienation meetings during Winter and Spring Quarter. Some faculty leaders may also offer a required pre-program course and/or additional meetings, so that students are more academically and culturally prepared. These meetings also provide excellent opportunities for students to interact with other program participants before they go overseas.

Activity Level

The activity level of Overseas Seminars varies depending on the location and academic focus. You can find more information about the activity level for your program or program of interest in the Quick Facts section of the program-specific webpage. If you have questions about the activity level for a specific program, please contact a BOSP Special Programs Coordinator.

  • Light: Activities may include city walking tours, easy/short hikes, museum and other site visits
  • Light/Moderate: Activities may include city walking tours, easy/short hikes, museum and other site visits as well as an occasional physical activity such as snorkeling, hiking, or kayaking.
  • Moderate: Participants should expect to spend multiple hours each day engaging in physical activity such as hiking or snorkeling.
  • Moderate/Strenuous: Participants should expect to spend multiple hours engaging in physical activity such as hiking or snorkeling. Some days might require more physical activity such as a full day or snorkeling or hiking on steep terrain.
  • Strenuous: Activities may include full-day hikes (sometimes at high altitude and on steep terrain that may or may not be exposed) or full-day kayaking excursions or other physical activities.

Program Modification and Cancelation

Stanford reserves the right to cancel or modify the program before or during its operation for any reason, including natural disasters, emergencies, low enrollment, or unavailability of facilities or personnel or compliance with the University travel policy. The specific program dates, itineraries, locations, facilities, and activities are subject to change depending on available resources at the time, safety and security sitautions on the ground, and other important considerations that may arise for a successful implementation of the program.