Study Abroad

Lone Star College System is proud to offer Study Abroad opportunities to students who are interested in studying abroad. Study abroad programs are available for students who are interested in studying in different countries around the globe.

Financial Aid & Student Scholarships May Be Available

What is Study Abroad?

Study abroad is a program that allows students to take one or more classes in a country other than the United States for academic credit. Study abroad offers valuable opportunities to visit another country, experience another culture firsthand, build your cross-cultural skills, enhance your resume, immerse yourself in another language, challenge yourself in new ways, and make new friends.

About Lone Star College Study Abroad Programs

Lone Star College study abroad programs are:
  • Short-term: Programs take place either during the May minimester or the summer semester. Time abroad varies between 1 week to 1 month depending on the program.
  • Led by LSC faculty: Study abroad courses are taught by the same great faculty that teach on campus. Faculty also organize the programs.
  • For-credit: Study abroad participants complete coursework while in Texas and in the foreign country and earn a grade for the course(s).
  • In a variety of courses: The majority of our study abroad courses each year are in non-language subjects such as Art Appreciation, Creative Writing, Geography, Government, History, Physical Education, Philosophy, and Psychology. Non-language courses are conducted in English so no previous foreign language knowledge is required. Our language classes are at the beginner’s level or the previous levels may be taken prior to the trip.

For information on the study abroad programs being offered and available information sessions, please visit the Programs Offered page.

Benefits of Studying Abroad

Studying abroad offers unparalleled opportunities to:
  • Visit another country
  • Discover a new culture
  • Immerse yourself in a new language
  • Build your cross-cultural skills
  • Make new friends
  • Challenge yourself in new ways - Whether it's trying to navigate the local public transportation system or finding creative ways to overcome the language barrier, study abroad offers countless opportunities to discover new skills and build existing ones.
  • Set yourself apart - Study abroad experience is valuable when applying for jobs or transfer admissions

This is what past LSC Study Abroad Participants said about their experiences:

"This program was more than just a trip. The way that the curriculum was designed created and applied to the trip really made it an experience of a lifetime. I was able to think about my life in ways that I had not done so before, and I have learned lessons past the class and into my life.”                                                                                                                                                                                     
2013 Great Britain Program Participant

“Truly being able to learn in a new way and apply the knowledge! So different from studying in a classroom with 4 walls and desks.”                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                         -2013 Tanzania Program Participant  
                                                                               (in response to the greatest value of the program)

“Besides it being an educational trip, because I literally learned new things every day it became an experience that changed my views of the world, broaden[ed] my horizons, and had me refle[ct] on my beliefs as a student and a person. It was an incredible experience emerging in a new culture that has made me grow as a person.”                                             
-2013 Ireland Program Participant

 “My most favorite [experiences] were my professors and classmates. The people made the trip so worth it!”    
-2013 Great Britain Program Participant

“Well I sincerely feel like I’ve seen and experience a whole new world. This trip was humbling, life-changing, and incredible more than anything, even academically. It had an extremely personal effect. I want to adopt, I want to build an orphanage/school, I want to give a year of my life to fill needs I saw, all because of this trip.”     
                                                                                            -2013 Tanzania Program Participant
                                                                               (in response to the greatest value of the program)

Ten Myths about Study Abroad 



#1: Community colleges do not offer study abroad programs.

Lone Star has been offering SA for the last 10 years.  Students have explored Chile, China, Costa Rica, England, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, Scotland, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania and taken courses in Accounting, Art Appreciation, Biology, British Literature, Chinese, English, Ethics, Geology, Geography, History, Kinesiology, Logic, Psychology, Spanish, and Speech.

#2: Community college students don't participate in study abroad programs.

In the past eight years, approximately 350 Lone Star students completed study abroad programs. Here is what one of them had to say about their experience: “This program was more than just a trip. The way that the curriculum was designed created and applied to the trip really made it an experience of a lifetime. I was able to think about my life in ways that I had not done so before, and I have learned lessons past the class and into my life.”                   -2013 Participant

#3: International experience is not important for employers.

Houston is a global city and the capital city for oil and gas industry.  The nature of business is becoming more global so many Houston employers are looking for employees with global competency.

#4: You have to study abroad for an entire semester or an entire year.

Lone Star study abroad programs are short-term and take place during the May minimester or the summer. Time abroad varies with each program but typically lasts anywhere from 1 week to 1 month. You will meet on campus/online for the remainder of your course. Courses typically last anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 weeks.

#5: It’s too early or too late to study abroad.

There is no early or late time to enroll in a study abroad program.  However, you can get a head start by studying abroad while at a community college. LSC students can study abroad as early as their first year provided they meet the prerequisites of the course being offered abroad or even near the end of the degree plan.

#6: Studying abroad is too expensive to study abroad and I can’t afford it.

Lone Star programs are short-term during the May minimester or the summer. Time abroad lasts between 1 week to  1 month which helps keep the cost down. LSC also offers a need-based scholarships for students to help pay for their programs. Planning early and budgeting your monthly expenses can help make your dream a reality. There are numerous outside scholarships also available. A Lone Star student received the Gilman scholarship, a prestigious national award:

#7: I can't progress with my AA/AS degree plan if I study abroad.

LSC students complete coursework as part of the study abroad program. Therefore, you will receive course credit which can be applied toward your core class requirements or electives depending on your degree plan just like with classes offered on campus.

#8: Only students with high GPAs can participate on a study abroad program.

LSC students with a variety of GPAs participate on study abroad.

#9: I don't speak a foreign language so I can't participate on a study abroad program.

Prior foreign language knowledge is not a requirement for any Lone Star study abroad programs. Most courses offered abroad through Lone Star are not foreign language courses. These courses are taught by LSC faculty who will communicate with you in English.

#10: It is not safe to study abroad.

Spending time abroad is just as safe as living in a large city like Houston if you exercise common sense and follow program policies. LSC ensures that program destination countries are safe before allowing students to travel there; countries currently under a Department of State Travel Warning for serious safety threats such as terrorism and war are prohibited.

Process to Join a Study Abroad Program

To get started in the process of participating on a study abroad program:

1. Contact the professor in charge of the program of interest for information on space availability, cost, and program application process. Contact information can be found on the Programs Offered page.

2. Complete the program application, pay any application deposits, and fulfill any other program requirements. Each program may have a different application and requirements. If the program does not have their own application, use the general Study Abroad Student Program Application.

3. Apply for scholarships, if qualified. Note: Receiving a scholarship is not required to join a study abroad program as long as the student is able to pay the appropriate costs.

4. Pay any remaining deposits or fees toward the program.

5. Please see the Student Study Abroad Handbook to prepare for your program.

6. Have more questions? Please see the FAQ's and the Study Abroad Student Checklist for more information.

Financial Aid & Student Scholarships

Financial Aid

Our college system has resources available to eligible students that help with the cost of studying abroad. Enrollment in a program of study abroad approved for credit by the home school may be considered enrollment in the home school for purposes of applying for federal student financial aid.

Study Abroad Student Scholarships

Update on 2014-2015 Study Abroad Scholarships: Applications were due by 5 PM on Monday, November 10, 2014.  All scholarship funds for 2014-2015 have been awarded. Therefore, a second round of scholarship applications will not be accepted. Please check back in August 2015 for an update on scholarships for 2015-2016 programs. Students interested in studying abroad are not required to receive a scholarship to participate on a Lone Star College study abroad program. Please contact the instructor in charge of the program that interests you for information on space availability and acceptance criteria. Lone Star College System offers a limited number of need-based scholarships each year to help students pay for their Lone Star College study abroad programs.

Lone Star College System offers a limited number of need-based scholarships each year to help students pay for their Lone Star College study abroad programs.

Plan to apply for a Study Abroad Student Scholarship and explore the many avenues of studying abroad. Students may be awarded the Study Abroad Student Scholarship from Lone Star College System if they meet certain requirements.  Check back for the 2015-2016 Study Abroad Scholarship Application for the latest requirements.

Students are encouraged to obtain information regarding other financial assistance and scholarship resources for study abroad courses.


Benjamin A Gilman Scholarship

Each year the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship awards undergraduate students who meet certain requirements and plan to participate on an eligible for-credit study abroad program during either the fall, spring or summer semesters or for a full academic year. The scholarship can be used to cover costs such as program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare.  

For summer or fall 2015 or Academic Year 2015-2016, community college students participating on a study abroad program where they spend at least 14 days in one country are eligible as long as they meet the other requirements. For more information about eligibility and deadlines visit the Gilman scholarship website.

A Lone Star College student has previously received a Gilman scholarship. Martha Ocampo, who was one of the Lone Star College students with the 2010-2011 Study Abroad Program to China, was the first Lone Star student to receive the scholarship. The selection process was very competitive with less than 20 percent of the applicants being awarded.

The scholarship is funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education (IIE).