A Specialty program represents a kind of extension campus of the US Affiliate Universities. It is the responsibility of the USAC Central Office and its employees around the world to design and operate each Specialty program abroad.
A Specialty program provides a great deal of individualized support and attention prior to departure and throughout the program term. Each program site abroad has a permanent, full-time Resident Director, staff and faculty to ensure that the students’ needs are met. Courses offered abroad meet or exceed US accreditation standards. These courses tend to be offered every year and become a defining characteristic of each program. Typically, they have been pre-approved and students are actually registered at a US Affiliate University during their sojourn abroad, greatly facilitating access to scholarships and financial aid.
Students who participate on a Specialty program receive a US transcript from one of the USAC Affiliate Universities.
A Specialty program typically offers intensive language study as well as an assortment of courses from disciplines such as economics, political science, history, etc. Furthermore, it may offer a concentration of courses in one or more disciplines, such as international business in Shanghai, China, Bilbao, Spain and Torino, Italy; life sciences in San Ramón, Costa Rica; and art history in Madrid, Spain. Course offerings include a mix of courses taught in English and in the local language. Students are taught by local and visiting US professors and attend class primarily with other USAC students. Specialty programs are almost always located on the campus of a foreign university. All of the resources at that university are available to USAC students and provide extraordinary integration opportunities: language conversation partners, campus activities and clubs, cafeterias, internet labs, recreational facilities, etc.
USAC staff members arrange housing, plan USAC-sponsored field trips/tours, seek out internship placements, volunteer and service learning opportunities in the local community and businesses, and are available to students for travel suggestions, advising and other needs while abroad.