Communication, BA, BS

Why YOU Should Study Abroad 

The Hugh Downs School offers a unique, exciting opportunity for students to have an intercultural experience while completing their general studies requirements in cultural diversity, global awareness, as well as completing their degree requirements in communication.

Study abroad programs provide an opportunity for you to develop a valuable skill set that can give you an advantage over the competition by:

  • Improving your language and cross cultural skills for effective communication across populations;
  • Developing critical teamwork and problem solving skills while interacting with others in a global setting;
  • Expanding knowledge of liberal arts through the lens of different cultures;
  • Enhancing your education through a wide variety of international experiences

A Message from the Hugh Downs School of Human communication

“In the global world that we live in, understanding others’ cultures and histories are essential. For example, the HDSHC study abroad program to London, Dublin, and Edinburgh, Scotland provides our students with three countries and three cultures that have amazing connections to one another. Through complicated histories of colonization, wars, rebellions and times of peace you come to understand these three great countries and how people negotiate current and historical relationships.”

- Belle Edson, Director of Undergraduate Studies     

Planning Your Program

When to study abroad

When to study abroad

With advance planning, you should be able to fit study abroad within your four years at ASU. The Hugh Downs School recommended timeline to consider study abroad activities is as follows:

Year Term Recommended Student Action
Year 1 Spring Begin thinking of study abroad possibilities such as exploring locations of interest
Year 2 Fall/Spring/Summer
  • Identify a study abroad program focused on your interests and needs
  • Meet with an Academic Advisor to discuss your interests
  • Consider possible scholarships, grants, and other funding opportunities - Plan ahead!
  • Visit The Futures Center in Armstrong Hall to investigate careers and/or graduate schools that may be enhanced through study abroad
Year 3

Optimal year to study abroad
Fall - Spring
  • Decide on programs of interest, and follow up with the Study Abroad Office
  • Many popular summer programs will be full by December - So apply early!
  • Know the deadlines for any programs you may be interested in (when the application goes live, etc.)
  • Know which courses you will receive credit for as part of your study abroad program
  • Complete a fall or spring study abroad program
Summer Complete a summer study abroad program
Year 4 Fall - Spring Meet with an Academic Advisor to verify applicable study abroad course credit has been received

General Advice

General Advice

Advice from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication

  • Typically, study abroad courses are best applied directly toward your upper division (300 or 400-level) electives.

  • The Hugh Downs School Communication Summer Study Abroad Program in London, Dublin and Edinburgh will allow you to earn upper division COM credit.

  • Meet with your Academic Advisor to discuss how study abroad credits will apply toward your degree.

Advice from the Study Abroad Office

  • Be sure to view the list of recommended steps for getting started on your study abroad journey.

  • Attend a Study Abroad 101 info session to get all the basic information from a Study Abroad Student Recruiter on program types, eligibility, housing, finances, searching for and choosing a program and the application process. Discover times and locations.

Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad workshop to get information on program fees and deadlines, how financial aid can apply to study abroad, how to utilize community-based funding and tips on finding and applying for study abroad scholarships. Discover times and locations.

Meet With Your Academic Advisor

Meet With Your Academic Advisor

How to make an appointment

Schedule an advising appointment through your MY ASU or from the Hugh Downs School Advising page.

Key questions to ask

  • What are my remaining degree requirements?
  • How many upper-division credits do I still need to complete for my degree?
  • How many elective credits (lower vs. upper division) do I have left to complete my major?
  • What remaining prerequisites must I fulfill, and how will study abroad impact my progress?
  • Which of my remaining degree requirements could I complete abroad?  Are there any that I cannot take abroad?
  • Can I receive academic credit for an internship abroad?
  • Are there any in-residence requirements I need to be aware of before I go abroad?

Meet With the Study Abroad Office

Meet With the Study Abroad Office

Meeting with a Peer Advisor

Peer Advisors are ASU students who have studied abroad on various types of programs and who are here to help you get started on a journey of your own!  They are prepared to help you understand the different types of programs offered, narrow down your program options, guide you on the application process, discuss program costs, and speak about student life abroad.

No appointments are necessary to meet with a Peer Advisor.

  • Stop by the Study Abroad Office anytime Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Contact a Peer Advisor by email.
  • Call a Peer Advisor at (480) 965-5965.

Meeting with an International Coordinator

Your International Coordinator can answer your questions about specific programs, can talk you through the application process, and can help you find funding resources for your particular program on the Study Abroad Office website. Your International Coordinator is happy to meet with you multiple times to answer your questions, and he/she would be glad to schedule meetings in person, by phone, or via Skype.

  • Find the name of your International Coordinator listed on the Study Abroad Office webpage for your program of interest.
  • Schedule an appointment online. Click on the International Coordinator name for your program of interest and follow the prompts to schedule your appointment.
  • Visit an International Coordinator during walk-in hours in Student Services Building, Room 278.

Key questions to ask the Study Abroad Office

  • What are the eligibility requirements for my program(s) or interest?
  • What is involved in the application for my program(s) of interest? Is admission to the program competitive?
  • How will I get ASU credit and grades for the courses I take abroad?
  • What courses are available on my program? How can I get courses approved for my program(s) of interest?
  • What is the cost of participating in my program(s) of interest? What do I need to consider in preparing an estimated budget for my program(s) of interest, and what expenses do I need to plan for upfront?
  • Where can I find more information about scholarships for study abroad?

Research Your Funding Options

Research Your Funding Options

Studying abroad is an investment in your future. Like any other type of investment, it requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad.

Review Cost Sheet

You can find a link to your program’s Cost Sheet near the top of the Study Abroad Office webpage for your program. The Cost Sheet will highlight the costs that are billed to your student account as well as additional estimated costs that are not billed to your student account but that you might expect to spend while abroad. Be sure to note what expenses are included in the fees charged by the Study Abroad Office, and remember to budget additional money for airfare, passport and visa fees and personal expenses since these are not included in any Program Fee.

Research Funding

Once you have reviewed the Cost Sheet for your program and are aware of the costs you might expect to spend on your program, you can begin to make a plan for financing your study abroad program. You can receive funding for studying abroad through financial aid, scholarships and grants, and community-based fundraising efforts. We encourage you to:

  1. Speak to Financial Aid and Scholarship Services (FASS) about financial aid;

  2. Use our Scholarships and Grants page to search for general study abroad scholarships and scholarships that are unique to your program;

  3. Read the Community-Based Funding Guide for creative ways that past ASU students have funding their programs.

Financial Aid

We encourage you to speak to a Financial Aid Counselor, who can help you figure out how your financial aid might be applied to our study abroad program. Be sure to seek answers to the following questions from a Financial Aid Counselor:

  • How do loans work for study abroad? What kinds of aid/loans do I currently receive, and are there any restrictions on this aid if I study abroad?

  • Have I reached the maximum of (insert name of) loan allowed per academic year?

  • When will funds be released for my semester of participation?

  • How will additional scholarships impact my ASU financial aid?

Major-Specific Scholarships

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers study abroad scholarships for which you may apply.

Community-Based Funding

Check out the Study Abroad Office website to learn more about community-based funding, including tips and tricks for crowd-source funding. There is funding out there… you just have to ask!

Attend Financing Workshop

Would you like help learning about your financing options? We offer bi-weekly in-person and online Financing Your Study Abroad Workshops. Join us in the MU on Monday afternoons or log in through Adobe Connect (find login information here) on Thursdays to learn how to finance your study abroad program through financial aid, scholarships and grants, and community-based funding.

Helpful Links

HDSHC Student Testimonials

“The trip was the perfect blend of structured events and time to explore. Each trip or event that Dr. Edson had planned for us was well worth our time and felt like our program fee was being well spent.”

- Joley Hamilton, Management major

“I couldn't believe as an online student I had the opportunity to take part in such a wonderful program. Getting to visit three countries and explore as much as I could within each was phenomenal. Belle was so encouraging and helpful during the program, being sure to engage our interests with fun things to do or cool stories created from each culture.”

- Chelsea Blevins, Communication major

Recommended Programs

Although Communication majors can participate in any ASU study abroad program, the Hugh Downs School recommends the following programs.



Program Type: Faculty-Directed
Available Terms: Summer
Countries: Ireland, United Kingdom
Unique Features: The Human Communication summer study abroad program is one of the most popular faculty-directed programs at ASU. We offer students a unique opportunity to study communication in different cultural contexts while providing them with opportunities to see plays in London’s West End, enjoy the countryside of Ireland and learn about the castles and kilts of romantic and very cosmopolitan Edinburgh.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
Country: Ireland
Unique Features: Take Communication classes at Dublin City University (DCU), an institution of 10,000 students. Within easy reach of Dublin, DCU is a high-tech campus where study abroad students are fully integrated with local and international students. Students get an in-depth look at Irish culture through the core course, History and Culture of Modern Ireland, and they can make the most of their program through CIEE-guided excursions, field study programs, volunteering, conversation exchanges and special events.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Fall, Spring
Country: Germany
Unique Features: The Open Campus program at the CIEE Global Institute – Berlin offers flexibility to experience Berlin your own way. Pair one, two, or three six-week blocks for your perfect amount of intensive study and cultural engagement. No matter how you build your program, you’ll immerse yourself in the German language-, culture-, and people-vibrant Kreuzberg district – a hub for the arts, techno, and the world’s digital currency boom – all while taking classes in a range of subjects, including Communication.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Fall, Spring
Country: Argentina
Unique Features: Surround yourself with Spanish language, Argentine culture and friendly people throughout the city of Buenos Aires. Live with an Argentine host family, and take classes from a wide range of subjects in modern classrooms at the Global Institute. Get out and learn more about Buenos Aires, Argentina and South America during integrated co-curricular and extra-curricular outings and structured study tours.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
Country: Italy
Unique Features: The American University of Rome (AUR) has been combining academic attributes of U.S. higher education with historic and globally-renowned European institutions since its foundation in 1969. The 16-to-1 faculty ratio and multicultural student body, representing more than 30 nationalities, give students the opportunity to gain an immersive international experience with instruction from local and international professors. Students can take courses taught in English from a variety of subject areas, including Communication.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer
Country: Italy
Unique Features: Take classes in a variety of subject areas, including Italian language courses at all levels. Elective courses are taught in English, with some offered in Italian for advanced speakers. Internships are available. Florence has preserved the essence of the Renaissance and gives the impression of living in an outdoor museum. The city is a cultural, historical, and academic hotspot in Italy. Florence is perfect for first-time travelers, art lovers and people who prefer a smaller city that's easy to navigate.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Fall, Spring
Country: Australia
Unique Features: Established in 1971, Griffith University is a young, dynamic university with a focus on issues of global importance and has an established reputation of being one of the nation's leading universities. Communications is one of the popular subjects that Griffith University offers, making this is a great program option for ASU Communication majors. When not in class, students can explore Gold Coast’s famous surf beaches, national parks, waterways and mountain ranges.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Fall, Spring
Countries: Multi-Country
Unique Features: Semester itineraries traverse the globe and make port in interesting and diverse destinations that allow students to experience local culture. Port stays provide engaging learning opportunities through in-country field programs and labs as well as independent excursions. Your primary home away from home will be the MV World Odyssey. Semester at Sea's passenger ship is outfitted as a globe-exploring university; a living-learning community that provides a platform for discussion, coursework, and deep connections all while traveling to new locations.
Program Type: Exchange
Available Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
Country: Ireland
Unique Features: Dublin City University is located just a 10-minute bus ride away from Dublin's city center. Students of DCU have the best of both worlds; the social and cultural benefits of city life, but with the security and vibrancy of a university campus built for today's student. The university is known for innovative educational programs and offers a number of Communication courses. For the greatest number of Communication courses available, we recommend participating in the Spring semester.
Program Type: Exchange
Available Terms: Academic Year, Calendar Year, Fall, Spring
Country: Australia
Unique Features: Queensland University of Technology is ranked #1 in Australia and #16 in the world for communication and media studies. Located in Brisbane, the capital of the Australian state of Queensland and the third largest city in Australia, the city is renowned for fabulous year-round weather and healthy outdoor living. Brisbane is home to people from many cultures, and offers a diverse range of dining alternatives and a thriving arts and cultural scene.