female student sitting on a wall in front of a body of water overseas

Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a life-changing opportunity. Learning in a global community facilitates academic and professional growth while also allowing you to develop more fully on a personal level. At Bethany, we work with you on an individual basis to select a program that will best meet your individual goals and objectives. Because we don’t limit study abroad to a few set locations, the programs we utilize vary as greatly as our students themselves. Our study abroad coordinator is available to help you throughout this process.

Semester Programs

A semester abroad is often the most affordable and most efficient time in your life to be abroad. Your financial aid is applied toward your tuition as you make regular progress toward graduation.

Taking courses that may not be available on Bethany’s campus and spending 12-16 weeks abroad gives you time to gain an understanding of and appreciation for the culture and people. Internship and volunteer options may also accompany coursework.

Summer Programs

Summer programs include options for study abroad, doing an internship abroad, or volunteering.  They vary in length and exist for almost any major or personal area of interest, including heritage studies. They may or may not earn you college credit, depending on the program.

Exchange Program

Bethany Lutheran College and United International College (UIC) in Zhuhai, China, share an exchange agreement which allows students from both institutions to study on either campus. The UIC students study at Bethany during the fall semester and the Bethany students study at UIC during the spring. The beauty of this arrangement is that students already know someone from the school prior their arrival. Usually the exchange students are very instrumental in helping the next group settle in.

Zhuhai is located in the south of China, a ferry ride from Hong Kong. UIC is an English speaking liberal arts college of approximately 4000 students. The teaching staff is about 40% Chinese and 60% international, with more than twenty countries represented. Two former Bethany faculty members taught at UIC: Dr. Janet Moldstad (business administration) taught for a semester and Dr. Thomas Kuster (communication) taught for six weeks through a Fulbright Specialist grant.

Student Stories

Hear personal accounts from these students who have studied overseas:

Alan Everett
Alan Everett

Alan studied at United International College in Zhuhai, China, through Bethany’s exchange program. Living arrangements:I lived in a traditional dorm

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Ruth Wels sitting on a green hillside in Italy
Ruth Wels

Ruth is a studio art major and art history minor who studied in Florence, Italy, at the Santa Reparata International

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Matt Holt stands in front of a koi pond and building in Yiwu, China
Matt Holt

Matt is a business administration major and communication minor who studied in Yiwu, China, for one month during the summer

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Where can Bethany students study abroad?

Bethany does not limit study abroad to a few set locations. The Study Abroad Coordinator works with students on an individual basis to help identify a program that will best meet a particular student’s goals and objectives. Recent countries in which students have studied include Greece, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, England, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, China, Ecuador, and Peru. 

How much does it cost?

That depends on where you study. It can be the same or less than it costs to spend a semester on Bethany’s campus. It can also be more. Your financial aid is applied toward your semester abroad. Like all education, study abroad is an investment in yourself and your future. Much of what you gain while living abroad cannot be learned from a book.

Are classes taught in English? 

Classes in English exist for those who don’t speak the local language. Students typically are required to take one language course to help them maneuver better around town. Language immersion programs exist for those who want to dramatically improve their host country language skills.

What about an exchange program?

Bethany has an exchange program with English-speaking United International College (UIC) in southern China, close to Hong Kong. Forty percent of the faculty are Chinese and the other 60 percent are from all over the world. Since UIC sends study abroad students to Bethany, there is the benefit of making friends with Chinese students from UIC, even before going abroad. 

Do you live with families or in college dorms?  

Host family stays, college dorms, or apartment-style living are all determined by the ease of what is available locally.

How soon do I need to make plans to study abroad?

If you think you might be interested in studying abroad, it is best to schedule a meeting with the Study Abroad Coordinator during the freshman year. This provides ample time for you to consider the many options available and to plan your coursework. The most common time to study abroad is during the junior year.

What if I can’t be gone for an entire semester?

Summer programs vary in length from three to 10 weeks, and appeal to just about any major. For those wanting a less comprehensive experience, Bethany offers a few courses that include a travel component abroad, typically over spring break.