Cross-cultural Coursework

A World Of Understanding

It’s not just that the world has changed. It is changing. Every day. And the people who best understand how it’s changing – and the complex reasons why – will be the ones who find success. That’s why PLU weaves global education through almost every aspect of your study, no matter what your major.

At PLU, we think it is essential that students have an educational perspective that extends beyond campus - to the far corners of the world. We know that it will help you find success in your career and realize your full potential to serve and lead in the challenging world of the 21st century. More than ever it depends on developing a global perspective and an understanding of the intercultural and intellectual richness of the world.

International Honors Program. The International Honors Program is a challenging and creative way to satisfy most core curriculum requirements, reflecting PLU’s unique mission and its emphasis upon the liberal arts. This multi-year program consists of seven interdisciplinary courses that explore contemporary issues and their historical foundations through an integrated and multi-national approach. For more information, go to the International Honors home page.

Global Study On-Campus. PLU offers eight foreign languages, cross-disciplinary majors in Chinese Studies, Global Studies, Scandinavian Area Studies and Environmental Studies, and courses and programs which integrate international and global perspectives throughout the curriculum. There are programs for the study of global issues such as modernization and development; global resources and trade; and peace, justice, and human rights. Programs are also available for the study of the world's regions, cultures and societies.

Other Stories
My tribal journey

One student's experience in Neah Bay, and how courses outside the classroom changed how he sees the world.

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Study Away. At PLU you'll find many opportunities to study away, both globally and locally, for a semester or for a year. Students from all majors have studied on all seven continents. They have studied ecosystems of the mountain peaks of New Zealand and analyzed business trends in China. They have explored nature and literature in Ecuador and economic development and human rights in South Africa. They have experienced a literature and nature adventure on the Antarctic Peninsula. PLU faculty direct most of these programs. Others are offered in collaboration with partner institutions.

PLU regularly places among the top 10 master’s degree universities in the United States for percentage of students engaged in international study. Over 40 percent of PLU students study abroad. The national study abroad average is 3 percent. And here, study away is much more than a trip. It is an opportunity to take an intensive course and study a focused topic, on location, with a professor who knows the subject and location well.

Many students travel during PLU's January Term, called J-Term. It's a one-month session between fall and spring semesters, that includes many study-away opportunities. The chance to participate in more than 25 international and domestic study/travel programs lets you immerse yourself in a country, culture or discipline that you never imagined - and get credit for it, too.

PLU’s goal is that through a J-term study-away experience, students are able to:

  • Learn about cultures and cultural diversity in the United States and abroad
  • Develop intercultural skills
  • Recognize global issues and processes and their interconnectedness (these processes can be social, artistic, literary, political, religious, economic, and/or environmental)
  • Become involved citizens, both locally and globally


For more information, go to the Wang Center for Global Education home page.