Global Education Opportunities

Tamara Williams, Ph.D., Executive Director

PLU is committed to a vibrant array of global educational opportunities, linked to its mission and vision of educating to achieve a just, healthy, sustainable, and peaceful world. Consult the Wang Center for Global Education for comprehensive and more detailed information. PLU encourages majors in all fields to participate in off-campus study—for a semester, academic year, January Term, or Summer Term—where students earn major, minor, GenEd, and/or elective credits on off-campus programs that span the globe and the calendar.

Semester Programs

  • Gateway Programs:
    These PLU faculty-developed programs offer coursework, study tours, and immersion in regions that are significant to the fields of study PLU students pursue. The academic focus and program dates vary in these Gateway locations: China; Oxford, England; Mexico; Namibia; Oslo, Norway; Telemark, Norway; and Trinidad & Tobago; and Tacoma, Washington.
  • Featured Programs:
    PLU also offers programs hosted in conjunction with other universities through consortia in which PLU participates. Featured programs are located in England and Spain.
  • Approved Programs:
    PLU students participate in the Gateway and Featured Programs listed above every year. However, sometimes a student’s particular academic goals are better served by a different program. Through study abroad program providers, PLU offers an array of semester and year-long study away programs with courses in a wide variety of academic disciplines.
  • International Internships:
    PLU offers internship opportunities in selected locations around the globe, providing students the chance to apply their knowledge in an international work setting. Currently, international internships can be completed as a featured component of a study away program in China, England, Mexico, Namibia, among others through the Approved Programs.

Short Term Programs

  • January Term:
    A wide variety of off-campus “J-Term” courses led by PLU faculty take students around the globe to destinations ranging from Neah Bay to New Zealand, often on all seven continents. Nearly 300 students participate annually in these intensive J-Term learning experiences, which fulfill many degree requirements.
  • Summer Programs:
    Short-term study away programs are also available during the summer months. PLU awards academic credit for approved programs and locations.
  • Research Grants:
    The Wang Center for Global Education awards grants on a competitive basis to students interested in advanced research and experiential learning in a global context, building on previous international experience.

Non-Approved Programs

Opportunities to study away are made available through many other organizations and colleges in the United States, or students choose to enroll directly in an overseas university. In these cases, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange in advance for appropriate credit transfer. PLU financial aid is not applicable.

Grading Policy and Credits

Students participating on PLU approved study away programs receive PLU credit and letter grades for their coursework. Courses, credits and grades are recorded on the PLU transcript. However, study away grades are only calculated into the PLU GPA for courses taught by PLU faculty. All study away grades are calculated in the School of Business GPA requirement. Study away courses are not pass/fail.

Program Costs and Financial Aid

Study away costs vary by program; while abroad, students continue to be billed by PLU and are expected to maintain their payment plan arrangements. Financial aid may be applied to all PLU approved programs. This includes State and Federal financial aid (with the exception of work study), university grants and scholarships, and government loans. Students may use their PLU aid on any Gateway or Featured Program, and may use PLU aid on one PLU Approved Program. Tuition Remission and Exchange Tuition remission benefits apply to the cost of study away tuition on PLU approved programs, but not to housing and meal charges.

Tuition exchange benefits apply only to the tuition component of these PLU-directed programs: China, Norway, England (Oxford), Mexico, Namibia, Trinidad and Tobago, Tacoma, Washington and PLU International Internships. Tuition exchange benefits do not apply to any other study away programs offered through Featured or Approved Programs. Global Scholar Awards provide students with financial need greater access to participate in PLU’s study away programs. Students may receive up to $2,500 for a Gateway or Featured semester-long study away program. For a J-Term study away course, the program fee may be reduced by up to 20%. The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for an award.