Gateway Study Away Programs for Partner University Students

Gateway Study Away

Welcome! Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) is happy to welcome students from partner universities on our Gateway semester programs in Mexico, Namibia, and Trinidad and Tobago. Reach out to your university’s study abroad office to learn about which of these programs are available to you, and what your next steps will be. Your home university study abroad office will support you throughout this process alongside PLU’s Wang Center for Global and Community Engaged Education!

Cost & Scholarships

The exact cost of participating in a Gateway program varies based on your home university, so be sure to reach out to your university’s study abroad office and check their website to learn more about what the cost would be for you.


How do I apply?

The application* includes:

  • Personal information – mailing address, date of birth, sex assigned on passport, citizenship, class standing, any major(s) and minor(s), language experience, and GPA
  • Essay Question # 1 – “Please describe the relationship between your proposed off-campus study program and your academic pursuits. Identify several learning goals for your off-campus study and discuss how the program of study or location you have chosen will help you achieve these goals.”
  • Essay Question #2 – “Given that study away can be unpredictable and challenging, which of your personality traits, characteristics and/or skills will help contribute to your success? Which might create challenges for you?”
  • Unofficial Transcript
  • $50 non-refundable application fee
  • 1 faculty recommendation, 1 professional recommendation

*Your home university may submit these materials on your behalf from your home university application.

Where do I apply?

You’ll find links to each program page in Terra Dotta, the application portal that we use, where you can start an application. Create an account using the “Non-PLU login” option.

IMPORTANT: You will need to apply first through your home university as well as through PLU.

If you have questions about the application process through PLU, reach out to Megan Grover.

Study Tours

Gateway programs include study tours and excursions as part of the cultural experience, which are designed to meet the academic goals of the program. Study tours are included in the program cost (some meals may be included as well, but not all), give you opportunities to engage with your host community outside of the classroom, and allow you to travel to different places within your host country. On study tours, you will explore and learn more about the culture, history and society of where you’re studying!


Gateway programs offer a wide range of academic internship opportunities that students can pursue! Onsite staff and/or faculty will support students who are interested in pursuing an internship, helping connect them with an organization to work with that is aligned with their interests and professional and academic goals. This is a great way to become more involved in your host community while building intercultural and professional skills that will serve you well in the future.

Health and Safety

The safety, security, and well-being of study away participants are of utmost importance to PLU. While neither PLU nor PLU’s host institutions/partners can guarantee a risk-free environment, all efforts are made to best ensure the safety and well-being of our participants throughout the duration of the program. PLU follows prudent measures to verify that all transportation, lodging, communications, and emergency procedures are in place to mitigate risk for study away participants.

While PLU is firmly committed to the provision of this support, we also emphasize to students, faculty, and parents that all program participants must take responsibility for their own safety and security. This is highlighted during pre-departure preparations, on-site orientation, and throughout students’ stay in the host country. Points of emphasis during the orientation include students using common sense, being aware of their surroundings, and not putting themselves in compromising positions with the abuse of drugs or alcohol.

Oaxaca Mexico
Oaxaca: Development, Culture, Environment and Social Change in Mexico

  • Explore Mexican history, development, society and environment through an interdisciplinary view of Ancient, Modern, and Contemporary Mexico
  • Learn about U.S.-Mexico relations and gain an in-depth perspective of Mexican immigration to — and the hispanization of — the United States
  • Experience approaches to, and strategies for, social change, and the value placed on these processes by diverse groups in the Oaxaca region and across Mexico
  • Integrate academic knowledge and intercultural skills in an internship with a local nonprofit organization focused on an issue related to your academic, personal or professional goals
  • Build knowledge of pressing issues facing Mexico today through extended study tours to Mexico City and the states of Puebla and Morelos

Windhoek, Namibia: Cultural Immersion for Education, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences

  • Study at the premier University of Namibia alongside students from Namibia and countries across Africa and the globe
  • Engage in a practicum in a local school and complete a robust set of Education courses
  • Learn about this young democratic country with a focus on a historical perspective of Namibia from colonization to democracy
  • Engage with indigenous people, cultures, and the country’s unique geography on study tours, through rural homestays in the villages of northern Namibia and visits to Namibia’s renowned national parks and game reserves
  • Create your own batik art in a workshop in Windhoek
  • Engage with the local community through an internship or volunteer work with community organizations
  • Spend January enrolled in a context-setting, intensive course on non-Western history taught by a local Namibia historian

Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad & Tobago: Heritage, Cultural Fusion and Sustainability in the Southern Caribbean

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of Trinbagonian culture through a required set of three required courses taught by local professors, local experts and US professors
  • Examine key issues such as post-colonialism, globalization, diversity, equity, social justice, gender and environmental sustainability in a rich, ethnically diverse culture
  • Study at University of the West Indies, a major research institution in the Caribbean, and engage with local students
  • Engage with the rich cultural, environmental, religious and artistic diversity of Trinidad & Tobago through a series of study tours and lectures that facilitate student participation in Trinidad’s expressions of the Hindu spring festival of Phagwa, the West African Orish and Shouter Baptist festivals, the Muslim Hosay commemoration, and the world famous Trinidad Carnival
  • Experience the traditional fishing village of Charlotteville, Tobago, as it explores new directions in organic gardening, marine research, and sustainable tourism


Reach out to Megan Grover ( to learn more, as well as your study abroad office!