Engage with Critical Global Issues

Based on an interdisciplinary, experiential learning model, SIT programs are structured around critical global issues and focus on an immersive experience that allows students to take a deep dive into the culture of their host country. Students have multiple opportunities to engage with the local culture, learn directly from local experts, and witness local initiatives firsthand.

Click on the critical global issues below for a full list of programs available in each area. Clicking on the program title will take you to a full description of the program on SIT’s website.

Climate | Environment | Geopolitics | Power

Mongolia: Nomadism, Geopolitics, and the Environment  — Learn about environmental conservation and natural resource development while living with a nomadic family

Global Health & Well Being | Development | Inequality

India: Public Health, Gender, and Community Action – Examine the intersections between public health, gender, and community action in New Delhi and on field excursions to Bahraich and Thailand

Development | Economy | Inequality

India: Sustainability, Development, and Social Change — Explore the relationship between socioeconomic development and sustainable social change in Jaipur, India

Nepal: Development, Gender and Social Change — Examine the balance between tradition, progress, and social change in this Himalayan country

Vietnam: Culture, Social Change, and Development — Study economic and social development in one of Asia’s most dynamic and rapidly changing countries

Media | Arts | Social Change | Identity | Resilience

Indonesia: Arts, Religion, and Social Change – Study how art and the country’s six officially recognized religions impact Indonesia’s sociocultural dialogue in Bali and Java

Morocco: Field Studies in Journalism and New Media – Study and work with some of Morocco’s top journalists on topics such as migration, human rights, health, and art in the capital city of Rabat

Migration | Identity | Resilience

Morocco: Migration and Transnational Identity – Examine migration and the different phases of a migrant’s journey through discussions with immigrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, and host communities in Rabat and on a field excursion to Amsterdam

Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples – Examine Himalayan and Tibetan communities in exile in Nepal and their cultural transformation and preservation, social change, identity, religion and politics

Peace | Justice | Human Rights | Social Movements

Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights – Learn about the challenges and issues facing Moroccans and other Arab countries following 2011’s Arab Spring

Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding – Study the 1994 Rwandan genocide and examine the country’s reconciliation and peacebuilding efforts

Serbia, Bosnia, and Kosovo: Peace and Conflict Studies in the Balkans – Examine the wars of the 1990s, the breakup of Yugoslavia, and subsequent peacebuilding and social transformation in these three countries

The SIT Program Model

SIT programs are structured around key characteristics that provide students with a unique, transformative study away experience:

  • Extensive networks of in-country experts
  • Immersive experiences
  • Field-based study
  • Commitment to reciprocity
  • A focus on critical global issues
  • A commitment to social justice

Each of the Featured SIT programs follows a similar model. The programs are based in a specific country, where students spend the majority of the semester living with a homestay family and studying at their program base. The beginning of each program focuses on an intensive language course and a set of courses that grounds students in the program’s critical global issue and prepares students for their independent study project with appropriate field methods and ethics.

After a few weeks, students begin to go on targeted field excursions that last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Some programs include field excursions to another country.

The last four to six weeks of the program is devoted to independent study. Students may opt to do an independent research project or an internship at a local organization. Either option includes support from an advisor and the academic director. During this period, students may complete their independent work in one location or travel between multiple location, but all student return to the program base at the end of the program to present their independent work.

PLU Course Equivalency

Pacific Lutheran University awards all credits earned in this program. Semester-long study away programs fulfill PLU’s Cross Cultural Diversity requirement.

Course and study tour offerings are subject to change.

Field Excursions

Educational field excursions are an integral part of the SIT program model. Each program includes one or more excursions focused on the program’s critical global issue that range in length from a few days to a few weeks. All educational field excursions are included in the cost of the program.

For information on particular field excursions, navigate to the SIT program of interest under the Programs tab.


All Featured SIT programs include a homestay, which is a critical way to delve into the immersive aspect of the SIT experience. Homestays range in length from 2 to 12 weeks, depending on the program, and this experience allows students improve their language skills and cultural understanding while providing a context and perspective for what they are studying in class.

During excursions and the independent study portions of the semester, housing varies by program and location, and can include options such as guest houses, small hotels, camping facilities, private homes, NGO guest houses, and educational institutions.

For program specific information, navigate to the web page of the SIT program of interest under the Program tab.

Program Fee

The PLU comprehensive fee covers this academic experience (instruction and academic credit, housing, all meals, field excursions, study abroad insurance, and visa fees*). To find the current comprehensive fee for one semester, divide the total full-year cost listed on the Admissions website by two. Please note that the comprehensive fee varies each year, and the cost of this program will be based on the year in which you study away. Financial aid applies.

*The Wang Center will reimburse you for your visa fees up to $300; such fees can include: visa processing fees, consulate fees, online application fees. Reimbursement does not include: domestic travel costs for in-person submission, postage costs.

Out-of-pocket Expenses

Air travel, books/supplies, personal excursions, PLU official transcript fee, domestic travel*/postage for visa processing, and other miscellaneous expenses are not included in program cost.

*Be sure to research your visa requirements as you may have to go in-person to a consulate or visa processing center. Depending on the country, there may or may not be a local consulate, and you may have to fly to another US state.

Contact Us

Holly Peterson, Study Away Advisor and Semester Program Liaison


Sophomore, junior, or senior standing. Students must have a minimum 2.7 G.P.A. and be a student in good standing.

Application Deadline

Fall, Spring and Full Year applications are due March 15

A $50 non-refundable fee is due with the application.

Each academic year the current application is made available during International Education Week in November.

Application Components

  • Short essays
  • Faculty Recommendation Form
  • $50 Non-refundable Application fee
  • Advising appointment
  • Online applications for both PLU and SIT

Visit SIT’s website to learn more.

Watch the video below to hear more about students’ experiences on SIT programs.

Program Highlights

  • Fall or Spring Semester
  • Intensive language study
  • Live with a host family
  • Independent study and/or internship
  • Focus on a critical global issue