Each summer, Northwestern professors lead 2-3 week courses in a variety of disciplines and countries. The trips are tailor-made for NWC students and fulfill the college's cross-cultural general requirement. Departments that have participated in summer study abroad include Theatre, Art, English, Foreign Languages (Spanish and German), History, Sociology, Biology, Computer Science, Kinesiology, Psychology, Nursing, Education, and Business & Economics. Summer courses have been taught in China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, England, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Oman, Romania, Russia, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, and Turkey. 

2020 SSA Programs

SSA 2020                                                                                         

APPLY for a Summer Study Abroad Program!

Applications for Summer Study Abroad are due FEB 1Click HERE to apply.

Summer Study Abroad Factsheet


$250 payable to NWC, usually due mid- to late-February. The deposit goes toward the final program cost.

Passport and Visa

A passport is required for all international travel; a visa is sometimes required. If you don't yet have a passport, apply as soon as possible. It can take 4-6 weeks to receive your passport! If you are traveling to a country that requires you to have a visa, you must have your passport before you can apply for a visa. Click here for information on obtaining your passport.      


Vaccinations and Health Information

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all immunizations be up-to-date. To enter some countries, some vaccinations are strongly encouraged (or necessary). See the CDC's website (http://www.cdc.gov) for more information.

Financial Aid

Contact the NWC financial aid office. Financial aid in the form of loans may be available. For external funding opportunities in the form of travel grants or scholarships, click here or contact Nancy Landhuis at landhuis@nwciowa.edu 

SSA Pre-Acceptance Information

Learn more about our program policies regarding payment, cancellation, refunds, etc. Click on the following PDF file: Pre-Acceptance Information.pdf

SSA Pre-Departure Orientation

All accepted summer study abroad students are required to attend a pre-departure orientation organized by the Global Education Center. The orientation covers culture- and country-specific information, culture shock and adjustment, as well we travel and program details and health and safety information.





ITALY 2017



Application Requirements

Application Checklist:  Only complete applications will be reviewed.  A complete application consists of the following:

  • Global Education Center Study Abroad program online application form
  •  2 Recommendations: 1 from a faculty member, 1 from a resident director. Recommendations from two faculty members are also acceptable.
  • Your unofficial transcript will automatically be provided to the Global Education staff upon application submission.
Non-NWC students, please note this is a two-step process. First fill out Northwestern's guest application form. Upon submission of this form, NWC will provide you with login and password information that will allow you to access and fill out the appropriate study abroad application for acceptance to the specific summer program in which you are interested. These forms do not ensure transferability of credit to your home institution for courses taken at Northwestern College.

Application Deadline

Deadline: 5 pm on February 1 of each year

All materials, including letters of reference, must be received by the official deadline of February 1. The on-line application goes live mid-November. Applicants are advised to give their referees several weeks' notice of their need for a letter.  

Sample SSA Application Form

Apply now!


Northwestern students, click the button above to start the application process.

Non-Northwestern students: 
You should review your answers carefully to ensure the accuracy of your application. You cannot edit your application once it is e-submitted.


Is this a good deal?
Yes! To do the same type of experience on one’s own—three to four weeks in another country with guided excursions, faculty leadership and expertise—will cost you about the same if not more. And you would have to deal with all the arrangements. Factor in that you’re also getting college credit and participating in an amazing learning opportunity, and we think you’ll find these experiences are more than worth the money they cost. In addition, access to low-interest loan money makes the college years an attractive time to study abroad, not to mention the fact that, given the increasing globalization of the world and business, a study abroad experience is a perfect complement to any academic major.

How are summer study abroad programs different from semester study abroad programs?
Summer study abroad programs are taught by Northwestern professors, last 2-4 weeks, and are designed specifically for NWC students. By contrast, semester study abroad programs—with the exception of Northwestern's Oman and Romania Semesters—are offered through organizations such as the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) or other colleges, are taught by non-Northwestern College faculty, and enroll students from other colleges and universities throughout the United States and/or world.

Are these mission programs? Will I be doing missions work?
No. NWC summer study abroad programs are academic, educational, for-credit experiences—not mission projects. Study abroad programs focus on broadening students’ worldview through immersion in and academic exploration of a different culture. Some programs may include service-learning opportunities, but the focus is still that of a guided learning and immersion experience. The summer study abroad office neither sponsors nor coordinates fundraising activities to help participants cover the cost of program fees. Payment of program fees remains the responsibility of the participant.

Are these tourist trips?
No. All programs are put through a rigorous proposal process and must be approved by the college’s Academic Affairs Committee (AAC). While students will be traveling to unique and wonderful places, the programs are first and foremost academic programs offered for credit. The classroom may be different—an 18th-century castle, art museum, orphanage or ancient ruins—but the objective is to learn through immersion and reflection. Participants will experience and explore different cultures, both to gain an understanding of the new culture, but also to use this knowledge to reflect on their own culture.

Who should participate?
We think an off-campus experience is something all students should consider during their time at NWC. You will develop an appreciation for other cultures and people and will come to understand your home culture in a way you didn't before.

Need more info?

Amber Leusink
Global Education Coordinator
email: amber.leusink@nwciowa.edu
phone: 712-707-7227