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Why Study Abroad?

After studying abroad, most students never view their education in the same way again. Most return home with a greater vigor for academic pursuits and a renewed interest in lifelong learning, one of the most important aspects of a liberal arts education.

Launch your career through internships abroad. They are a great way to experience local culture in the workplace and improve language skills.

Studying abroad helps participants understand their own culture and biases better.

Students who study abroad make life-long friends, both international and from the U.S. These same individuals are more likely to seek out a greater diversity of friends long after their study abroad experiences are over.

Students who study abroad have a greater confidence in themselves, both professionally and personally.


Term Study Abroad is available to students in all majors. Here are examples of where you could choose to study.

Some students arrive at college with a study abroad vision clearly set in their minds. For others, the idea develops, suggested by a supportive faculty member or sparked by some new academic interest or curiosity. Either way, consider these topics as you explore the possibilities.

  • Academic needs to meet major/minor/graduation requirements
  • Second language skill or interest
  • Intercultural and personal goals
  • Financial resources
  • Wellness – physical and/or emotional
  • Identity – sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, individual with a disability
  • Interest in internships or volunteering
  • Any other important priorities

Wartburg Study Abroad is a one-term academic and intercultural opportunity open to students from any major/minor. While the application process is competitive, the goal is to support as many qualified applicants as possible. Eligibility requirements include:

  • 2.5 minimum GPA
  • Advance planning discussions with the Study Away Coordinator
  • Study abroad application, including a reflective essay
  • Faculty reference
  • Formal interview with Study Away Coordinator

You begin the application process during the fall semester of the academic year before your planned study abroad year and complete the application process by the annual January 15 deadline. Most students apply during their second or third year.


  • Familiarize yourself with this website.
  • Start the conversation with your adviser(s) – discuss how study abroad could fit with your academic interests, requirements, and priorities, as well as your personal and cultural curiosities.


  • Schedule an initial appointment with Kathleen Sihler, Study Away Coordinator, to talk about your interest, program options, selection process, financial obligations, concerns, and questions. This may take several conversations, so start early!
  • Be flexible – select a first and second choice program and term, if possible, and outline an on-campus academic “Plan B” with your adviser in case study abroad plans are disrupted.

November & December

  • Finalize your program choices with the Study Away Coordinator.
  • Begin the application and contact your selected faculty member to complete the faculty reference.


  • Applications and faculty references can be submitted up until the January 15, 11:59 p.m. deadline.
  • Schedule your final application interview with the Study Away Coordinator once your application is submitted.


  • Applicants will receive approval decisions by the end of February.
  • Approved students will work closely with the Study Away Coordinator on next steps, depending on the selected term that you will be abroad.

There are three basic cost categories for Study Abroad students:

  • Study Abroad program fee
    Each approved study abroad program has a program fee, determined by the study abroad provider.  This is the “tuition” required to enroll and participate in your selected program. Wartburg Study Away pays this fee as our investment in your study abroad opportunity.
  • Wartburg student bill
    As a full-time, enrolled student you will be billed for Wartburg tuition, student support service fees, and mandatory international travel insurance for the term you are abroad. You will not be billed for Wartburg room and board.  It may be possible to place your study abroad room and board expense on your student bill, depending on the specific study abroad program. If you receive financial aid, it can be applied to expenses on your student bill, as it would if you were on campus.
  • Out of pocket expenses
    These expenses are paid by the student and can include the study abroad provider application fee, airfare, in-country transportation, room and board, personal expenses, passport and visa fees, etc. Total estimated cost varies from program to program. The Study Away Coordinator can provide out-of-pockets estimates to help with the selection process.

Wartburg College Study Away offers a geographically, culturally, and academically diverse selection of study abroad programs suited to a broad range of academic majors. Review the “Before You Apply” guidance and then explore the options below.

Program availability is subject to change due to various factors.

Approved Programs for Non-language Majors

Country City Program Link
Australia Gold Coast USAC Gold Coast, Australia
Melbourne USAC Melbourne, Australia
Chile Santiago USAC Santiago, Chile
Costa Rica Heredia USAC Heredia, Costa Rica
San Ramon USAC San Ramon, Chile
Czech Republic Prague USAC Prague, Czech Republic
England Brighton USAC Brighton, England
Reading USAC Reading, England
France Lyon USAC Lyon, France
Pau USAC Pau, France
Grenoble AIFS Grenoble, France
Germany Berlin FU-BEST Berlin, Germany
Luneburg USAC Luneburg, Germany
Greece Athens AIFS Athens, Greece
Hungary Budapest AIFS Budapest, Hungary
India Bengaluru USAC Bengaluru
Ireland Cork USAC Cork, Ireland
Italy Reggio Emilia USAC Reggio Emilia, Italy
Torino USAC Torino, Italy
Verona USAC Verona, Italy
Viterbo USAC Viterbo, Italy
Japan Nagasaki USAC Nagasaki, Japan
The Netherlands The Hague USAC The Hague, Netherlands
New Zealand Palmerston, Auckland, Wellington USAC New Zealand
Scotland Stirling USAC Stirling, Scotland
South Africa Stellenbosch USAC Stellenbosch, South Africa
South Korea Gwangju USAC Gwangju, South Korea
Seoul USAC Seoul, South Korea
Spain Alicante USAC Alicante, Spain
Bilbao USAC Bilbao, Spain
Madrid USAC Madrid, Spain
San Sebastian USAC San Sebastian, Spain
Valencia USAC Valencia, Spain
Granada AIFS Granada, Spain
Seville AIFS Seville, Spain
Sweden Vaxjo/Kalmar USAC Vaxjo-Kalmar, Sweden
Thailand Chiang Mai USAC Chiang Mai, Thailand
Khon Kaen USAC Khon Kaen, Thailand
Uruguay Montevideo USAC Montevideo, Uruguay

Approved Programs for Spanish Language Majors

Country City Program Link
Costa Rica Heredia USAC Heredia, Costa Rica
San Ramon USAC San Ramon, Chile
Chile Santiago USAC Santiago, Chile
Spain Alicante USAC Alicante, Spain
Bilbao USAC Bilbao, Spain
San Sebastian USAC San Sebastian, Spain
Seville AIFS Seville, Spain
Oviedo Oviedo, Spain (PDF)
Uruguay Montevideo USAC Montevideo, Uruguay

Approved Programs for German Studies/Language Majors

Country City Program Link
Germany Berlin FU-BEST Berlin, Germany
Luneburg USAC Luneburg, Germany

The list of approved programs is subject to change.  Please contact the Study Away Office with any questions.

Study Abroad Health & Safety

Student health and safety while abroad is a constant priority for Wartburg College.  Decisions on program safety and participation are guided by information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), our professional provider partners, and various professional and public resources from the international education field.

The college’s responsibility and commitment to student health and safety begins once students are accepted for study abroad and extends through the end of their program, in partnership with our professional study abroad providers.  However, all travel involves some degree of risk, and individual responsibility and informed decision making while abroad are essential components of student safety and health.

Health and safety guidance, resources, and emergency contact information are provided to accepted study abroad students during the Wartburg Study Away pre-travel orientation sessions.  The priority is to prepare students to make informed and aware decisions regarding their own health, safety and security in a new intercultural context and environment. 

All study abroad students are also required to carry the college’s international travel insurance, which includes medical and emergency assistance and evacuation and repatriation benefits.  Please contact Study Away Coordinator Kathleen Sihler at if you are interested in policy details.

Study abroad is a significant financial investment, but there are several scholarships available to help offset the cost.  Read each opportunity carefully, as they all have their own eligibility requirements and deadlines.

Contact Kathleen Sihler, study away coordinator, with questions and/or for application assistance.


Knight’s Experience
The Knight’s Experience fund provides each continuously enrolled, full-time student a one-time disbursement of up to $1,500 that can be used in their second, third, or fourth year of study at Wartburg beginning in the 2024-25 academic year. Semester study abroad and May Term travel courses are both eligible for this disbursement. 

Pastor Larry Trachte Thanksgiving Scholarship
These scholarships are awarded to first-generation, domestic students with high financial need who are enrolled in either study abroad or international May Term academic courses.  No application is needed – recipients are selected each fall by the college’s Development and Financial Aid offices.

Wartburg College German Institute
Any Wartburg College student intending to study abroad in Germany for Fall, Winter, or May terms may apply each March and November for funding support from the college’s German Institute.  Contact institute director Dr. Daniel Walther at for application details and deadlines.


Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
The Gilman International Scholarship is for U.S. citizens or nationals who are also Federal Pell Grant recipients as part of their federal financial aid package.  There are two application cycles each year with early March and October deadlines. Awards range from $100 to $5,000.  More information is available at Gilman International Scholarship.

Gilman-McCain International Scholarship
The Gilman-McCain International Scholarship is for U.S. citizens or nationals who are child or spousal dependents of active or activated U.S. military personnel and recipients of Title IV federal financial aid.  There are two application cycles each year with early January and March deadlines for the $5,000 awards.  More information is available at Gilman-McCain Scholarship.

Study Abroad Program Provider Scholarships
Our study abroad program providers offer a variety of scholarships based on need, merit, program location, and/or applicant’s identity group.  Scholarship information, applications, and deadlines can be found on each provider’s website.

Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) Scholarship
The FEA Scholarship is for diverse U.S. citizens or permanent residents with high financial need.  There are two application cycles each year with mid-January and September deadlines for awards up to $5,000. More information is available at FEA Scholarship.

Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship
The Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship is for a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or student currently studying in the U.S. on a student visa.  There are two application cycles each year with mid-April and November deadlines for the $1,000 award. More information is available at Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship.

Vaccination Requirement for International Travel
For the 2023-24 academic year the college strongly encourages but does not require participants in college-sponsored domestic and international travel to be up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines before they travel, per CDC guidance.

Participants will be exempt from the college’s on-campus COVID-19 isolation requirement while traveling but will need to follow host organization and/or host country COVID-19 related guidelines, which may differ from the college’s travel policy.

International Travel Specifics
The Study Away Office will monitor appropriate U.S., international, professional, and host-country resources for such differences and update participants as needed.

International participants will be supported by the college’s required international travel insurance policy which includes a $2,000 benefit for reasonable expenses related to mandatory quarantine issued by host-country government authorities. Participants will need to rely on their personal medical insurance to cover any health care expenses they incur while in the U.S.

For more detailed information on the international travel insurance policy, please contact Study Away Coordinator Kathleen Sihler at

Please note the student application includes a 250-500 word essay.


Learn more about our students and their experiences studying abroad


About 25 percent of Wartburg students will travel abroad for their coursework with a Wartburg faculty member each May Term. These opportunities are coordinated through the faculty rather than the Study Abroad Office.



Learn more about yourself and others 
Cultural and intercultural competency is an important part of the Wartburg educational experience. Wartburg offers many ways to immerse yourself in other cultures. The Study Abroad Office helps students discover these opportunities. 

What our alumni say

Skills helped me to continue to learn in life since college - 92.4%
Made connections between different fields of study - 82.5%
Wartburg changed the way I saw myself and the world - 81.4%
Able to work effectively with people from cultures different than my own - 78.3%

* Based on a recent alumni survey.

Kathleen Sihler

Study Away Coordinator