North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

Study Abroad

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends” – Maya Angelou

In the North Park University Office of International Affairs, we believe every student should have the opportunity to study abroad. If you are interested in studying abroad, you may have the following questions to determine if you are an eligible candidate:

  • Where can I study abroad?  There are over 200 sites in 50+ countries to choose from.
  • How long are study abroad programs? Most of our study abroad programs are a semester to a year in length, while others last one to two weeks and run over school breaks.
  • Do I need to speak a foreign language? About 50 percent of North Park’s study abroad programs require students to have some level of proficiency in a foreign language; the other 50 percent offer courses in English in a variety of subjects.
  • When should I go? North Park offers study abroad programs for students in their sophomore, junior, or senior year. Students are not permitted study abroad during their first two semesters or last semester at North Park.
  • Can any major study abroad? Study abroad programs are available for students in any major, and even for those who have not yet decided on a field of study.
  • How much does study abroad cost? Over 90 percent of North Park study abroad programs cost the same amount as studying at North Park, and allow you to apply all financial aid you would receive if you were studying on our Chicago campus.

Apply to Study Abroad

Before you begin the application process, read through the Study Abroad Handbook, explore this website, and follow the steps outlined below.

Study Abroad Handbook

Apply Now!

Fall Semester: Study Abroad information sessions occur every Friday @ 10:30 a.m. in Johnson Center Room 155. Join us to learn about North Park’s study abroad programs and how to apply!

Meet with your faculty advisor to discuss the best time to go abroad and which major, minor, or general education courses you should take.

Explore program options online and in the study abroad handbook. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long do you want to study abroad?
  • What type(s) of program interest you?
  • What locations offer classes that will fulfill your major/minor/GE requirements?

Study Abroad Handbook

Complete the study abroad advising worksheet and contact Tessa Zanoni to set up a one-on-one study abroad advising meeting.


Johnson Center 159, Center for Student Engagement

Complete the online application.

Apply Now!

Note: ISEP, CCCU, and North Park University Exchange partners require an additional application. Please complete the NPU application first and contact the Office of International Affairs for further information.

Prepare to Study Abroad

North Park University is committed to preparing students for lives of significance and service. Studying away from campus is a great way to broaden your worldview and explore your future. Part of making the most of this is thorough preparation before you head out of Chicago or even the United States. Therefore, the Office of International Affairs requires that all students who are accepted to represent North Park abroad attend orientation sessions during the semester prior to departure.

In order for your time abroad to be one of service, you need to get to know yourself better and discover previously unexamined values, biases, and cultural lenses. Once you identify and understand these internal characteristics, you will be better able to encounter and understand individuals from other regions and cultures more compassionately, and interact with them more justly. Our office encourages you to look inward and to learn about cross-cultural communication techniques.

In order for your time abroad to be significant, you must be intentional about engaging with a study location, setting appropriate goals, and addressing culture shock, value conflicts, and differences in educational systems. Our office will help guide you with specific research on your host country, identify your own learning styles and expectations for academic achievement, and explore the potential difficulties that different cultural settings may present.

All students studying abroad are required to participate in 3 orientation sessions prior to departure. These sessions consist of cultural preparation, study abroad paperwork, travel information, packing tips and a question and answer panel. Ultimately, the orientation sessions will situate the study abroad experience within the context of your North Park education. Along with other students preparing to study abroad, the staff of the Office of International Affairs will help you consider the following questions, and how you might answer them.

  • Who am I as a student studying outside of my homeland?
  • How can I learn be open to cultures other than my own?
  • Why is it important that I learn about the culture and the people I will be living amongst?
  • What is truth in light of different cultural values?

Study Abroad Program

North Park University has direct exchange relationships with universities across the globe. Bilateral exchange participants will study with students from the host university and take a variety of courses in English (unless otherwise noted). On these exchange programs, students pay regular tuition to North Park, with all financial aid applying; students generally pay room and board to the host university. Chance of placement on bilateral exchange programs is excellent for qualified students.

Hawthorn, Australia: Swinburne University of Technology Courses are available in English for a variety of majors/minors.

Córdoba, Argentina: Blas Pascal University *Note: all courses are only offered in Spanish. Best for Spanish majors/minors.

Buenos Aires, Argentina: Universidad Del Salvador *Note: all courses are only offered in Spanish. Best for Spanish majors/minors.

Ghent, Belgium: Artevelde University College Ghent This program only offers courses for majors/minors in the School of Business and Nonprofit Management or Communication Studies majors/minors.

Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus University Courses are available in English for a variety of majors/minors. *Note: this program is only offered during the Spring semesters.

Tampere, Finland: University of Tampere Courses are available in English for a variety of majors/minors. *Note: students are required to travel to Washington, D.C. and obtain a student visa for this program.

Bergen, Norway: University of Bergen Courses are available in English for a variety of majors/minors.

Seoul, South Korea: Sungkyunkwan University Courses are available in English for a variety of majors/minors.

Incheon, South Korea: Inha University Courses are available in English for a variety of majors/minors.

Jönköping, Sweden: Jönköping International Business School All courses taught in English. *Note: this program only offers courses for majors/minors in the School of Business and Nonprofit Management.

Jönköping, Sweden: Jönköping University School of Communication and Education All courses taught in English. *Note: this program is best for Communication Studies majors/minors and Conflict Transformation Studies majors/minors.

Liverpool, England, United Kingdom: Liverpool Hope University Courses are available in English for a variety of majors/minors.

North Park University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities so University students have access to study abroad programs run by the CCCU. Students join peers from other CCCU institutions to study in Australia, Costa Rica, Jordan, Northern Ireland, Oxford, or Uganda. CCCU also offers domestic programs with focused study in film (L.A.), music (Nashville), or American studies (Washington, D.C.). On CCCU programs, students pay program fees to North Park University, however no financial aid applies. These programs are quite popular, so chance of placement may be limited.

North Park University’s fastest growing study abroad program is ISEP, the International Student Exchange Program. North Park students have access to 140 universities in over 50 countries with courses taught in various languages through ISEP. On ISEP exchanges, students pay regular tuition, room, and board to North Park, with all financial aid applying. Chance of placement on ISEP programs is excellent for qualified students, though individual ISEP schools may be more competitive than others. ISEP Direct also provides a customized study abroad experience with guaranteed placement, however no financial aid applies. More information about ISEP Direct can be found here.

North Park University offers two group study abroad programs in Sweden and Ecuador. This type of program offers students the experience of traveling abroad with a group of their peers from NPU, accompanied by a faculty member.

Södra Vätterbygdens Folhögskola (SVF), Sweden: This program is offered every fall semester. Ideal for sophomore students, this program offers general education coursework and the opportunity to explore Swedish language and culture. Each fall, approximately 15 North Park students study at SVF together with a cohort of 15 Swedish students. In the spring semester, all 30 students return to Chicago to continue studies at North Park University.

Cuenca, Ecuador: This program is offered every spring semester during Quad A. Open to Spanish majors and minors who have completed at least 3 semesters of language coursework (or the equivalent). This program pairs intensive study in Spanish language and Latin American culture with travel, service opportunities, and host family living.

North Park University offers a variety short-term study abroad programs led by NPU faculty. Some course are part of a quad or semester course, while others are offered as stand-alone courses during a break. Current short-term study programs include:

  • Biology: the Biology department offers various travel courses for majors and minors throughout the year. Visit the website or talk to your advisor to find out about current offerings.
  • Education: The Academic Odyssey is a short-term study/travel course during Spring Break 2019 offered through the School of Education. It is especially designed for prospective teachers, but open to other students, as well.
  • Personal Health: complete your GE requirement in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a cross-country ski trip that provides an opportunity to learn about exercise, ecology, and health in a natural environment. Contact Alyssa Anderson for more information.

Note: Students applying for short-term study abroad courses do not need to complete the full NPU study abroad application. Please contact the program leader for application instructions.

Information for Parents

If your child is thinking about studying abroad, you may be experiencing many emotions and developing several questions. The Office of International Affairs has compiled the following resources that may be of assistance in dealing with these emotions and answering questions to ensure your child will make the most of her or his study abroad experience. If you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed below, please feel free to contact Tessa Zanoni, Assistant Director of the Office of International Affairs.

North Park University is committed to helping students live lives of significance and service. In the Office of International Affairs we believe that an important part of the journey toward a life well lived is getting to know one’s self, and there are few better ways for a student to do this than to study abroad. International travel and education enable students to see the cultures from which they come in a new way, and to develop new skills and outlooks that will aid them in their personal development.

In addition, some potential benefits are:

  • Your child will learn about herself and become more independent
  • Your child will become more comfortable interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds
  • Your child will acquire a better understanding of his own cultural values
  • Your child will improve her options for future employment in the increasingly globalized business world
  • Your child will have the opportunity to improve or develop fluency in another language.
  • Your child will increase his open-mindedness
  • Your child will broaden her geographic, artistic, political, and social horizons.
  • Your child will make connections that can last a lifetime

Depending on their host country, students may have a variety of communication options at their disposal.

  • Many have found Skype (a type of calling from computer to computer) an efficient way to communicate with family and friends at home.
  • FaceTime and iMessage are both useful and free options if there is Wifi available in your child’s study abroad location.
  • Others find an international cell phone (or a US cell phone outfitted with a country specific SIM card) to be a more convenient mode of communication. Host universities may provide help to students regarding purchase of an international cell phone.
  • Many parents may wish to take advantage of their child being abroad to do some international travel of their own. While we encourage you to explore your child’s host country, and learn more about her or his experience first hand, please remember that your child is abroad as part of an educational program. She or he is expected to attend all required class sessions and to participate in all applicable group activities. Please ensure that your visit doesn’t disrupt your child’s class or study schedule!

Studying abroad may be more financially feasible than you think! With the exception of visa/passport fees, insurance, and airfare, the great majority of North Park study abroad opportunities cost almost the same as spending a semester at North Park. Here are some examples:

  • Group Programs to Sweden or Ecuador: Students pay their regular tuition, room, and board and get to apply all financial aid. A modest extra fee may be charged to cover travel excursions and textbooks.
  • Exchanges through the International Student Exchange Program: Students pay their regular tuition, room, and board to North Park and get to apply all financial aid. Students must purchase health insurance through ISEP.
  • Exchanges through ISEP Direct and CCCU: Tuition, room and board, and any additional fees are all out of pocket. No institutional financial aid from North Park applies. 
  • Bilateral Reciprocal Exchanges: Students pay regular tuition to North Park and get to apply financial aid. Students pay room and board to the host institution.
  • The Office of International Affairs has also compiled a list of scholarships and loans that may be accessible to study abroad students.

Your student’s well-being while abroad is our top priority!

  • All North Park study abroad students participate in a series of predatory study abroad orientation sessions. In these sessions, they are given details on any Centers for Disease Control and Prevention medical warnings or immunization recommendations for the countries to which they are traveling. Students are advised to consult with the North Park Center for Counseling and Health Services, or with a personal physician, prior to travel to determine a specialized prevention plan.
  • Students are encouraged to register online with the US Department of State. Travel registration is a free service provided by the US Government to US citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. Registration allows travelers to record information about their upcoming trip abroad that the Department of State can use to assist them in case of emergency.
  • While abroad, the Assistant Director of the Office of International Affairs will be in bi-weekly contact with all study abroad students by email. They are also given an emergency phone number at North Park for 24-hour access to Office of International Affairs staff.
  • Immediately upon arrival in the host country, students are urged to complete an Emergency Contact Card with in-country phone numbers and addresses. Students also have access to International Student Services personnel at all host institutions.
  • North Park closely monitors all travel warnings issued by the US Department of State and will suspend any travel to countries or regions deemed unsafe.

Study Abroad Resources

As you prepare to study abroad, you may find it helpful to consult the following North Park University offices:

  • The Career Development and Internships Office is a crucial resource for students who are thinking of completing an internship abroad, either in conjunction with an existing study abroad program or on its own.
  • Counseling Support Services can help you think about cultural adjustment issues and prepare for homesickness. This office can also be a good resource for returned students who are experiencing difficulty integrating back into life at North Park and the United States.
  • Health Services can provide advice on recommended vaccinations, help you make decisions on managing medication usage or chronic illness abroad, and serve as a good resource for general tips on staying healthy while traveling.
  • Student Administrative Services can help you obtain transcripts, transfer credits, and understand how your financial aid package will apply to your particular study abroad program.
  • Student Engagement is available for students who have general questions about how studying abroad will impact their academic progress. Students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to study abroad and should speak with the Student Support Specialist as early as possible.
  • Academic Advisors can provide information as to how to stay on track for graduation and provide recommendations for courses to take abroad. We encourage all of our students to meet with their advisors to help evaluate how studying abroad will affect their academic timeline.

Preparing to Study Abroad…

As you’re preparing to study abroad, you’ll find much helpful information in the Study Abroad Handbook. This guide provides information on the entire study abroad process, from selecting a program and applying, to packing and registering for classes.

…and Preparing to Return

Returning from a study abroad experience often requires time for readjustment and many students struggle with the difficulties of reverse culture shock.  Students who wish to discuss their experience or would like further resources for reentry should contact The Office of International Affairs.

It is imperative that you allow adequate time to receive your new or renewed passport. Please check the State Department website for current processing times.

Passport applications and instructions are available online at the US Department of State website. If you have any questions please contact the Office of International Affairs located in the Center for Student Engagement, Johnson Center.

Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the expected return date.

Take your completed passport application to a Post Office with Passport Processing services. The closest location to campus is the Ravenswood Post Office, approximately one mile east of campus.  You can access this branch via the #81 Lawrence bus. The Ravenswood Post Office also provides passport photo services.

These listings are provided for information and research purposes only. North Park University does not endorse any of these organizations. Not all scholarships will work with all study abroad programs. Please talk to the Assistant Director of the Office of International Affairs or the Director of Financial Aid before applying for any scholarship to make sure that it is applicable to your program.

General Programs

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program
This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university.  The Gilman Scholarship Program is especially interested in supporting students who are traditionally underrepresented in study abroad, as well as students who are studying abroad in non-traditional locations.

Institute for International Education
This website allows you to search by region, specialty, undergraduate or postgraduate support, duration, and amount of stipend. Most links are program or school specific, but some fellowships, such as Fulbright and Rotary, are also available to applicants without university affiliation.

International Education Financial Aid Scholarship Search
IEFA provides comprehensive college scholarship search and grant listings plus international student loan programs and other information to promote study abroad.

Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship
The Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship program provides funding to participants who are preparing academically and professionally to enter the United States Department of State Foreign Service.

Rotary International
Interested applicants must apply for Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships through their local Rotary club. Application deadlines vary by club but may be as much as 18 months in advance of the period of study abroad.

Sara’s Wish
The mission of the Sara’s Wish Scholarship Fund is to perpetuate Sara’s ideals by providing financial support for travel experiences for students who share Sara’s zest for life, love of adventure, and zeal to excel. Sara’s Wish Foundation scholarships are awarded to extraordinary young women committed to making the world a better place by fully participating in it.

Site Specific Programs

American Women’s Club (AWC) Scholarship Foundation

The AWC scholarship foundation makes awards to female US citizens who plan to study in Sweden.

Bridging Scholarships for Study Abroad in Japan
Undergraduate students majoring in any field of study are eligible to apply for these scholarships. Japanese language study is not a prerequisite.

The primary goal of the Freeman-ASIA Program is to increase the number of American undergraduates who study in East and Southeast Asia, by providing students with the information and financial assistance they will need. Applicants must currently receive financial aid or have verifiable need for financial assistance to study.

Boren Award
The Boren Award provides a unique funding opportunity for U.S. students to study world regions critical to U.S. interests (including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America & the Caribbean, and the Middle East). The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.

Information for Faculty and Staff

As a staff or faculty member at North Park, you have an important role to play in the study abroad process. Whether you’re helping a student navigate the process of studying abroad or developing a new study abroad program for your department, you help the Office of International Affairs make international education a reality for North Park students.

  • Study Abroad Handbook This document contains application, placement, and cost information on all of North Park’s study abroad programs, plus information on North Park policies that apply to off-campus programs.
  • Office of International Affairs: If you have questions not addressed online or in the handbook, please contact (or have your student contact) Tessa Zanoni, Assistant Director of the Office of International Affairs.

Contact the Study Abroad Advisor

Study abroad programs are part of the Office of International Affairs at North Park University, which connects students with off-campus study through a variety of programs. Learn more about study abroad by contacting the assistant director of the Office of International Affairs:

Tessa Zanoni

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