Summer study abroad

Explore other shores through a shorter summer trip if you can't afford a whole semester abroad. Each summer, Northwestern professors lead 3- to 4-week courses in a variety of disciplines and countries. The timelines vary, but most take place in late May/early June, right after the end of spring semester. The courses are specially planned to fit the needs and curiosity of NWC students and meet the college's cross-cultural general education requirement.

The selection of course topics and destinations changes each year, with 2 to 6 options each summer. NWC professors have taught summer courses focused on community development, crossing cultures, ecology, history, language learning, music, nursing/health care, religion, sociology, sports/fitness and theatre in these countries:

China Ethiopia Israel and Palestine Taiwan
Czech Republic France Japan Tanzania
Ecuador Germany Mexico Thailand
England India Russia Turkey


  • Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 (or without that, the consent of the faculty leader) to participate in a summer study abroad program.
  • Most programs are open to freshmen through seniors.
  • A small number of programs have a foreign language requirement.

Course and credit

  • GEN350 fulfills Northwestern’s general education cross-cultural requirement.
  • Students earn 4 to 6 credits, depending on the program’s duration (3 to 4 weeks).
  • Some programs have a 1-credit GEN316 pre-trip course that takes place the second half of spring semester.
  • Summer study abroad courses cannot be taken for audit.

Application deadline

Usually in early February of each year

Northwestern is ranked among 50 American colleges and universities with the best study abroad programs. The listing, by Best College Reviews, identifies the most desirable study abroad opportunities that are unique to a college or university and provide a personal experience for the student. Read more