Northwestern students study abroad in England.

Summer study abroad

Explore other shores through a 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 destinations and course topics changes each year, with 2 to 6 options each summer. Northwestern College professors have taught summer courses focused on community development, crossing cultures, ecology, history, language learning, music, nursing/healthcare, religion, sociology, sports/fitness and theatre. Countries where students have studied include:

Czech Republic




Poland & Germany: People of the Holocaust in Europe

May 19–June 6
Faculty leaders: Professor Laura Heitritter

This course will allow students to gain an appreciation for not only the Holocaust, but its impact on modern European society, particularly in the countries most affected by it: Poland and Germany. What will make it particularly interesting is the fact that the program's hosts will be Polish and German Jewish professors and students, which means that participants will be able to see this devastating event through the eyes of those who were most impacted by it, including the children of survivors. Students will spend the bulk of their time in Poland, but will also visit sites in Germany, including Munich and Berlin.

England: British Culture Through Art & Theatre

May 16–June 7 
Faculty leaders: Professors Karen and Jeff Barker

Students taking this course will attend a play at the Globe Theatre, where Shakespeare’s plays were first performed. In his speech to the players, Hamlet speaks of the capacity of art to “hold a mirror up to nature” and “show us the very age and body of the time.” Taking Hamlet’s words seriously, this program will explore British culture—past and present—through immersion in the theatre and museums of this great cultural center. Students will spend the majority of their time in London, with home stays in Worcester. Along with performances and museums, there will be the opportunity to explore cathedrals, markets, restaurants and parks.

  • 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 trip.
  • Most trips are open to freshmen through seniors.
  • A small number of trips have a foreign language requirement.
  • 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 for summer study trips takes place in early February of each year; visit the summer study abroad programs website on MyNWC to learn more. Non-NWC students can apply here.