Study Abroad and Study USA

General Information

Biola University values experiential and cross-cultural learning. We are committed to providing opportunities for our students to participate in Study Abroad/Study USA programs. These programs offer unique opportunities for students to make the world their classroom, going beyond the confines of the traditional classroom experience. Study Abroad/Study USA programs are vital to fulfilling our mission to educate students in mind and character and to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Students are charged Biola's standard on-campus tuition, the programs cost of room (or room and board), Biola Administrative Fee, and all students participating in an international Study Abroad program are required to pay the additional international health insurance fee. Depending on the program, meals may be an additional out-of-pocket expense.

Refer to the Financial Information in the Payment Options section of the catalog for information on individual payment plans for Fall and Spring Study Abroad/Study USA programs. Participating students may continue to qualify for federal, state and University aid in most Fall and Spring programs. All students participating in Fall and Spring Study Abroad/Study USA programs are charged a $500 non-refundable Administrative Fee.

Under Biola's Financial Aid regulations, students who attend a Study Abroad/Study USA program are eligible for full financial aid when the student commits to graduating in four years or designated timeframe for the major. Students will be eligible to receive study abroad or domestic University Aid for one Fall or Spring Study Abroad or Study USA program.

Students who are interested in applying to a Study Abroad/Study USA program should contact the Advising Center (study.abroad@biola.edu). All students participating in Study Abroad/Study USA programs must complete:

Curriculum Requirements

It is University policy that students participating in a Fall or Spring Study Abroad/Study USA program:

  • May not be registered in an arranged course.
  • Students considering taking online courses in addition to traditional courses must obtain permission from the Advising Center and the Office of the Registrar. Additional fees will apply.

Coursework taken through Study Abroad/Study USA programs does not count toward resident credits at Biola for a major or minor. A minimum of 15 upper-division credits must be taken in residence toward the completion of a major. A minimum of 6 upper-division credits must be taken in residence towards the completion of a minor. Of the 30 credits of Bible required, 15 must be taken in residence. Credits earned through a Study Abroad/Study USA program may be applied to up to 50% of a student's Biola degree.

Students earning a Bachelor of Arts degree who take a foreign language while participating in a Study Abroad/Study USA program are advised to meet with Academic Advising regarding how these credits may or may not apply toward graduation. 

Students are not eligible to participate in a semester Study Abroad/Study USA program in the same semester they intend to graduate.

Biola Semester Programs

Initials in parentheses listed below, next to program name, represent University transcript codes.

Biola in Ecuador (QES)

See the Living and Learning website for additional information and course offerings.

The Biola in Ecuador Semester, hosted by Living and Learning International, is a study abroad program designed for college students who desire to grow in their ability to integrate life and learning-to integrate their walk with God with the realities of struggle, poverty and injustice in the world. The program does not aim simply to add knowledge or travel to students' lives, but to help them understand with wisdom God's calling on each individual. The program encourages exploration into these pertinent questions: Who is God calling us to be? What is He calling us to do? How does He want us to respond?

Combining excellent academics, cross-cultural ministry, mission, and relevant internship opportunities in a unique and challenging setting, the Biola in Ecuador Semester provides an opportunity for students to enjoy the rich interaction with their professors, program staff, ministry site hosts, and other students who are on this same journey. This interdisciplinary, cross-cultural program enables students to communicate and understand the challenges of a developing nation and teaches them to respond with an informed, Christ-centered worldview. Semester courses cover a range of disciplines from Spanish language to Bible to Intercultural Studies to History. This interdisciplinary approach draws students from all majors and disciplines, and any student who desires to further their education and grow in their walk with Christ is encouraged to apply.

Along with receiving up to 18 credits — students will live, learn, and experience the beautiful country of Ecuador together. Each semester students will experience all four major regions of the country including Quito and the Andes mountains, the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon jungle, and the beautiful tropical coast. Each student will complete a 5-week homestay with an Ecuadorian family and participate in either a for-credit internship in their major or service-learning practicum to encourage deeper cross-cultural engagement and community development.

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.

Biola London (BLS)

See the Biola London website for additional information.

In cooperation with University of Roehampton London, Biola offers a fall semester of study in the United Kingdom. Located near Wimbledon, six miles southwest of the center of London, the program at University of Roehampton gives students the opportunity to experience the British educational system side by side with British and international students, while also learning from the unique historical and cultural settings of London and the British Isles. Biola students can attend the fall program only in their sophomore, junior or senior year, which requires them to apply in their freshman, sophomore or junior year, respectively.

University of Roehampton's catalog for international students offers a variety of academic disciplines with courses that connect to most Biola majors. At the time of application to the Biola London program, students select six courses from Roehampton's catalog that meet the requirements of their Core Curriculum (GE) or major — eventually selecting three to take in the fall if they are accepted to the program. Two additional required courses will be taught by an instructor designated by Biola, one of which fulfills the Bible integration requirement (BBST 465) and the other, another upper-division BBST course (BBST 450). In all, students will take five courses in London, totaling 15 credits.

Students interested in the program should inquire with Student Success to begin the process of ensuring that there is space in their curriculum for the courses they aim to take in London. Students may take courses that count either toward the Core Curriculum (GE) or major requirements.

Application, payment of tuition and room are made through Biola. Seniors are not allowed to attend during the semester in which they will be graduating. Biola requires a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA to apply, and the application must be approved by the department of the student's major, the director of the Biola London program and Roehampton University. Applications are available online through the Study Abroad website. A selection process follows the submission of applications.

Students participating in the program are expected to abide by the rules and regulations of Roehampton University; in addition, they are expected to maintain Biola's code of conduct. At the end of the semester, Roehampton will forward the student's transcript to Biola, where it will be interpreted in light of the American grading system.

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.

Biola Student Exchange Program (ISE)

See the Study Abroad website for additional information.

The Biola Student Exchange Program provides unique opportunities for Biola students to study at Christian universities in South Korea, Japan, and Indonesia. Students can study as exchange students at Yonsei University in South Korea, Tokyo Christian University in Japan, and Universitas Pelita Harapan in Indonesia. Biola students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher may apply for up to two semesters of exchange study.

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.

BestSemester (CCCU) Programs

The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) offers the following semester and summer programs to students of its member institutions. The programs offer a unique opportunity for students to make the world their classroom. These interdisciplinary learning opportunities are available to juniors and seniors, while some programs also accept second-semester sophomores. For further information, contact the Advising Center.

Interested students can visit the Study Abroad and the CCCU websites.

American Studies Program (ASP)

See the ASP website for additional information and course offerings.

Since 1976, the American Studies Program has served as an experiential learning laboratory for students committed to connecting their faith to public affairs. Nearly 500 of ASP’s 3,000+ alumni have returned to work in the DC metro area in a variety of professional fields-private and public, for-profit and non-profit.

In addition to an internship and the Leadership and Vocation course, students apply to either the Public Policy Track or the Strategic Communications Track. The Public Policy Track equips and supports students in their analysis of a pressing public policy issue. The Public Policy track equips and supports students in their analysis of a pressing public policy issue. Each student produces original research by engaging area experts and practitioners off-site and in the classroom as they investigate the local, national and global factors that influence policy-making in Washington, D.C.. The Strategic Communication track engages communication professionals to explore the role of strategic communication in achieving organizational goals. Field-work activities explore current best practices in communicating critical organizational messages to key internal and external constituents and stakeholders. 

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.

Australia Studies Centre (ASC)

See the ASC website for additional information and course offerings.

The Australia Studies Centre (ASC) is offered in partnership with Christian Heritage College (CHC), a CCCU affiliate member in Carindale, a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland. The ASC is designed to integrate the firsthand observation and study of Australian culture, history, religion, politics and indigenous cultures together with experiential service learning and formal instruction in Christian Studies, Business Ministries, Social Sciences and Education and Humanities. Every student is required to take the courses "The View from Australia: Issues in Religion, Politics, Economics and Cultural Values" and "Australian Aboriginal Cultures" and required to select either "Australian Aboriginal Cultures" or "Indigenous Cultures in Australia and Aotearoa (New Zealand)." Additionally, students choose two credits from CHC offerings in Business, Ministries, Social Sciences, Liberal Arts, or Education and Humanities. Students live with Australian families and volunteer with local community service providers. Trips vary from semester to semester but may include excursions to the Australian Outback, Aboriginal Communities and New Zealand. ASC students earn 16 semester credits.

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.

Contemporary Music Center (CMC)

See the CMC website for additional information and course offerings.

The Contemporary Music Center provides students with the opportunity to live and work in the refining context of community while seeking to understand how God will have them integrate music, faith and business. The CMC offers three tracks: Artist, Business and Technical. The Artist Track is tailored to students considering careers as vocalists, musicians, songwriters, recording artists, performers and producers. The Business Track is designed for business, arts management, marketing, communications and related majors interested in possible careers as artist managers, agents, record company executives, music publishers, concert promoters and entertainment industry entrepreneurs. The Technical Track prepares students for careers in live sound, concert lighting and studio recording. Students within each of the tracks receive instruction, experience and a uniquely Christ-centered perspective on creativity and the marketplace, while working together to and execute a week-long tour at the end of the semester. Each track includes coursework, labs, directed study and a practicum. CMC students earn 16 credits.

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.

Latin American Studies Program (LAS)

See the LASP website for additional information and course offerings.

Based in San José, Costa Rica, the Latin American Studies Program introduces students to a wide range of experiences through the study of the language, literature, culture, politics, history, economics, ecology and religion of the region. Through living with local families, students become a part of the day-to-day lives of Latin Americans. Students also take part in a practicum/internship and travel to nearby Central American nations. Students participate in one of three concentrations: Latin American studies (offered both Fall and Spring terms); advanced language and literature (designed for Spanish majors); and international business (offered only in Fall terms). Depending on their concentration, students travel to nearby Central American nations including Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba and Panama. LASP students earn 16–18 credits.

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.

Los Angeles Film Studies Center (LAF)

See the LAFSC website for additional information and course offerings.

Founded in 1991, the Los Angeles Film Studies Center trains students to serve in various aspects of the film industry with professional skill and Christian integrity. Each semester, students live, learn, and work in one of the primary film and television production centers in Los Angeles. LAFSC seeks to prepare students for placement in the mainstream Hollywood film industry, ideally in decision-making positions, with a Christ-centered vision to dynamically influence film content, production processes, and interpersonal relationships. In addition, LAFSC aims to develop advocates to advance an informed and discerning approach to understanding the media, and an appreciation and support for the work of peers in Hollywood.  LAFSC students earn 16 credits.

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.

Middle East Studies Program (MES)

See the MESP website for additional information and course offerings.

Based in Amman, Jordan, this program offers students a unique opportunity to become immersed in the complex and strategically important world of the modern Middle East. Under the guidance of a staff with over 30 years of experience living in the region, students live together in a close-knit community and explore the diverse religious, social, cultural and political traditions of Middle Eastern peoples through interdisciplinary seminars. Students also earn up to 6 credits of advanced Arabic language and serve at local organizations with the opportunity to earn intercultural internship/practicum credit throughout the semester. During the program’s substantial travel components (recently including Israel/Palestine, Islamic Spain, Morocco, and Turkey), students participate in homestays and discover the diversity and dynamism of Middle Eastern cultures by experiencing their foods, customs, schools, neighborhoods, and places of worship. At a time of change in the Middle East, MESP empowers and equips students to relate to Muslim, Eastern Christian, and Jewish peoples in a guided and Christ-centered approach. MESP students earn 15–18 credits.

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.

Northern Ireland Semester (NIS)

See the NIS website for additional information and course offerings.

The first thing you notice as a student in Northern Ireland is the beautiful verdant landscape, but there's more to this country than rocky green cliffs and sparkling blue waters. From your home base at Lakeside Manor, a charming 19th-century mansion in Belfast, you'll travel all over the Irish isle visiting important cultural and historical landmarks like SAUL, the site of St. Patrick's first church in Ireland, the Northern Ireland Parliament, and Dublin Castle.
In addition, you will experience the deep impact of the religious and political conflict that has been an important part of Northern Ireland's history. Sit at a table with residents who lived through "The Troubles" as you hear first-hand accounts of the hunger strikes and political clashes that beset Belfast in recent decades. Pray in ancient cathedrals that predate the birth of your home country. Hike among green pastures and ancient forests. This opportunity for experiential learning in Northern Ireland will make your next semester unforgettable.
NIS students earn 15–18 credits.
For contact information visit the Study Abroad website

Oxford Summer Programme (OSP)

See the OSP website for additional information and course offerings.

The Oxford Summer Programme pairs students with Oxford University professors to do intensive scholarship in the oldest university in the English-speaking world. During the four-week programme, students hone their research and writing skills and delve into their chosen disciplines, occasionally traveling the United Kingdom to explore relationship between Christianity and the development of the British Isles. Seminars and tutorials (one-on-one mentorships sessions with expert Oxford scholars) feature specialized topics under expert Oxford academics in the areas of English language and literature, history, science, philosophy. The programme is structured for rising college sophomores, juniors, and seniors, as well as graduate and seminary students, non-traditional students, teachers, and those enrolled in continuing education programs. OSP students earn 6 credits.

Biola students attend the Oxford Summer Programme independent of Biola and transfer the credit upon completion of the summer programme. All fees are paid directly to the CCCU. Students are required to complete substitution request forms prior to departure.

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.

Scholars' Semester in Oxford (SSO)

See the SSO website for additional information and course offerings.

The Scholars’ Semester in Oxford is specifically designed for students seeking an academically rigorous and robust experience. As official Registered Visiting Students of Oxford University, students study within Oxford’s acclaimed tutorial pedagogy to receive weekly, one-on-one instruction from a faculty comprised of widely-published authors, historians, former international ambassadors, and other celebrated scholars. Students choose from hundreds of subjects within the disciplines of Classics, English Language and Literature, History, History of Art, Modern Languages (French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian), Musicology, Philosophy, Psychology, or Theology, and earn access to Oxford’s 119 libraries featuring 11 million books and outstanding electronic resources. SSO also offers 18 thematic or integrative concentrations including Gender Studies, Film Studies, Philosophy of Science, and more. If choosing to return for a second term, students write a substantial thesis on a topic of their choice. Applicants are generally honors students and must have at minimum a 3.7 GPA to be considered for the programme. SSO students earn 15-18 credits for a semester and may complete two semesters of the programme.

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.

Uganda Studies Program (USP)

See the USP website for additional information and course offerings.

The Uganda Studies Program immerses students in local communities, Ugandan campus life, and a broad range of cultures and places within Uganda and Rwanda. Students choose to live either with a host family for the semester or on campus at Uganda Christian University (UCU), an international affiliate member of the CCCU located 15 miles east of the capital city of Kampala. Students forge meaningful relationships with their Ugandan peers, faculty members, and host families while exploring issues such as poverty, cultural expressions of Christianity and missions, and the reconciliation between the realities of East Africa and their Christian faith.

Students enroll in one of three tracks: General Studies Emphasis (GSE), Global Health Emphasis (GHE), or Social Work Emphasis (SWE). Students enrolled in the Social Work Emphasis (SWE) participate in an MSW-guided Junior-level or Senior-level Social Work Practicum (up to 400 practicum hours) at a variety of sites, including Compassion International and locally-founded aid organizations, approved in consultation with the CSWE. Global Health Emphasis (GHE) students take advanced global health courses and participate in the Cross Cultural Practicum at a health-related to engage broader issues of international aid, development, and public health. General Studies Emphasis (GHE) students select from a variety of UCU electives including languages, health, religions, literature, and politics, and may also choose to receive practicum credit through service at Cross-Cultural Practicum sites in a variety of fields. USP students earn up to 16 hours of credit.

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.

Affiliated Semester Programs

Creation Care Study Program (CCSP)

See the CCSP website for additional information and course offerings.

The Creation Care Study Program (CCSP) offered by the Center for Environmental Leadership is a high-caliber academic semester in Belize or New Zealand aimed at helping students connect their Christian faith to biblical justice, ecology, sustainable community development, and to personally live more sustainable lifestyles. Within a learning context focused on Christian spiritual formation and community, CCSP offers a robust cross-cultural and interdisciplinary integrated semester of learning and discipleship.

While studying with CCSP, students interact with the local communities and discover hands-on the remarkable natural wonders of Belize or New Zealand. Some highlights of CCSP-Belize include living at Macal Commons, CCSP's beautiful tropical campus, taking excursions to local Mayan ruins, snorkeling at one of the world's largest barrier reefs, and exploring pristine rainforests. The Belize semester also offers internship opportunities.

The CCSP-New Zealand campus is nestled beneath the mighty Kaikoura mountains, yet only one mile from the Pacific Ocean. This offers students the unique opportunity to explore New Zealand's Polynesian and European cultures, stunning forests, mountain glaciers and abundant marine life (including whales, dolphins and seals). Both locations include homestay opportunities with local families, while CCSP also provides ample opportunity for independent travel.

CCSP New Zealand or Belize is available Fall or Spring semester and is suitable for all majors, but particularly for Intercultural Studies, Biology, and Sociology majors.

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.

Justice Studies in Honduras (DSP)

See the Justice Studies in Honduras website for additional information and course offerings.

Students from all majors are invited to the Justice Studies in Honduras semester, offered through Calvin College's off-campus programs.  Earn 15 credits of coursework in community development and Honduran culture, taught by professors who live out what they are teaching. Choose a two-week practicum where you work with an organization of your choice. Learn Spanish by speaking Spanish, even if you haven't taken much before. In Honduras, you'll stay with host families in the beautiful town of Santa Lucía, just outside the capital, Tegucigalpa. You may learn to cook traditional food, play soccer with your younger siblings, or hear traditional stories from your abuelo. Whatever your experience, many students say staying with a host family is one of the most rewarding parts of their semester. In coffee fields and subsistence farms, in embassies and Congress, don't just learn about a developing country: learn from one. Come together with people who share your passions and see how you can be part of the solution.

Students will be ineligible to receive University Aid when attending the Justice Studies in Honduras Program. Prior to the beginning of the Justice Studies in Honduras program students must meet with a Financial Aid Counselor and request a University Aid leave of absence to ensure University Aid will be reinstated upon return from this program.

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.

Summer Programs

Biola Study Tours

Biola offers a variety of study tours, taught by Biola faculty, that travel both nationally and internationally. Application materials, course offerings, cost and payment deadlines are specific to each program. Each Biola Summer study tour has individual student contracts and a refund policy that cater to the specific needs of each program. Payment is due in full prior to departure. Failure to pay 100% prior to departure will result in the immediate cancellation of the student's registration. Financial aid is not available for Summer study tours. All students participating in a Summer study tour are charged a $50 non-refundable registration fee and the international health insurance fee.

To learn more about Biola's various Summer study tours visit the Study Abroad website.

Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies

See the Au Sable Institute website for additional information and course offerings.

Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies offers over 20 different field-based, university level courses in environmental studies and environmental science at campuses in the Great Lakes region (Mancelona, MI) and on Puget Sound (Whidbey Island, WA), in addition to courses in South India (Thiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu) and Latin America (Vara Blanca, Costa Rica). Courses feature extensive field learning to elucidate concepts and teach hands-on skills and techniques for sustainability, ecosystem management and restoration, conservation, and research. Courses take place during May, and two summer session terms. Courses from Au Sable can be applied to major, minor, or core credits. Au Sable attracts students from 60 different Christian colleges and universities around North America, forming a Christian community that cares about preserving, restoring, and sustaining God's creation.

Au Sable's international opportunities include two May session courses "Conservation and Development in the Indian Tropics," taught in partnership with Bishop Heber College (Tamil Nadu, India). The class travels to South India to learn about its unique tropical ecosystems and culture. In Costa Rica, the "Tropical Agriculture and Missions" courses teaches proven, hands-on skills and techniques for helping farmers improve their livelihoods in developing countries, and how these can be used to share the Gospel.

For contact information visit the Study Abroad website.