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 Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement ( 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 Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement 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 use the credits as elective credit. This advisement is based on potential challenges in finding the second and third semester of instruction in the languages not offered at Biola.

Students earning a Bachelor of Science degree may be able to fulfill the language requirement while participating in a Study Abroad/Study USA program; 4 credits are required.

Biola Semester Programs

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

Biola in Quito, Ecuador (QES)

See the Living and Learning website for additional information.

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 CCCE website.

Biola in Ecuador Semester Recommended Courses

Required Culture Courses
Community Development Seminar/Intercultural Practicum1-3
Select one of the following:3
Ecuador 250: Art History and Culture of Ecuador
Ecuador 350: History, Politics and Culture
Required Spanish Courses
Select one or two of the following:3-8
Literature and Composition Spanish Language (9 course equivalences available)
Core Courses
Christian Spiritual Formation3
Studies in American Literature3
Worldview and World Religions3
Intercultural Communication3

 Eight classes available, both lower and upper division

Biola London (BLS)

See the Biola London website for additional information.

In cooperation with Roehampton University 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 Roehampton University 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.

Roehampton University'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. In all, students will take five courses in London, totaling 15 credits.

Students interested in the program should inquire with the Biola London office 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 Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement. 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 CCCE website.

Biola Student Exchange Program (ISE)

See the CCCE website for additional information.

The Biola Student Exchange Program provides unique opportunities for Biola students to study at Christian universities in Korea, Japan, and Indonesia. Students can study as exchange students at Yonsei University in 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 CCCE website.

BestSemester (CCCU) Programs

The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), an association of 115 members and 63-affiliate campuses in 20 countries, 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 Center for Cross Cultural Engagement.

Interested students can visit the Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement and the CCCU websites.

American Studies Program (ASP)

See the ASP website for additional information.

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.

Each student enrolls in the program’s two practicum courses: Internship and Topics in Leadership & Vocation. Students have the option of enrolling in a one-credit Professional Mentorship course. In addition, students apply to either the Public Policy track or the Strategic Communication 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. Students compare how different types of organizations set strategic direction, develop and evaluate messages, choose appropriate communication channels and tactics, and measure output and impact outcomes.

For contact information visit the CCCE website.

American Studies Program Recommended Courses

Practicum Courses
Internship (20-30 hrs/wk)6
Topics in Leadership and Vocation3
Professional Mentorship (optional)1
Project Track Courses
Public Policy Initiatives Track:6
Applied Politics and Public Policy Seminar
Public Policy Research Project
Strategic Communications Track:6
Case Studies in Strategic Communication
Advocacy, Fundraising, and Development

Australia Studies Centre (ASC)

See the ASC website for additional information.

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 electives from CHC offerings in the School of Christian Studies, Business, Education and Humanities, Ministries, and Social Sciences. Included in the elective offerings, students may select an internship through the School of Social Sciences. Students who register for an internship will still take the two core courses, as well as a Social Science co-requisite course based on the internship placement. Each internship student completes 100 hours of placement and receives a professional mentor. 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 CCCE website.

Australia Studies Centre Recommended Courses

Culture Emphasis (Required)
The View from Australia4
Select one of the following:4
Australian Aboriginal Cultures
Indigenous Cultures in Australia and Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Discipline Emphasis
Christian Heritage College Unit #14
Christian Heritage College Unit #24

Contemporary Music Center (CMC)

See the CMC website for additional information.

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 CCCE website.

Contemporary Music Center Recommended Courses

Core Courses (Required)
Faith, Music and Culture3
Inside the Music Industry3
Practicum: "CMC Tour"1
Select one of the following tracks:9
Artist Track
Essentials of Songwriting
Studio Recording
Business Track
Strategic Management
Music Business Survey
Advanced Media Marketing
Technical Track
Advanced Studio Recording
Audio Engineering
Concert Production

Latin American Studies Program (LAS)

See the LAS website for additional information.

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 four concentrations: Latin American studies (offered both Fall and Spring terms); advanced language and literature (designed for Spanish majors and offered both Fall and Spring terms); international business (offered only in Fall terms); and environmental science (offered only during Spring 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 CCCE website.

Latin American Studies Program Recommended Courses

Spanish Language6
Latin American History and Contemporary Issues3
Regional Study Travel1-3
Concentration Courses6

Los Angeles Film Studies Center (LAF)

See the LAF website for additional information.

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 L.A. The curriculum consists of three required seminars: "Hollywood Production Workshop" (a film production course), and "Faith and Artistic Development in Film," focusing on the role of film in culture and the relationship of faith to work in this very influential industry. In addition, students choose one elective course from a variety of offerings in film studies. Internships in various segments of the film industry provide students with hands-on experience. The combination of the internship and seminars allows students to explore the film industry within a Christian context and from a liberal arts perspective. LAFSC students earn 16 credits.

For contact information visit the CCCE website.

Los Angeles Film Studies Center Recommended Courses

Hollywood Production Workshop4
Faith and Artistic Development in Film3
Internship: Inside Hollywood6
Select one of the following:3
Narrative Storytelling
Professional Acting for the Camera
Independent Study

Middle East Studies Program (MES)

See the MES website for additional information.

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 semester hours of credit.

For contact information visit the CCCE website.

Middle East Studies Program Recommended Courses

Introduction to Arabic Language4
Islamic Thought and Practice4
Conflict and Change in the Middle East4
Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East4

Oxford Summer Programme (OSP)

See the OSP website for additional information.

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, including the history of art and history of science, philosophy, theology and the study of religion. The programme is structured for rising college sophomores, juniors, and seniors, graduate and seminary students, non-traditional students, teachers, and those enrolled in continuing education programs. OSP students earn 6 semester hours of credit.

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 CCCE website.

Scholars' Semester in Oxford (SSO)

See the SSO website for additional information.

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 students enroll in a primary and secondary tutorial, an independent undergraduate research seminar, and a British core course featuring frequent travel around the British Isles. 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 17 semester hours of credit for a semester and may complete two semesters of the programme.

For contact information visit the CCCE website.

Scholars' Semester in Oxford Recommended Courses

Primary Tutorial6
Secondary Tutorial3
Undergraduate Research Seminar4
Selected Topics in British Culture4

Uganda Studies Program (USP)

See the USP website for additional information.

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 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 participate in the Cross Cultural Practicum at a health-related to engage broader issues of international aid, development, and public health. Other students choose the General Studies Emphasis (GHE) and 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. USP students earn up to 16 hours of credit.

For contact information visit the CCCE website.

Uganda Studies Program Recommended Courses

Faith and Action in the Ugandan Context4
African Context Courses3-12
UCU Elective Courses3

Affiliated Semester Programs

Creation Care Study Program (CCSP)

See the CCSP website for additional information.

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 CCCE website.

Creation Care Study Program Recommended Courses

Introduction to Sustainable Community Development4
God and Nature4
Tropical Ecosystems4
Environmental Literature3
Internship Elective (Optional)2
New Zealand
Introduction to Sustainable Community Development4
New Zealand Ecosystems4
God and Nature4
Environmental Literature3
Te Reo Maori (Maori Language)1

Justice Studies in Honduras (DSP)

See the DSP website for additional information.

Students from all majors are invited to the Justice Studies in Honduras semester, offered through Calvin College's off-campus programs. Whether through an interview with a worker in a garment factory or a lecture from one of Honduras' top politicians, this semester will open your eyes to a new way of thinking about justice as something that's possible. 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 from your Honduran family while living in the beautiful town of Santa Lucia, just outside the capital city, Tegucigalpa.

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 CCCE website.

Justice Studies in Honduras Recommended Courses

Exploring a Third World Society3
The Problem of Poverty3
Development Theory in Practice3
Spanish Language Study3-4
Honduras Development Practicum (optional)3

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.

Signature Study Tours:

  • Biola D.C.
  • Torrey Cambridge
  • Torrey Rome
  • Art History, London/Paris
  • Sundance Film Festival, Utah
  • Urban Research, New York
  • Clinical Research, Indonesia

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

Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies

See the Au Sable Institute website for additional information.

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 CCCE website.