Why Study Abroad?

Intentional Internationalization

Intentional internationalization emphasizes the pursuit of intercultural and ethnic understanding, both at home and abroad. This desire for global engagement calls for an active exploration of events, institutions, peoples, problems, and issues within and beyond our nation’s borders in order to promote the peace, joy, and love of God and to help form culturally competent faculty and students. Together, the diversity and internationalization initiatives refer to deliberate, systematic, and related efforts to integrate an intercultural and international dimension into teaching, research, and service functions of the university. For example, every academic program will include an opportunity for a cross-cultural educational experience so that all graduates may demonstrate intercultural competence as defined by their discipline.

For more information on the university’s commitment to intentional internationalization, please visit the Office of the Provost’s Academic Vision 2022.

The APU Global Mission

The Passion of God: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The Mission of God: “[God’s] love has been perfected among us in this . . . as he is, so are we in the world” (1 John 4:17).

Mission and Purpose: “Azusa Pacific University . . . seeks to advance the work of God in the world through academic excellence. . . (University Catalog).

Statement of Mission and Purpose

Azusa Pacific University (APU) seeks to prepare graduates to serve and lead in the global culture of the 21st century. International and intercultural study abroad programs are one of the most effective means of achieving this noble objective by cultivating historic and current global awareness, overcoming parochialism and prejudice, and enriching liberal arts learning which results in caring servant-leaders. For these reasons, international experiences in intercultural contexts are a cardinal component of the institutional mission “to advance the work of God in the world through academic excellence.”

Although international travel may enrich the life of an individual, not all international experiences are equally valid as additions to a student’s curriculum. The ideal paradigm provides the student with the opportunity to either enroll for a semester in a foreign university or program (full immersion: living, studying, and working in a foreign culture), or through an APU affiliation with another university, thereby creating an academic instructional integration of courses, lectures, and extracurricular activities for all or part of a semester (partial immersion). Many students, however, are not able to include a full semester abroad program while completing their undergraduate studies due to financial limitations, academic major, extracurricular aspirations, and other considerations. Therefore, short-term study abroad programs of three to six weeks are worthy of consideration and are provided by various departments of the university.

An international study experience should be thoughtfully integrated into a student’s total instructional program and major, therefore should be considered in consultation with the student’s academic advisor and the director of the Center for Global Learning and Engagement.

Generally, seniors are not permitted to study abroad in their last semester. Seniors who desire to study abroad in their final semester are required to submit a petition to the Center for Global Learning and Engagement and satisfactorily complete the Undergraduate Graduation Application (PDF) prior to applying for an off-campus program.