Study Abroad

Winter Term Programs 

Availability varies each winter term, please contact

On the Border: Arizona

The immigration debate along the southwestern border of the United States is multifaceted because of the unique geography, history and cultural interactions of the region.  In this course, students will learn about immigration from multiple perspectives and interact with numerous stakeholders along the Arizona/Sonora border.  Activities will include meetings with government officials from both countries, interaction with humanitarian groups, exposure to the unique geographical features of the Sonora Desert, presentations by scholars, experiences with artists, contact with the migrants themselves and group reflection. By the end of the course, students will engage effectively in public discourse about the complicated issue of immigration from a much broader perspective than that of the average U.S. citizen.

Experiences Include:

  •     Living Desert Museum
  •     Move to BorderLinks where students will reside
  •     Work with various humanitarian and environmental organizations ex. Humane Borders, No More Deaths, etc.
  •     Trip to Nogales, Sonora
  •     Meet with repatriated Mexicans
  •     Day with the Tohono O’odham Nation
  •     Day trip to Sasabé and Arivaca
  •     Visit El Tiradito

For more information, click here.

Hawaii: Nation or State?

This course is designed to show students the complexity of the Hawaiian islands and the fight that continues to this day for those who are in danger of losing their very identities.  We will explore the many tensions that exist in Hawaii that rest under the surface of the tourist propaganda.  From classes at the University of Hawaii to talks with native Hawaiian activists, we will look at such issues as whether Hawaii should be seen as its own nation or a state.  Historical, cultural and personal aspects of life there will be studied with the hope that students will come to understand in a deeper way the tensions between the image and the reality of the Hawaiian Islands.

Experiences Include:

  • Pearl Harbor
  • Volcanoes National Park
  • Richardson's Black Sand Beach
  • City of Refuge
  • Snorkeling tour

For more information, click here.

 Elon @ Sundance - Park City, Utah

This Communications’ course will explore the many facets of the role of the modern day film festival. Students will interact with professionals in promotions, distribution and independent filmmaking while immersing themselves in the aesthetics and culture of film. Students will spend one week at Elon, put on a small film screening, and then travel to Utah to attend a week of the Sundance Film Festival. They will research topics prior to attending the festival and complete journals and related assignments upon returning to campus.

Follow students' blogs from the festival HERE.

For more information, click here.


Wealth & Poverty - New York City & Washington, DC

Students in this course will examine how economic globalization augments the divide between the rich and the poor in contemporary society and engage in a moral critique of the increasing disparities between wealth and poverty in our world. To that end, we will examine the ways in which people experience aspects of wealth and poverty in our world, by reading relevant philosophical and ethical resources, working with the Poverty Initiative (a grassroots organization working to end poverty in the US) and meeting with representatives of UN agencies and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in New York City.  Students will also spend three days in Washington, DC exploring the topic further.  This couse fulfills upper level COR requirement and is open to students in ther third and fourth years of study.

Experiences Include

  • Working with the grassroots organization Poverty Initiative
  • Meet with United Nations representatives
  • Interact with other international non-governmental agencies
  • Walking tour of Wall Street
  • Tour of the United Nations
  • Meetings with UNICEF

For more information, click here.

Human Services Practicum - Pikeville, KY


Students will be experiencing the small city life of Eastern Kentucky in the Appalachian Mountains.  Students will be working in local non-profit human services agencies, attending events for the arts, utilizing parks for recreation, and interacting with other students from University of Pikeville. Students will complete 120 hours of field work during the course.





Environmental Visions - Arizona & Costa Rica

This travel course offers an up-close look at two eco-futurist visions that are taking shape today: Paolo Soleri’s hyper-dense “arcology” (architecture / ecology), a prototype of which is rising in the high desert near Phoenix, Arizona; and a maximally sustainable “permaculture” (permanent agriculture) as it is being practiced and taught in the seaside rainforest at Punta Mona, Costa Rica. We will explore, study, and work at each site for about a week. Accompanying side trips – to Biosphere 2 near Tucson; to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in Scottsdale and others in Costa Rica – will complement (and complicate) the two main visions. Students’ concurrent term project will be to complete a radical eco-futurist redesign of their own for Elon University. Several preparatory evening seminars and trips will be expected during Fall term.

For more information, click here.

Discovering Dixie:  Multiple Cities, Southeast USA

Students look at the broader history of the United States through the lens of a particular region in the South. In this course students travel from landmark to landmark in historical cities including Charleston, Atlanta, New Orleans and multiple North Carolina locations. Specifically, the course focused on the themes of politics, history and culture. Students who take the course learn the South has a more complex identity than what is captured by what media have often labeled “Small Town America.” Students in “Discovering Dixie” also saw how geographic context affects how products are marketed. This critical examination provides context so students will recognize specific themes from films or reading material and apply those themes to something more tangible when they arrive at a location.