Elon is #1 in study abroad. Again and again.

For 14 straight years, Elon University has been ranked #1 among the nation’s master’s-level universities for the number of students who study abroad.

#1in Study Abroad
83%of students participated in global study at least once
100+global study programs
50+countries represented

Elon’s #1 national ranking is included in the 2018 Open Doors report by the Institute of International Education, which reported that 1,654 Elon students studied abroad during the previous academic year.

Elon’s high participation rate compares with a national average of about 10 percent of college students having an international study experience—a percentage that has been steady for many years.

Elon continues to make progress toward its strategic goal of achieving 100 percent access to a global engagement experience by the year 2020, with the university expanding financial aid to assist students who cannot afford the cost of study abroad.

Get your passport ready.

Elon provides long- and short-term global opportunities for students in every major.


Where on earth can I study?

Six continents and 21 time zones

College is a time for learning—but no one said you have to do it all in the same zip code.

Studying away from Elon can take place around the world and throughout the United States.

Study abroad by region

  • North & Central America: Barbados, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Panama, Turks and Caicos and United States
  • South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru
  • Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom
  • Middle East & Africa: Ethiopia, Ghana, Israel, Jordan, Malawi, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe
  • Asia & Oceania: Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Semester at Sea (multiple countries)

Study USA programs

  • Centers in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
  • Topical courses on rotation, such as programs to Disney World, the Everglades, Hawaii, Boston, Iowa Caucuses, ESPN headquarters and the Sundance Film Festival.

When can I go?

And what types of programs are there?

You will study abroad. The only questions are when, where and how often?

When can I go?

Short-term (January, Thanksgiving, Spring Break), semester-long, summer and/or an entire academic or calendar year

Elon offers programs as early as your first year for students in all majors.

What’s the difference among programs?

There are three types of programs:

  • Elon faculty-led, short-term
  • Elon Global Centers (four abroad, four U.S.)
  • Affiliate and exchange

What’s Winter Term all about?

And what are some examples of the programs?

Elon’s academic calendar is 4-1-4, allowing multiple opportunities to study away—fall, winter, spring and summer. One of the most popular options is to study away from campus during Winter Term (January), when there are more than 30 program options. Here are some of the course opportunities:

  • Austria, Germany and Hungary: Lives of the Great Composers
  • Barbados: Culture, Politics and Society Business in the Pacific Rim
  • Dominican Republic: Baseball and Tourism
  • France: Eat, Pray, Love: Sacred Space and the Place of Religion
  • Florida: Happiest Place? The Science of Happiness at Disney
  • Ghana: Performing Arts in Cultural Context
  • Hawaii: Nation or State? In Search of Hawaiian Identity
  • India: Public Health Practicum
  • Israel: Innovation in Israel
  • Italy: Dante’s Inferno: From Poetry to Video Games
  • Peru: The Living Heritage of the Andes
  • Vietnam: Business and Culture

What if I can’t leave campus for a semester or Winter Term?

Choose a travel-embedded program

If you’re unable to leave campus for a full semester or Winter Term, consider a travel-embedded course taught on campus with a short-term travel component.


  • Peru: Wilderness and Adventure Therapy
  • Iceland: The Crucible of Fire and Ice: Nature, Culture, and Authenticity

Spring break

  • India and South Asia: Democracy, Development, Diplomacy and Conflict in Historical Perspective
  • Canada, Montreal, Quebec: Les Histoires Qu’on Se Raconte “The Stories We Tell”

What about longer-term options?

Semester Elon global centers

Elon Centers are tailor-made for our students, including an Elon faculty-in-residence and custom co-curricular opportunities.


  • Shanghai, China: Experience the future of global business
  • Dunedin, New Zealand: Develop skills for teaching the next generation of students
  • London, United Kingdom: Take on a professional or service-focused internship in this center of art and business
  • Florence, Italy: Explore the roots of Western civilization


  • Elon in DC: Intern and take courses in the nation’s capital in partnership with The Washington Center
  • Elon in New York City: Put yourself in the action with an internship and earn academic credit toward your degree requirements
  • Elon in Los Angeles: Build your network with coursework in communications and performing arts and an internship in your field of professional interest
  • Elon in San Francisco: Encounter entrepreneurship firsthand in this capital of innovation with academic coursework and a pre-professional internship

Are there more programs to consider?

Elon’s network of affiliate and exchange programs

In Elon’s semester and summer affiliate programs you take part in a study abroad program hosted with an educational partner, such as university abroad.

  • Amman, Jordan: Middle East Studies OR Arabic Language
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality & Gender
  • Barcelona, Spain: Language & Culture OR Business & Culture OR Economics & Culture or Liberal Arts
  • Cape Town, South Africa: Arts & Sciences OR Service Learning OR Open Campus
  • Prague, Czech Republic: Central European & Jewish Studies OR Film Studies OR New Media Studies
  • Rabat, Morocco: Field Studies in Journalism & New Media OR Multiculturalism & Human Rights
  • Serbia, Bosnia, and Kosovo: Peace & Conflict Studies in the Balkans
  • Turks and Caicos Islands: Marine Resource Management Studies OR Marine Protected Areas

Santiago, Chile:
A ‘real world’ experience

Genna Kasian in front of a colorful mosaic in Chile.

Name: Genna Kasian
Graduation Year: 2019
Majors: International and Global Studies and Spanish
Minor: Business Administration

Where and when did you study abroad?

I studied abroad the spring of my sophomore year in Santiago, Chile, and was part of the liberal arts program offered by the Council on International Educational Exachange (CIEE).

Why did you choose to study in Santiago, Chile?

My experience in Santiago really complemented my studies of Spanish and international global studies and gave me “real world” experience practicing the language and getting to know a country and region that I studied in the classrooms at Elon. I was able to take four classes at exceptional universities, which helped me to fulfill requirements for both my majors. Chile offers a lot of geographical diversity, which I was interested in exploring.

How has the experience impacted you personally?

Even months after returning from abroad, I continue to see ways my experience has changed me personally. My experience in Santiago has helped me to become a more confident, individual person. I was navigating an extremely unfamiliar environment that contrasted starkly with my prior experiences in suburban America. I worked through everything from government bureaucracy to public transportation and now feel so much more confident in my abilities to do things for myself and be successful in unfamiliar situations.

Spain and Morocco:
Immersed in two cultures

Mason in Morocco

Name: Mason Enloe
Graduation Year: 2020
Major: Religious Studies
Minors: Asian Studies, Entrepreneurship and Communications

Where and when did you study abroad?

I studied in Spain and Morocco during Winter Term of my sophomore year.

Was hands-on learning part of your experience?

In Spain, we received pottery lessons, which was a taste of what it was like to make the famous clay tiles found in Sevilla. In Morocco, we experienced the simplicity and isolation that ancient Islamic students lived in while studying the Qur’an in beautiful universities.

What would you tell a prospective student about the experience of traveling abroad?

Do not try to process everything you are experiencing as it is happening. The mental stimulus of a radically new place can be overwhelming. Writing in a journal and having discussions with classmates at the end of the day is an effective way to process and learn.

What was your favorite part of the experience?

We had a meal with a Moroccan family who lived on the outskirts of Chefchaouen, a city built on a mountainside. We got an authentic picture of what life is for Moroccan families and heard about some of their favorite things as well as some of their struggles.

Study abroad – an integral part of an Elon education

Introducing the five Elon Experiences

We learn best through experiences.

The five co-curricular Elon Experiences programs include Global Engagement (Study Abroad & Study USA), Internships, Undergraduate Research, Service and Leadership.

These signature programs are key to Elon’s experiential approach to higher education. Students complete at least two of the Elon Experiences, and classes are designed to engage students in hands-on, engaged learning through group projects, simulations, presentations and research activities.

Elon’s academic calendar and curriculum are designed to allow all students to participate in global study while completing their core curriculum and major coursework and graduate in four years.

Schedule a visit

To get started on your path to a life-changing experience (or two), schedule a visit to Elon, North Carolina. A campus visit is the best way to determine if Elon is right for you.

Campus tours are offered Monday through Friday at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and most Saturday mornings throughout the year. Please join us for an information session led by an admissions counselor and a walking tour led by an Elon student.