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Study Abroad

Travel expands our understanding of the world and lets us look at our own culture—and ourselves—with a fresh perspective

Success without boundaries

Today's employers are looking for people who have a global understanding and direct experience with other cultures. Studying abroad also helps us appreciate cultures beyond our own, increase proficiency in another language and gain a new sense of self-confidence.

That’s why Simpson offers study abroad scholarships and many opportunities to safely explore based on your personal pursuit of knowledge. Get to know our Simpson Experience abroad, May Term international experiences and affiliated programs.

May Term International Travel Courses

International travel courses allows students to study one topic intensively while traveling with a cohort from Simpson. The courses vary from year to year and all are proposed and led by Simpson faculty. Here is a list of the current offerings.

History can be described as the stories that we tell ourselves about the past. What better way to explore this than through the example of World War II? This travel course takes you to Britain, France, and Germany to see how these three countries tell their national stories of World War II. What meaning does the war have for these nations and how they view themselves? How do they want their wartime experiences to be remembered now and by future generations? Explore how the memory of WWII is constructed by Britain, France, and Germany, focusing on different aspects of their wartime experiences, addressing questions of good/evil, guilt/innocence, bystander/collaborator, winner/loser, perpetrators/victims. You will have the opportunity to visit museums, memorials, and other sites of interest in London, Normandy, Paris and Munich to see how different nations find meaning in the past and how they commemorate it in the present for the future.

Have you ever dreamed of visiting an island in the Caribbean and living like a marine biologist, at least for a little while? Do you want to get scuba certified and dive to explore life found in coral reefs, sea grass beds, and intertidal environments? Do you want to learn to identify the common fish and other creatures found on healthy coral reefs? Do you want to swim with frolicking sea turtles, watch spotted eagle rays flop on top of the water, and look eye to eye with giant groupers almost as big as you? Do you want to help young staghorn coral grow big and strong by cleaning them of pesky algae in a coral nursery 60 feet underwater? Do you want to dive at night on a reef and see the bioluminescent dinoflagellates light up the water to welcome you to their home? Do you want to participate in research projects that will inform and improve conservation efforts for coral reefs and the wildlife that inhabits them? If you answered YES to these questions, join us for an unforgettable educational experience in Belize in May 2024.

Affiliated Programs

In addition to “Simpson Experience Abroad” semester-long offerings, students can also participate in study abroad and exchange programs operated by other institutions with which Simpson has agreements and have those credits transferred back to their degree at Simpson. 

Take courses at the university with Spanish students in a wide-range of topics with support from the university’s Office of International Relations. Live in apartments in town with other international students or host families, depending upon your preference.

Study abroad scholarships

Through a generous bequest by the late Dr. Joseph W. Walt, emeritus professor of history, Simpson College is pleased to offer more than 40 scholarships annually to help cover costs of a Simpson College student’s study abroad experience. These awards are available for students participating in a May Term International Travel Courses as well as for those studying on semester-long overseas programs.

For students who receive a federal Pell Grant as part of their college financial package, the Gilman International Scholarship is another potential funding source. The scholarship is provided by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. It stipulates that students must study abroad for at least 21 days, so those studying on a Simpson May Term International Travel Course unfortunately are not eligible to apply for a Gilman Scholarship, but for those students participating in longer duration programs, the scholarship is a great opportunity to help reduce their costs.  

If you are interested in more information, please contact Jonathan Cardamone, Director of Off-Campus Programs.