Concordia College prepares students to be responsibly engaged in the world and to thrive in a global society. Global learning, both on and off campus, is integral to the Concordia experience and provides essential preparation for a world lived in common with diverse others. The college offers an array of academic and student life programs seeking to advance cognitive, personal and social development for global citizenship in an interdependent world.
To develop competencies needed for the 21st century, the college seeks to infuse global learning into every dimension of the Concordia experience. Students take up global questions and perspectives in their core and disciplinary courses. They learn from professors who travel and study abroad to advance their teaching and research. They have opportunities to engage in intercultural conversations through distance learning technologies that link classrooms and through the informal interactions of campus organizations. Students come to Concordia from nearly 30 different countries and share their cultures and convictions in classes and in residence life. Beyond the infusion of global learning across the curriculum, students can focus or enrich disciplinary preparation through coursework in the global studies program. They can earn credits toward graduation and disciplinary requirements through study away – in international and domestic settings.
International Student Advisement
International students are an integral part of the student body and utilize any and all of the services available to students at Concordia College. In addition, special services are available to assist international students:
- An international student advisor provides support and assistance to international students by maintaining their SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) record and assisting with the various issues affecting F-1 students studying in the United States.
- A special orientation is held at the beginning of each fall and spring semester to help international students make a successful transition to college life in the United States.
- The International Student Organization provides a forum where students can meet, share experiences and organize activities. Each year the International Festival highlights the culture, music, dance and fashion of the countries our international students represent.
Study Away Programs
For more than 50 years, Concordia has offered opportunities for students to study away from campus. The college has a tradition of academic integration, which means that students are encouraged and sometimes required to prepare for study away through coursework. Credit-bearing study away, whether short term or long term, can be a high impact and transformative experience. Concordia offers a set of comprehensive and academically integrated programs that seeks to serve students as growing, interconnected persons.
The college offers nine program lines with multiple choices within each. Short-term programs (30 days or less) change from year to year, while long-term programs (semester and yearlong) are offered every semester or every year. Consult the Global Learning website (www.ConcordiaCollege.edu/studyaway) for current offerings or make an appointment at the Global Learning office to consult with a study away advisor. Advance planning and preparation are an important part of successful and satisfying study away, and students are encouraged to see study away as a basic component of academic planning and development.
Exploration Seminars are faculty-led midsemester seminars embedded in a course of travelers and non-travelers designed to enrich the learning of all.
May Seminars have been offered since 1968 and are a signature short-term study away option because they are faculty-led travel seminars integrated with a required preparatory course.
Portal Seminars explore integrative learning through collaborative inquiry supported by interdisciplinary faculty teams and annual institute programming.
Summer School Abroad programs offer immersion seminars of faculty and students studying a Concordia course in a classroom abroad supplemented with experiential learning.
Summer Field Studies programs are small, investigative, faculty-led study seminars in lesser-traveled settings undertaking original inquiry.
Summer Research Abroad programs enable students to do individual and independent research with scholars and institutions abroad assisted by on-campus faculty supervision.
Music Ensemble Tours are two-week summer tours of principal choral and instrumental ensembles to various countries offered on a rotating schedule.
Global Internships and Student Teacher Placements provide individualized and approved credit-bearing placements for students seeking global work experience.
Semester and Yearlong Programs offer continuous long-term study in more than 50 locations in 35 countries, including both independent study and faculty-led programs with on-campus faculty advisors and department or program linkages.
Concordia College vigorously supports and encourages study away through its many program offerings. Students seeking to study away as a Concordia student with its benefits, support and protection must apply and be accepted for a college-approved program. Approved programs are developed, adopted and administered with a view of affordability and safety, curricular compatibility and quality, as well as experiential depth and richness. Concordia programs are approved by administrative and faculty committee action. They are administered by Global Learning and are supported and often led by Concordia faculty members. When the college approves a program, it fits the college’s standards. There is an ongoing institutional relationship, which encourages interaction and improvement. Chances of student success are improved and problems are minimized. While student choice is limited, quality matters, and the college is constantly adding newly approved programs in response to student interest.
Students who wish to participate in non-Concordia study away programs may do so by withdrawing or taking leave from the college and by seeking credit transfer when they return to the college. Students can select from hundreds of options for semester and yearlong study and are encouraged to do significant research about programs of interest. Students participating in non-Concordia programs are not eligible for financial aid from Concordia and will not be covered by the college’s medical evacuation policy during the time of withdrawal or leave. The college will not be responsible for monitoring student safety. Consequently, students who elect to study on a non-Concordia program may do so, but without certain benefits of participation in a Concordia program. Students may seek credit transfer upon return to the college. Study away matters and should only be undertaken after careful selection and planning.
GPA and Academic Standing Requirement for Global Learning and Study Away
Concordia students studying away for a semester or longer must be in good academic standing and must hold a 2.5 or higher Concordia GPA (not overall GPA) at the time of application and departure for study. Students who have accumulated three incompletes or students placed on academic warning or probation in the semester prior to travel must defer study away until they reestablish good academic standing. This deferral of study will be subject to the cancellation policies of Concordia College and Global Learning. When college-approved programs in partnership with other institutions require a GPA higher than 2.5, Concordia students must meet the higher standard to study on these programs. Students with a GPA below 2.5 who are seeking a major that requires study away for a semester or longer must make alternate, allowable arrangements according to department or program policy. Exceptions to the college’s GPA and academic standing requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the associate dean for Global Learning. Students may send a letter of appeal to the dean and a letter of support from one Concordia faculty member.
While GPA and academic standing are not the only predictors of academic and personal success while studying away, the college wants students to flourish during their global learning experiences, often without the direct oversight and support of Concordia faculty. In general, the likelihood of academic success while studying away can be correlated with academic performance on campus. Concordia offers global learning programs that are academically rigorous and integrated with the curriculum on campus. Through its GPA and academic standing requirements, the college encourages students to be well prepared for study away so they can be engaged learners and benefit deeply from experiences off campus.