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Program Types


Students can choose from hundreds of study abroad programs in almost every region of the world, ranging from a few weeks to a full academic year. The type of program, cost, number of credits, and length can vary significantly, so it is important to explore. There are three types of programs available to students.

SPU Faculty-led Programs
Faculty-led programs are short-term programs administered through SPU Study Abroad. These programs offer students the opportunity to travel and study abroad under the leadership of an SPU faculty member. Courses taken abroad will count toward SPU GPA and academic honors. Financial aid can include all forms of SPU, federal, and state aid. Program fees are paid to SPU. Programs abroad include summer sessions, Global Seminars (short 2-3 week programs prior to autumn or winter quarters), and quarter-long programs.

These programs range from language and culture study to field research. All courses are either taught by or approved by SPU professors. They tend to be small, usually accommodating 15 or fewer students; the majority of participants, if not all, are SPU students. Housing options vary depending on location but typically involve university dormitories, homestay, hostels, or rustic accommodations in field stations. Acceptance decisions are made directly by the faculty leader pending a student's successful completion of an application through SPU Study Abroad. There is a $50 application fee (due by the application deadline) and $300 non-refundable deposit due within 7 days of acceptance to the program. SPU Study Abroad provides faculty members and student participants with ongoing administrative, logistical, and additional support prior to departure, throughout the experience abroad, and until the program's return to the U.S. 

Browse our Faculty-led Programs or start an application

SPU Partner Programs

Effective Fall 2017, Seattle Pacific University will implement a new program model for Study Abroad. It’s purpose is to enable a greater number of undergraduate students to access their SPU institutional scholarships and grants among a greater variety of study abroad opportunities. This new model will allow 50 students every year to choose from 40 semester-length programs that are eligible for all institutional aid. These programs are in partnership with affiliated organizations or host universities that have been vetted for their academic and student support, and have been in long standing partnerships with Seattle Pacific University.


  • Increased financial accessibility. SPU scholarships, grants, and full state and federal aid can be applied to a larger list of affiliate programs.
  • In most cases, students will transfer more than 18 quarter credits back to SPU by participating on a semester program.
  • Many programs include housing in their participation costs.
  • Several affiliate organizations offer additional scholarships and grants.

How it works

  • A menu of available programs and fees is maintained by SPU Study Abroad.
  • Students meet with the SPU study abroad advisor, and/or their faculty advisor and Student Academic Services to determine options that satisfy academic and personal goals. To get started, email to set up an advising appointment.
  • Students apply by March 1 for participation during fall, winter, and/or spring quarters of the following year.

Statement of Transparency
Seattle Pacific University receives no payment from affiliated program sponsors for enrolling students in their programs. Our affiliated program sponsors and host universities have been selected because of their demonstrated academic excellence and student support. Travel and associated costs may be shared by both SPU and the affiliate sponsor when SPU faculty and staff conduct site visits for assessment of academic programs, risk management, and other activities. SPU Study Abroad reserves the right to make changes to the Partner Program model at any time.

Browse our Partner Programs or start an application

Non-SPU Programs new

Students may choose to participate in programs through third-party providers or enroll directly at a foreign university. Courses taken abroad will be transferred towards the SPU degree and will count towards the overall GPA, provided students receive regular passing grades (no pass/fail). Students pay tuition and program fees directly to the third-party provider or host institution, and may use their state and federal financial aid (except work study), but do not receive SPU financial aid or merit scholarships during their period abroad. Credits will be transferred from an accredited U.S. institution or directly from the foreign university.  

SPU has reviewed many, but not all study abroad programs run by independent organizations. Programs in our directory are offered by third party providers that have an ongoing relationship with SPU. The program structures of these programs vary substantially, but many offer courses taught in English and intensive language tracks. Students may choose programs from our directory or may request approval to attend an independent program. All approved programs listed in the SPU Study Abroad database can be located by various search parameters such as provider, country, region, and field of study. If you would like to attend a program that is not listed, please inquire with the study abroad office to ensure the program is accredited and the credits will be transferable.

Browse our database of Non-SPU Programs or start an application