International Opportunities at LaGrange College

Katie Farr

One of the most unique advantages of being a student at LaGrange College is the vast array of study abroad opportunities. As a college that highly values diversity and cultural understanding, LaGrange attempts to remove every obstacle that may hinder students from broadening their horizons all over the world. The opportunities include international exchange programs, semester- or year-long study abroad programs, and LaGrange College’s interim travel courses.

Any student who is interested in participating in an exchange program is in the right place at LaGrange College. The Office of Global Engagement helps potential international students. Typically, those students who apply and are accepted into an exchange program still pay normal tuition and fees to LaGrange College and pay any room and board fees to the other institution. Students who choose to study in another country long-term will enroll as international transient students and send completed transcripts back to LaGrange College.

Students who are not interested in studying away for quite that long may, instead, be interested in traveling for one full semester or academic year. This process begins about 12 to 18 months before they plan to leave. Students should be sure to consider the total cost of the trip (which the Office of Global Engagement website offers help in determining) as well as how it fits in their overall academic plans. Anyone considering this option should speak with the Office of Global Engagement in order to fully understand all of the requirements.

The most popular options are the short Interim and May Away trips. Every January and May, students pack their bags and head out across the world to places like the United Kingdom, Belize, Spain, and the Bahamas for 10-20 days. These trips are perfect opportunities to affordably see the world without the added concerns of living outside the U.S. Students who enter LaGrange College as a first-time, full-time student are offered a one-time $2,500 travel voucher that can be used on one of these trips their junior or senior year.

The following trips are available in 2021:


Nursing Since Nightingale, London, United Kingdom.

Faculty Leaders: Dr. Sarah Holden and Prof. Angela McSpadden

Students on this trip will learn about Florence Nightingale’s role in the development of nursing. They will tour important historical destinations such as the Old Operating Theatre of St. Thomas Hospital and St. Bartholomew Hospital.

Himalayan Mysteries: The Religions, Art and Ecology of Nepal.

Faculty Leaders: Dr. David Ahearn, Prof. Margaret Reneke, Dr. William Paschal

Dr. Ahearn spent seven years in Nepal for sabbatical and came to the conclusion that it is “the most interesting place [he’s] ever seen.” Visiting Nepal is like “going back in time” since most of its ancient traditions and religious practices are still intact today. Students on this trip will visit several Hindu and Buddhist religious sites. They will focus on religious traditions as well as art. The trip will also emphasize the environment, providing students with the opportunity to ride an elephant and see Mt. Everest.

Along the Streets of England: London, Stratford, Oxford and Bath, United Kingdom.

Faculty Leaders: Prof. Kim Barber Knoll, Prof. Tracy Riggs

On this trip, students will learn about and visit sites related to the Theatre Arts. They will see three shows and participate in a workshop with the Royal Shakespeare Company. They will visit many general tourist attractions in London as well as some historical Theatre Arts destinations such as the birthplace of Shakespeare.

Ecuador: A Study in Service Learning.

Faculty Leaders: Prof. Cindi Bearden, Dr. Brian Hunter

This trip is unique since its focus is on Christian service. It will last 10-11 days and the cost paid to the college is all-inclusive. Students will learn about how the local church has impacted the country’s development. They will visit destinations varying from a chocolate manufacturer to a volcano.

The History of Psychology in London, United Kingdom.

Faculty Leaders: Dr. Christi Hu, Dr. Stephanie Thomas

Students interested in psychology, evolution, or even thriller stories should consider attending this trip. The trip will emphasize the history of psychology, giving students the opportunity to visit the birthplace of Sigmund Freud and the Bethlehem Royal Hospital (one of the world’s oldest asylums). Students will also visit the home of Charles Darwin and participate in a “Jack the Ripper” walking tour. On the last night, students will experience life in a manor house and maybe even dress in the fashion of the time period for the full effect!

Service and Exploring in Post-Colonial Central America, Belize.

Faculty Leaders: Dr. Melinda Pomeroy-Black, Dr. Justin Thurman

This trip will include many unique adventures such as snorkeling coral reefs, visiting Mayan Ruins, and exploring the rainforest. It will also consist of a service component, providing students with the opportunity to help at a children’s home and a howler monkey sanctuary. Students will learn about the ecosystem in Belize and write several reflections describing their experiences.

Discovering the Cultures of Northern Thailand and Laos.

Faculty Leaders: Dr. Sharon Livingston, Dr. Don Livingston

Dr. Sharon Livingston highlights that this trip will be 20 days full of “authentic interactions with people.” It is completely organized by the faculty leaders and is not the typical “canned, guided tour.” Students will visit a variety of destinations such as village markets, caves, and temples. While on the trip, students will also be able to spend some time in Hawaii.

May Away

Business and Nonprofits in Prague and Vienna, Czech Republic, Austria.

Faculty Leaders: Dr. Brian Hunter, Dr. Gus McMurray.

Students will learn about the business and culture of Austria and the Czech Republic. There will be some service opportunities at local schools and tours of several important businesses. Students will also have the chance to make chocolate! They will visit historical destinations including the Lennon Wall and Prague Castle. 

Springtime in Paris, France.

Faculty Leaders: Dr. Elizabeth Appleby and Dr. Kevin Ludwick.

This trip will include visits to several popular art museums which showcase a variety of art styles. Students interested in physics may be excited to visit the Arts et Métiers Museum where the original Foucault’s Pendulum can be found. Students will also visit the PSG Soccer Stadium as well as several of Paris’s most popular destinations such as the Eiffel Tower.

Alaska in the Spring: A Study of Nature and Business Interests in the 49th State

Faculty Leaders: Dr. Molli Newman, Prof. Cindi Bearden.

This trip will include several distinct advantages simply because it is in the United States. Students will be able to explore an environment completely different than they may be used to without even having to get a passport. It will include both biological and business components. Students will have the opportunity to see many interesting animals which will be coming out of hibernation right around the time of the trip. They will also tour seafood and energy production companies to learn about Alaska’s economy.

Katie is a senior from Roanoke, Alabama. She is a psychology major with a music minor and is a tutor in the Writing Center. After graduating, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in occupational therapy.

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