Your College Cross-Cultural Experience
- semester abroad
- internship program in D.C.
- three or six-week summer experiences
Drink in knowledge at its source
Imagine reading the Bible during your college studies at a site where Jesus likely preached. Or discussing history where the events actually took place. Or studying politics and social justice in the halls of Congress.
During your cross-cultural, you’ll reflect, discuss, journal and process your experience, led by faculty members who are more than experts – they’re mentors. If overseas, your group will be linked with local partners, usually far from the tourist circuit.
Our well-known program – over three decades old – is one of the strongest cross-cultural study programs in the country. It is part of what makes EMU a Christian university like no other.
Go global, or stay in North America
Cross-cultural study is cherished by the alumni of EMU. Since the “cross-cultural” is a requirement for earning a bachelor’s degree at EMU, it has become a common experience that distinguishes EMU grads and makes them particularly proud of their time at EMU. Most students decide to become immersed in another culture for a whole semester, usually in Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East.
A three-week summer cross-cultural can be an incredibly transformative experience. We still encourage most students to do a full semester overseas in another culture, but a summer program can truly begin your journey into cross-cultural understanding.
what alumni say
“When you go through challenges, it makes you stronger,” says EMU alumnus Ben Bolanos during a cross-cultural reunion in 2014. A classmate added that their unforgettable experience “still permeates my life 20 years later.”
But some students opt for a three-week summer experience exploring places like Quebec, Eastern Europe, or the U.S.-Mexico border region. Others live and learn in North America, often based at EMU’s Washington (D.C.) Community Scholars’ Center, our thriving internship program.
Enlarge your perspective
Cross-culturals are more than study abroad. Graduates call the experiences “life-changing,” giving them the foundation they need to live, lead and serve in a global context.
Through immersing yourself in another culture, you gain a unique chance to reflect on what you believe, and why. Many grads report that the experience enhanced their faith journey and deepened their values, while instilling respect for people different from themselves.
Typically students spend part of their cross-cultural living with local families. You could stay in a mud-brick dwelling, a multi-story apartment building, or a carefully patched shack. Whatever your location, you’re likely to develop a caring relationship with your host “parents,” “sisters” and “brothers,” who provide companionship, insight and support in language learning.
Learn from professors who are mentors
Join the Cross-Cultural Top Ten Survey – Tell us your top reasons to participate in an EMU Cross-Cultural!
Faculty and staff members who have lived internationally for years lead the groups and routinely go off the beaten path for a journey like no other. They travel with their families, and offer caring guidance as well as challenging studies.
An EMU cross-cultural experience will open your eyes and heart while giving you skills and knowledge for successfully navigating our complex world.
Harrisonburg native and biology professor to talk about research with tuatara, a rare New Zealand reptileOctober 28th, 2015
Harrisonburg native and biology professor Kristine Grayson comes to Eastern Mennonite University to present a Suter Science Seminar on a common problem for the conservation and management of endangered populations. She’ll share her research about tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), an endemic and rare reptile of New Zealand, in a seminar Friday, Nov. 6, at 4 p.m. …More
‘Searching for Zion’ author visits campus to kick off 2015-16 Common Read focus on race, identity and cultureOctober 15th, 2015
Of all the possible suggestions that came to Common Read committee chair Tara Kishbaugh from the Eastern Mennonite University community, one topic bubbled to the surface. “Race,” said Kishbaugh, a chemistry professor who heads the Intellectual Life Committee. “Cross-cultural understanding. Racism. These topics appeared multiple times and in different suggested books in the months before …More