Your College Cross-Cultural Experience

  • semester abroad
  • internship program in D.C.
  • three or six-week summer experiences

Drink in knowledge at its source

EMU Cross-Cultural Leader and Professor Linford Stutzman with Students 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.

Check out journals and photos from students on cross-cultural right now!

Go global, or stay in North America

EMU Middle East Cross-CulturalCross-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.

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

EMU Cross-Cultural Student with Her Host FamilyCross-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

Alumni 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.

Program news

  • Holy Week Reflection from EMU professor Don Clymer

    A new creation: a Holy Week reflection from Don Clymer

    April 18th, 2014

    A lesson on not judging someone based on outward appearances by Don Clymer, EMU professor of Spanish and humanities “I love Americans,” Pedro announced to the small group gathered for the Wednesday evening Bible study. “I love your music, your language, your people.” My wife, Esther, and I were leading a group of 18 EMU …More

  • Linda-Bland

    Helping schools bridge cross-cultural divides

    March 8th, 2014

    The baggage that comes with feeling new and out of place in a foreign milleu is heavy, especially for children who can’t communicate with their peers in the United States. Having experienced feeling like an outsider during their required cross-culturals, dozens of EMU grads employed by Harrisonburg City schools are using their cross-cultural sensitivity in …More

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