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.
Nursing major finds that semester cross-cultural in Washington D.C. provides positive pre-clinical experienceJuly 15th, 2015
Nancy Wharton, who comes from the small town of Strasburg, Virginia, “definitely” wanted to spend her cross-cultural semester in a different country. But the nursing student at Eastern Mennonite University spent some time looking at the “big workload” she was getting herself into, and also wondered if going abroad for a semester late in her …More
- June 8th, 2015
Doris Harper Allen, 88, greeted a group of Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) students in the parking lot of Rose’s in Harrisonburg, the former heart of Newtown. She quickly passed out laminated maps of what is now known as the Northeast neighborhood. And then Allen flashed a vibrant smile from beneath her bright red sunglasses. “You …More