Meaningful academic engagement abroad can be a significant and transformative element to a world-class undergraduate education, no matter what your major. Studying abroad is one of the best ways to learn about the cultural, economic, political, and scientific forces that shape our world. These experiences will challenge your perspectives, expand your self-awareness, and inspire lifelong global engagement.
Mercyhurst’s Office of Global Programs offers a range of options for students interested in studying abroad, including semester-long and summer programs, a full term in Dungarvan, Ireland (Erie’s sister city), and many opportunities for faculty-led, course-related travel to locations across the globe. Mercyhurst also partners with internationally recognized affiliate programs for independent study abroad opportunities.
Short-Term Study Abroad
The Faculty-Student Academic Travel (FSAT) programs offer students and faculty shorter-term options for study abroad at course-specific locations around the world. FSAT courses link in-class course experiences to unique travel components. Together, students and their professors study incredible content and travel to fascinating destinations in order to bring content to life in the world and on the ground. Programs run from 8 to 11 days. Multiple destinations are available every year, and each trip offers two to three classes to choose from. Students can earn academic credit toward their major or minor, or satisfy REACH Curriculum requirements.
In recent years, FSAT programs have taken students and professors to study indigenous cultures in Australia and New Zealand; art therapy in Nepal; crisis informatics in Iceland; science and martial arts as well as photography and video-making in Japan; history and criminal justice in Dublin, Galway, and Belfast; philosophy and religion in Spain, France, and Italy; theatre, psychology, and English in Italy and Greece; social work and public health in Guyana, Haiti, and Nepal; biology field experiences in Peru; and fashion studies in Italy, to name a few.
Seize the opportunity to see the world – check out the short-term FSAT opportunities and find out where your adventure is waiting!
A unique and cherished study abroad program, Mercyhurst in Ireland allows a limited number of students to travel alongside multiple Mercyhurst professors to the small coastal town of Dungarvan, Ireland, to live and study for a period of eight weeks each Spring Semester. Over the past 30 years, Mercyhurst has established a strong connection with Dungarvan, a thriving seaside harbor town in County Waterford. Our presence in Dungarvan and relationships with local leaders have helped foster one of the most immersive and engaging study abroad opportunities in the region.
Mercyhurst in Ireland differs from other study abroad programs because it allows students to spend an entire semester in a foreign country, fully immersing students in the culture and the community. The town of Dungarvan has warmly opened its heart to each new cohort of Lakers since the beginning of the program, even giving them a special opportunity to march in the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.
While living and studying in Dungarvan, students are also given the opportunity on weekends to travel in small groups to other parts of Ireland and other European countries. These excursions encourage independence, as they’re given the freedom to arrange their own plans and itinerary for traveling, with the approval of the professors. During spring break, the entire group of students also travels to a different country with their professors. These mini excursions serve as a way for students to learn and broaden their horizons by experiencing different cultures and practicing independence.
Though Mercyhurst University offers a wide selection of different trips to students each year, there are also a variety of study abroad programs to choose from outside the university. Mercyhurst students are encouraged to select the program that best suits their needs.
As the university is determined to provide our students with the best options, the Office of Global Programs maintains close relationships with nine unique and diverse programs. All of these programs are well-established and internationally recognized.
Academic Programs International – API
Academic Studies Abroad – ASA
American Institute for Foreign Study – AIFS
The Council on International Educational Exchange – CIEE
Cultural Experiences Abroad – CEA
Global Experiences - Internships Abroad
Semester at Sea
Spanish Studies Abroad
Why do students study abroad?
Students choose to study abroad for many reasons. Some want to see the world, others want to learn about new cultures and/or work on their language skills, while others want to build skills that are attractive to future employers. Whatever the reasons, study abroad complements academic study and is an essential part of preparing to thrive in an increasingly global 21st century world community.
What is Faculty-Student Academic Travel (FSAT)?
Faculty-Student Academic Travel (FSAT) programs provide Mercyhurst students the opportunity for a short-term, faculty-led experience abroad. Most FSAT program courses carry college credit and can fulfill a requirement in the REACH core curriculum and/or the student’s major, depending on the program. Each course is linked to its own custom travel component that brings the classroom to life. Together, Mercyhurst students and faculty travel abroad to amazing destinations to make a valuable connection between the classroom and real-world experience. These programs are great options for first-time travelers and students whose personal, professional, or academic situation does not allow them to be out of the country for an extended period of time.
What is the Mercyhurst in Ireland Program?
The Mercyhurst in Ireland Program is a full-term experience that takes Mercyhurst students and faculty to the Mercyhurst University Ireland facility in Dungarvan, Ireland for eight weeks. If accepted, students take 2-3 courses onsite in Ireland, live in university-leased accommodations, and travel/study throughout Ireland and Europe as part of the program.
What is Independent Study Abroad?
Independent Programs offer many options for students in all majors for summer, semester, and full-year study abroad. These programs are administered by "affiliates," which are approved providers (i.e. international study abroad programs such as AIFS, Global Experiences, API, CEA, CIEE, CIS, ISA, Semester at Sea, Spanish Studies Abroad).
Who can study abroad?
An undergraduate with at least 30 credits who meets the minimum GPA requirement and who is not on academic program or disciplinary sanction, is eligible to apply to study abroad through the Office of Global Programs. Qualifying students can apply to study abroad for a full academic year, a single semester, or during the summer. There may be curricular limitations on when students can study abroad, and most study abroad programs have a GPA requirement of 2.5 and many require at least a 3.0.
Do I have to know the language?
Not only are there programs in locations where English is the primary language, many study abroad programs offer courses taught in English while providing introduction to and support for the development of a second language.
Can I work, intern, volunteer, or engage in service learning while abroad?
A number of the university's affiliates (i.e. international study abroad programs such as AIFS, Global Experiences, CEA, CIEE etc.) offer programs that facilitate students seeking to do community/service learning or completing internships. Students interested in learning more about these opportunities are encouraged to consult with staff in the Office of Global Programs at least one year prior to the targeted study abroad term.
When should I study abroad?
There is no correct time to study abroad, although most students study abroad in either their sophomore or junior years. Freshmen are not permitted to study abroad with affiliate programs but may participate in Mercyhurst-sponsored programs such as FSAT and Ireland.
Is it expensive to study abroad?
Depending on the program and/or study destination, the cost of studying abroad could be similar to tuition fees at Mercyhurst, or more expensive. Students need to consider a number of factors when calculating study abroad expenses, including what the program fee does or doesn't include (i.e. airfare, housing, meals), as well as differences in the cost of living in various locations. Programs like AIFS, API, CEA, Athena Abroad, CIEE, CIS, ISA, Semester at Sea, Spanish Studies abroad and many others offer scholarships to students studying abroad with their programs.
Will my financial aid apply to study abroad?
It depends on how and when a student wants to study abroad and on the kinds of financial aid a particular student might be eligible for, but typically, some part of a student's financial aid may be applied to study abroad.
When should I start planning to study abroad?
Students need to begin planning at least two terms before they hope to study abroad! The earlier a student starts, the more successful the study abroad experience.
Will I graduate on time if I study abroad?
The vast majority of Mercyhurst students have plenty of room to fit study abroad into their four-year curriculum plans. Moreover, there are Mercyhurst sponsored programs, such as FSAT and Ireland, that are designed specifically to meet the needs of students who have particularly stringent academic requirements.
How do I apply for study abroad?
Most applications are available online and/or in the Office of Global Programs. Students need to begin by meeting with a study abroad advisor to learn about the application and approval processes. Application submission processes vary widely, but students can expect that they will have to submit general information, possibly an essay, an official university transcript, and one or more letters of recommendation.
For Current Students
Information for current students interested in studying abroad, including details on applying, funding, and travel preparation, can be found on the Study Abroad page on the Mercyhurst Hub.