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I love the city, Leiden. I feel that this is the perfect location to study. We are surrounded by European countries and yet we are able to study in a quiet and close knit community with interesting and friendly people not only from the Netherlands but all over the world.
– Carleen Mazaika
Roger Williams University


More than 10,000 students from over 400 American colleges and universities have studied with Central College since the launch of its first international program in 1965. In that time, the college has expanded its operation to include Central College Abroad, a nationally recognized leader in study abroad that offers distinctive programs in eight locations worldwide, including semester, year-long and summer options. Central works in close collaboration with a network of U.S. colleges and universities to prepare approximately 400 students, each year, for the study abroad experience.

About Central College
Central College is a small, private, liberal arts college located in Pella, Iowa. As an institution, Central is known for its caring and dedicated faculty, commitment to academic quality, and meaningful experiential-based learning. These attributes translate to all Central College Abroad programs through a hybrid program structure, beginning with the on-site resident director. From there, the structure extends to include academic course work through Central College Abroad courses and affiliate institutions. Finally, we offer the opportunity to take part in hands-on learning through a wide array of internship and service-learning options.

About Central College Abroad programs
We strive for each student to meet specific academic and intrapersonal goals during the course of a semester or year abroad. These goals shape the core programming that we provide on every Central College Abroad site. Each of the core components listed below deliberately enhance the study abroad experience:

  1. Resident directors
    Each of Central's programs is run by a resident director who is a Central College employee. All directors are highly-committed, accomplished professionals who know how to work with American students and are familiar with the university system. These individuals facilitate the learning process and provide opportunities for students to engage and reflect. Their primary concern is that students have a great academic and cross-cultural experience as they provide them with the personal touch they would expect from a small, private, liberal arts college.
  2. On-site orientation
    We believe that an on-site cultural orientation, led by the resident director, is the best way to set students up for a successful experience. Each Central program offers an in-depth orientation that will acclimate students to the country's language and culture as they get a feel for their new environment. The orientation programs range in length and include activities such as class registration, language preparation, internship interviews and excursions away from the classroom to see some of the sites in their new international home.
  3. Culture course
    All Central College Abroad programs include at least one required culture course. These courses are designed to help students examine and discuss their experience and discover more about their host country’s life and culture. These courses are enhanced by cultural excursions, interesting reads, lively discussions, and reflective journaling.
  4. Cultural excursions
    One of the highlights of studying through Central College Abroad is the number of cultural activities and excursions that are included as part of students’ program fee. Many of these excursions, facilitated by the resident director, link directly with course work and program goals throughout the semester.
  5. Course work through Central College Abroad and Affiliate Institutions
    Central offers the unique opportunity to take coursework through Central College Abroad as well as our affiliate institutions. CCA courses are original courses taught by our expert local faculty, each specifically designed to capture an aspect of the culture's art, history, etc. Central is also proud to be affiliated with some of the finest schools in the world.
  6. Experiential learning
    On Central’s study abroad programs, learning begins in the classroom, but continues in many different settings outside the traditional classroom — offering students a more in-depth cross-cultural experience. This includes, but is not limited to, service-learning and internships placements (for academic credit) as well as volunteer opportunities, experiential course work, integration activities, and language partners. Central College Abroad programs offer these experiences as a way to more fully immerse students in the language and culture. This unique component sets our program apart from many study abroad options available to students.

Explore our programs: