granada photo
The Central College Abroad program separates itself from others in many ways--it is a personalized program that cares about you; the excursions are unique, fun and informative; the experience was a once in a lifetime chance that I'm so glad I took!
– Ryan Boege
University of Northern Iowa

parent information

Why should your son or daughter study abroad?
There are many reasons for your son or daughter to study abroad, and there are many reasons why they want to. Perhaps they are eager to learn more about other cultures and their own cultural perspectives, or maybe they are simply ready to get out of their “comfort zone.” Students grow through the challenges and triumphs faced while being abroad. Whether it’s navigating their way from Madrid to Granada with only a few words of Spanish in their pocket or interning for an MP at the British Houses of Parliament, they end their experience knowing that they are capable of much more than they ever believed.

Choosing to enroll in a study abroad program is also an intentional choice to develop a personal value system, gain a better understanding of international affairs, and maybe, for the first time in life, see oneself as a global citizen. By the time your son or daughter comes home, you’ll realize that they’ve also gained many tangible benefits, such as foreign language proficiency, academic credit and a meaningful experience to enhance their resume.

About Central College
Central College Abroad’s strong academic foundation comes from being a part of Central College, a well-respected, 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 desire 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 sole 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 cross-cultural 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 with cultural excursions, interesting readings, 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:

Parent resources

A parent handbook along with program specific student guides can be found on our parent resources page.