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  • Study Abroad

Whatever your interest, you can deepen and expand your education by studying off campus. This includes intensive, in-depth courses during May term, a semester at an EcoLeague school, or special courses at a partner organization. There is something right for you.

2020 May Term Travel Courses

  • Climbing Instructor Development (OED 414 01) $1,225
  • Lake Superior Circumnavigation (IDS 180 01) $1,350
  • Paddling Instructor Development (OED 409 01) $400
  • Teaching in Environmental Education (EDU 250 01) $500
  • Urban Outdoor Education (OED 385 01) $400
  • Wildlife Handling & Immobilization (NRS 261 01) $950
  • Wyoming Geology Field Camp (GSC 482 01) $900

Center for Ecological Living and Learning

CELL is an official Northland College partner and a nonprofit educational organization inspiring students to bring creative, systemic solutions, and environmental stewardship to your life and leadership positions. You live with host families and/or in lodging run by community partners and have classes, lectures, field experiences, and service-learning opportunities in the region where your program is conducted. Programs are currently offered in Iceland, Central America (Costa Rica and Nicaragua), Ecuador, and Scotland.


The EcoLeague is a consortium of six colleges and universities that share missions based on environmental responsibility and social change. All of them have strong environmental studies, environmental science, and outdoor education programs. Small classes with personal attention are emphasized along with experiential education that provides real-world experience. Contact Professor Danny Frank, the Northland College representative, for more information.

The EcoLeague gives you the opportunity to spend a semester at a different school to experience a different part of the country, different faculty, and different ways of thinking. Learn more.

Participating Schools:

  • Alaska Pacific University (Anchorage, AK)
  • College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, ME)
  • Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA)
  • New College of Florida (Sarasota, FL)
  • Northland College (Ashland, WI)
  • Prescott College (Prescott, AZ)

Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA)

HECUA has a forty-plus year history of leading students out of the classroom and into real relationships with people and organizations working for change. HECUA’s academically rigorous programs in Ecuador, Italy, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, and the United States focus on the need for equity, social change, and imaginative approaches to difficult problems. Each semester-long program aims to empower students and highlight their ability to advocate effectively for change in the world and at home.

In the United States, HECUA’s long standing relationships with community partners in St. Paul and Minneapolis allow for meaningful internships at a range of placement sites. Students benefit from the guidance and support of HECUA’s internships and community partnerships manager, who meets with participants multiple times throughout the semester. Program alumni report that HECUA programs facilitate access to advanced study, employment, and engagement in their communities and in the world.

Programs in the United States are divided into specific areas of interest, such as inequality in America, art for social change, environmental sustainability, media for change, agriculture and justice, and race in American. All programs are based in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, unless otherwise indicated.

Kansai Gaidai University

Located in Osaka, Japan, Kansai Gaidai offers special programming in Japanese language and culture designed for international students. It is a four-year, accredited university that attracts several thousand students annually. Kansai Gaidai has cooperated in formal exchange agreements with more than 100 colleges and universities in the United States. Fluency in Japanese is not required as many courses are taught in English.

National Outdoor Leadership School

NOLS takes people of all ages on remote wilderness expeditions, teaching technical outdoor skills, leadership, and environmental ethics in some of the world’s wildest and most awe-inspiring classrooms. With courses ranging from ten days to a full academic year, NOLS attracts highly motivated students who want to learn how to lead. The hands on, learn-by-doing approach means that graduates get the skills they need to be competent, responsible wilderness travelers long after your course is over.

Outward Bound

Northland College has paired up with Outward Bound, the premier provider of experience-based outdoor leadership programs. Outward Bound courses change lives and give you the tools to see further, climb higher and know your way.

Seek challenge and embark on a backpacking trip, mountaineering class, kayaking adventure, sailing trip or an urban expedition in your community and take home real leadership skills and the courage to follow your own path. Courses are not guided trips. They are real expeditions that cross rugged, beautiful terrain with challenges designed to reveal your strengths.

Round River Conservation Studies

Round River is an ecological research and education organization whose goal is the formulation and implementation of conservation strategies that conserve and restore wilderness. To that end, they strive to develop and support traditions that sustain wildness. These efforts are anchored in the principles of conservation biology, supported by field research and community planning.

Round River semester and summer programs are entirely field-based, authentic experiences that offer the opportunity for small groups of students to contribute to actual conservation efforts in big, wild landscapes. Students from diverse backgrounds from the sciences to humanities study and work hard to immerse themselves in the ecology and culture of a place.

Round River has offered programs in Mongolia, Botswana, Chile, Belize, Costa Rica, Namibia, and British Columbia. Check their website for their current program offerings.

Wild Rockies Field Institute

WRFI is a unique organization whose courses explore the complex cultural, political and natural histories of some of the most interesting and beautiful landscapes in North America. A combination of rigorous academic inquiry, cultural immersion, and extended backcountry expeditions, the courses are designed to take students into the arenas where the subject matter they are studying—from ecology to contemporary resource management policy—unfolds before their eyes.

University of Glasgow

University of GlosgowIf you are studying primary education, environmental studies, or health and social policy you have an opportunity to study abroad with an equal tuition exchange at the University of Glasgow Dumfries campus in Scotland. Take advantage of small-group, innovative programming at their School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Northland education faculty are also involved in program collaboration with the University of Glasgow. Contact Kevin Zak for more information.