Study Abroad

Spencer Center for Civic & Global Engagement, 205 Wenger Hall 

Mary Baldwin University students can study abroad in three different ways: 


As a short-term option for study abroad, May Term Abroad programs are very popular with MBU students. Not only are the programs organized and led by MBU faculty members with expertise in the subject matter and country, but the entire class is made up of MBU students. Course topics and countries vary annually; past destinations include Haiti, Mexico, Costa Rica, London, Cypress, and Seoul. 

MBU offers two regular Summer Abroad programs: the Virginia Program at Oxford and Autism on the Seas. 

The Virginia Program at Oxford is a six-week session held at St. Anne’s College of the University of Oxford. Six Virginia colleges, including Mary Baldwin, combine to offer a select group of students the opportunity to study the literature, history, and society of late 16th and early 17th century England. Lectures and tutorials are conducted by British faculty. Students may earn six semester hours of English and history credit. All majors are eligible to apply. For more information, contact Professor of History Mary Hill Cole. 

In partnership with our host agency, Autism on the Seas, MBU students spend a week at sea on a cruise ship providing support to individuals on the autism spectrum and their families or caregivers. Students assist Autism on the Seas' trained staff volunteers with client support during all aspects of the cruise experience. This experience is paired with ASD 360/640 Characteristics and Assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorders; students taking the associated course will have additional readings and requirements beyond the voyage itself. For more information, contact Associate Professor of Education Rachel Potter. 


Through institutional agreements that support two-way student exchange, MBU students have the unique opportunity to study for a semester or academic year at one of our international partner universities for costs comparable to a semester or year at MBU. Students may choose from a wide range of courses abroad, enriching their academic knowledge while gaining valuable cross-cultural skills. In return, each year students from our partner institutions study at MBU, enlivening the campus with the constant presence of students from a range of different countries. 

MBU International Exchange Partners 

India: Lady Doak College 
Lady Doak College, the first women’s college in the city of Madurai, offers MBU students the opportunity to spend a semester or year in this bustling, fascinating city in southern India. On a small, beautiful campus that feels like an oasis in the middle of a large city, Lady Doak offers undergraduate courses in 21 disciplines, as well as opportunities to become involved in student clubs and community projects. Lady Doak is the only exchange partner that has its own female corps of cadets, so VWIL students are encouraged to apply. Lady Doak’s mission centers on the empowerment and academic development of women. 

Japan: Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts 
Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts in Kyoto is located across the street from the legendary Emperor’s Palace in one of Japan’s most beautiful and historic cities. While attending Doshisha for the fall semester Japanese Studies Program, students can take a wide range of Japanese language and culture courses that each offer opportunities for culturally-immersive field trips. One year of prior Japanese study experience is required. 

Japan: Kansai Gaidai University 
Kansai-Gaidai University, a private university with over 14,000 students, is located in Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture, in the cultural heart of Japan. The Asian Studies program is designed for international students, offering courses in both Japanese language and English. Applicants with previous Japanese language study are preferred. MBU students studying at Kansai Gaidai for a semester of year will meet students from all parts of Japan, as well as international students from all over the world. MBU students who pursue studies at Kansai Gaidai during the spring semester will also have the opportunity to pursue internships in Japan.

Japan: Soka University 
Soka University, enrolling over 7,500 undergraduate and graduate students, focuses on humanistic education as a mean of building more peaceful, sustainable societies throughout the world. It is located in the suburban city of Hachioji, less than an hour by train from central Tokyo. Due to differences in the academic calendar, MBU students may enroll for the spring semester, summer sessions, or for a full academic year running fall to spring. Soka offers visiting students a wide range of courses in Japanese and Asian Studies as well as a full complement of Japanese language courses. Select students may also have the opportunity to participate in work-study programs at Soka, including roles as English conversation partners.

South Korea: Sungshin Women’s University 
MBU students from all academic programs are eligible to study for a semester or year at Sungshin Women’s University in the exciting capital city of Seoul. Enrolling over 12,000 students, Sungshin is a comprehensive, private university offering diverse educational programs in the humanities and social sciences. MBU students may choose from a wide range of courses taught in English. Although previous study of Korean language is not required, participants have the option to enroll in Korean language courses while at Sungshin. Upt to two MBU students may study at Sungshin for the fall or spring semester each year. Apartment-style housing is provided on campus in the international residence hall. 

Taiwan: National Chengchi University 
National Chengchi University (NCCU) is noted for its humanities and social sciences disciplines and is located in Taipei City, the capital of Taiwan. Study at NCCU gives students the opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese, which is the official language of Taiwan. A full range of courses taught in English are available to MBU students. Due to differences in the academic calendar, MBU students typically participate in the Spring semester or a full academic year. The partnership between MBU and NCCU enables at least two MBU students to participate in the exchange for a semester each year, but it is also possible for one MBU student to study at NCCU for a full academic year.

Northern Ireland: multiple universities 
As a member of the Association of Presbyterian College and Universities, MBU offers students the opportunity to participate in the Irish-American Scholars Program, an exchange that allows applicants to study at one of five universities in Northern Ireland (available universities vary by semester). Up to three MBU students can participate each academic year. Typically, MBU students have chosen to study for the fall semester at either Queen’s University Belfast or the University of Ulster. All universities offer a wide array of courses in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.


Students can also study abroad for a summer, semester, or year through other university programs or independent providers (known as “third party providers”). These organizations offer study abroad in countries all over the world, making it possible for MBU students to study virtually anywhere. Some third-party providers MBU students have worked with in the past include: CIEE, CIS Abroad, ISA Abroad, CAPA, and USAC.

To find out more about study abroad opportunities at Mary Baldwin University, visit the Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement, or write to The Spencer Center provides information, advising and workshops to support students in planning and completing study abroad.