Study Abroad Programs at Otterbein

You come back to the United States a different person challenged by what you have experienced and learned, both in and out of class. You learn about language, culture and customs of your host country and how the U.S. is viewed abroad.

Returning students say they are confident in their abilities and knowledge of the world, the U.S., and themselves. Their values and goals are clarified, their leadership skills and confidence developed to help them make changes in their communities.

There are 5 Steps to Studying Abroad…

  1. Explore
  2. Apply
  3. Prepare
  4. Go!
  5. Return

Learn about your host country, your country and yourself.
Take the challenge!

Types of Study Abroad Programs

Faculty Led Travel Course (May Term) 

  • Short term (10 days – 3 weeks), usually in May
  • Otterbein faculty and students
  • Receive Otterbein credit
  • Many courses are open to any class level
  • Most common way Otterbein students go abroad

Otterbein Exchange 

  • 5 partner universities
  • Pay Otterbein tuition, keep all Otterbein scholarships and aid
  • Student is responsible for transportation, housing, meals, and personal costs

Direct Enroll 

  • Attend any university in the world as an international student
  • Pay all tuition and fees directly to the host university
  • Usually requires more work from the student, but can often be one of the least expensive ways to study abroad

Program Providers 

  • Third party organizations offering pre-packaged programs and arrangements
  • Typically partnered with another university to provide course credit
  • Provide in-house scholarships and some offer Otterbein discounts/scholarships


Summer, internships, and non-credit bearing international experiences are also available. 

Earn a Global & Intercultural Engagement Card (5 Cards)

Students have the opportunity at Otterbein to study abroad and to participate in local and regional cultural immersion programs. Through intercultural experiences, students gain a deeper knowledge of and respect for another culture’s worldview, its values, customs, and traditions.  These experiences qualify participants to earn a Global Engagement & Intercultural Experiences Card as part of our 5 Cards experiential learning program.

Study Abroad Information for Families

Family support for their student studying abroad is an important component of the study abroad experience. We encourage students to include their families throughout the exploration process. Important topics for families to consider: 

  • Cost – How do you anticipate paying for your program?

Utilize Student Financial Services to understand what financial aid is available to your student’s study abroad experience. Otterbein has established a GO Fund to help eligible students pay for study abroad costs. For more information, check out our GO Fund page.

  • Timing – When is the best time to go abroad? (academically and personally)

Students should work with their Academic Advisor and the Center for Student Success to map out a plan of when to go abroad. 

  • Safety – Are there location specific concerns to be award of?

Like with any other travel experience, there are inherent risks in any study abroad program. We discern and broadcast risks so students can take the necessary precautions. Our warranty of safety abroad is the same as the guarantee of safety in the United States. However, there are events that are outside our control and responsible behavior by your student lessens the risks associated with being abroad. Almost always, students who behave responsibly do not have difficulties abroad. 

We invite families to call Otterbein University’s Center for Student Success at 614.823.1624 or email to discuss any concerns you might have about your student’s participation in a study abroad program. 

This experience has done more for my heart and soul than I could have ever expected. Every day I am amazed at how much more I learn about myself by studying abroad. This is adventure is transforming into something truly magical. Thank you for helping me get here.

Queensland Australia, Spring 2015