✖ close

☰ In This Section

Europe Term


Using an intercultural communication focus, students will study German at the University of Vienna, group communication and homestays in Poland, Christian community in a castle in the Austrian Alps, explore culture and technology in a small Croatian seaside village, and acculturation and cultural patterns in Venice, Milan, Paris, Geneva, Florence and Rome. 

Program Description

Europe Term is a semester-long study experience sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies.  The semester is based in Austria with significant excursions to Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Switzerland, and France. 

The program is led by Bethel faculty and utilizes an intercultural and group communication perspective to analyze communication and cultures of Europe. Students will live and study in several small, yet cosmopolitan European communities, building relationships with individuals from all over the world.                                                                                                                                

Courses (15 credits total)

COM355Z        Intercultural Communication                                             4 credits                 

                  An exploration of the richly varied cultures of humankind and the influence of culture on verbal and nonverbal communication. The examination of theory is balanced by an examination of practical applications designed to improve intercultural competence in various contexts. A cross-cultural experience is required. Prerequisites: World Cultures (U) course.

COM322           Advanced Group Communication 4 credits

                  Advanced examination of group development and team building. Various theories and models of group formation and team building are analyzed and experienced as students become part of multiple Christian communities during the Europe Term in Intercultural Communication. Students learn how groups relate in differing cultures as well as how their Christian faith can play a role in group functioning.

COM310K        Communication Technology & Society                      3 credits                 

                  An examination of the impact communication technology has on communication and society.  Evaluation and exploration of technologies such as digital media, the internet, e-mail, chat rooms, and other emerging technologies.  Analysis of the ethical and spiritual implications and applications of these technologies.

COM250           Language & Culture Area Study     4 credits

                  An introduction to Austrian culture, language, and communication style.  Students will experience German culture through first-hand interaction, special speakers, readings, and class excursions. Beginning German lessons will equip students to complete rudimentary tasks in a German-speaking city.  Topics will include introductions to socio-cultural factors like worldview, education system, political economy, ecology, history and art of the region as reflections of communication style.

Who Participates in Europe Term?

Students of all majors are welcome to apply.  Almost all of the courses in this semester program can be applied toward a Communication major or minor.  While priority is usually given to juniors and seniors studying communication, other factors will be considered in the application process.

Accommodations & Meals

Accommodations vary from hostels and hotels to Christian retreat centers. Students live for 3 weeks in a dorm in Vienna, Austria, where they will shop for food in local grocery stores and prepare meals with other international students.  Other accommodations include a camp in Poland, a castle in Austria, and a seaside hotel in Croatia. At least two meals per week will be shared with Bethel cohort members at the retreat or in local eateries. Students are provided money to cover all meals during the trip.

In addition to life in Austria, students will travel to several featured cities of Europe.  Excursions include homestays in a Polish village, a river cruise under the Charles Bridge in Prague, a U.N. tour in Geneva, an crawl in Paris, a Mozart concert dinner in Salzburg, skiing in Switzerland, and walking through history in Venice, Florence and Rome. Students will travel primarily by bus and train. 

Students will also be responsible for planning a week of independent travel where they will journey with a small cohort to their choice of European destinations.


Every attempt is made to keep the program cost equivalent to Bethel tuition, room (junior level) and full board. An additional travel fee, typically no more than $1000, may be assesed due to the exchange rate. Cost includes all program-related expenses, including transportation, lodging, food, ground transportation, excursions, entrance fees, language training, and miscellaneous costs. Costs not coveredinclude passport, immunizations, books and supplies, personal expenses (such as bottled water, excursions or sight seeing, all non-study related travel including weekends, fall break and free travel. Most financial aid (including loans and Bethel gift aid), can be applied toward this program. 

Program Calendar

The tentative program dates are August 27 – December 15, 2015, roughly coinciding with Bethel’s fall semester schedule.  Europe Term also includes a fall break during which students can travel independently throughout Europe.

Important dates

The application fee is $50. A $250 confirmation deposit will be required 2 weeks after acceptance to hold the spot.

October 15              Priority application deadline

November 5            Final application deadline

February                  Pre-departure meeting #1

March                      Pre-departure meeting #2

April                        Study Abroad Orientation (mandatory—date TBA)

August                     Final program payment due with Fall 2015 bill

Aug. 27                    Tentative departure date

Dec. 15                     Tentative return date


• Minimum sophomore standing

• Minimum 2.5 GPA

• See application for additional policies

 Next steps

• Talk with your advisor – off-campus study should complement your field of study.

• Ask questions – contact the study abroad office (651.638.6492) or Communication Studies:

     - Dr. Ripley Smith, Program Director

            Office: HC327i  Email:  r-smith@bethel.edu

     - Dr. Peggy Kendall  p-kendall@bethel.edu

• Contact the study abroad office for application, CC320A.