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Students who choose to leave home for their college education often cite similar motivations: they are looking for programs not locally available, or they want to meet new people and be challenged by new experiences. For Asbury University’s students who have studied abroad, those desires run particularly deep.

Asbury University in OxfordEmily McCardel ’14 spent a semester in Oxford, England. In addition to seminars and one-on-one sessions with widely published experts, her semester include life lessons on budgeting, time management and self-motivation.

“All of the differences between the European culture in which I was immersed and the American culture from which I come worked together to teach me some fundamental truths about human nature and the similarities of all people, regardless of culture or background,” said McCardel. “The rigorous academic work that I had to do while in Oxford fueled in me a passion for learning and especially for Victorian literature. I now know that I am capable of that level of work and wish to continue on to get my master’s degree in English. I think that my study-abroad experience ignited in me a desire to do the most that I can with what I am given.”

The spiritual growth that occurs when students leave their “comfort zones” for another country makes a lasting impact. Recent graduate Amber Parsons studied in Spain, discovering the power of a shared language and faith to draw people together.

“One of the most rewarding friendships I gained [while studying abroad] was with an Austrian student named Niki,” Parsons said. “We met through a Christian Bible study for international students and connected right away. It also completely affirmed why I chose Spanish to study — without this language knowledge, I would never have been able to love and communicate with my friends Alejandro, Isabel, and Niki. I am so glad the Lord put these people in my life and I was able to spend time with them and learn to love them for who they are.”

Asbury University study abroadThe Paris Semester, a new program debuting in Fall 2014, is an Asbury program open to college and university students from all across America and the world. The liberal arts-oriented curriculum is designed to expose students to topics such as history, theology, business and media in the midst of one of Europe’s most dynamic cultural centers.

A variety of programs — including some of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities’ BestSemester programs — can be taken for language credit. Students interested in a study abroad program are strongly encouraged to check with the Registrar’s Office before committing to any particular location. For more information, visit