Study Abroad Programs

Students dancing

Nothing sharpens your understanding of the world quite like studying abroad

Some internationally-based programs may not run during the 2021-22 academic year due to Covid-19 variables - including some that may impact the ability to obtain a travel visa from the host country. Other programs have been reinstated.  It is best to email the contact person listed for the program(s) you are interested in attending. 

Gven the increasingly global nature of business, education, science, art, and politics, international experiences provide you with the cultural competence that will serve you well in academics and in your career.

University of Detroit Mercy provides several contexts for study, including

  • exchange programs,
  • semester-long programs and short-term,
  • faculty-led study programs.

Semester Study Programs

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    Volterra, Italy Summer Program

    Volterra, Italy Summer Program

    Map of VolterraThe Volterra/Detroit program provides students with a global perspective of architecture. Although it is a more typical summer study program, it operates with the support of the Regional Government of Tuscany. The full semester of study in the hill-town of Volterra permits extensive interaction with the residents and provides a unique insight into their social, economic and political situation. Students live and work in our own private facility in Volterra, which makes the program very affordable.

    Volterra is one of the finest hilltop towns tucked away in the heart of Tuscany, and is only a short distance from Florence 72 kilometers (43 miles), Siena 50 km (30 miles), Pisa 64 kilometers (38 miles), San Gimignano 29 kilometers (17 miles) and the Tyrrhenian coast. Volterra, 545 metres above sea level, dominates and divides the Cecina and Era valleys. The hill upon which the city stands has been continuously inhabited for more than 3,000 years. The city has significant architectural monuments dating from the fourth century BC, onward. The current image of the city is still defined by the medieval layout, with winding streets, and well preserved defensive walls. The walls offer dramatic views of the surrounding landscape, on a clear day reaching as far as Pisa, or even the island of Corsica (70 miles away).

    Students take a full academic load of 17 credits during the program: Design Studio, Alabaster Sculpture, Architectural Analysis, Intro to Italian Language, and History of Italian Art and Architecture. Alabaster sculpture class is taught by Veglio Grandoli at the local Art School. Students typically travel throughout Europe for about two weeks before or after the program, and three additional trips are organized during their stay in Volterra to Florence, Siena and Rome.


    School of Architecture Technical University of Warsaw, Poland

    School of Architecture Technical University of Warsaw, Poland

    Academic exchange program
    Poland buildingThe academic exchange program with the Technical University of Warsaw in Poland involves the annual exchange of 10-12 students from each school for a term of study; classes are taken with professors from the visited school. The professor who is also exchanged teaches a design or visual communication studio to students from the host institution, as well as lectures about architectural issues in his or her home country. The program was designed to ensure the maximum impact in both schools, not only for the participants but for the student body at large. Since its initiation in 1980, more than 300 students from each school have participated in the exchange.


    International Exchange Program in France with ICAM, a Jesuit Engineering School

    International Exchange Program in France with ICAM, a Jesuit Engineering School

    Detroit Mercy engineering students have the opportunity to participate in an 8-week international Exchange Program with ICAM, a Jesuit Engineering School with multiple campuses in France. Locations include Lille, Nantes/Vannes, Toulouse & Paris. Their focus is engineering studies closely partnered with industrial companies. 

    This opportunity will count as a Detroit Mercy co-op. 

    The program begins at the ICAM campus in Paris-Sénart.  It includes 4 weeks of classes, visits to local companies to illustrate the engineering issues studied in class, and French & intercultural communication classes to become better acquainted with European traditions, institutions and culture.  This is followed by 4 weeks shadowing an ICAM student in a company as an intern.


    Students must have completed at least one semester of French before participating (at Detroit Mercy or in high school).


    Tuition is covered, but students will have to fund their travel and housing.


    • Intensive French language & Intercultural Communication Courses  Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced (40 hours) 
    • Technical Project  Taught in English (45 hours) - This project takes place in ICAM laboratories, with ICAM teachers.  Objectives: Teamwork Design & Fabrication; Project Management 

    Cultural and professional fieldtrips 

    • Cultural visits in the area 
    • Visits to western-European companies 

    Accommodations (housing fees apply)

    • First 4 weeks in Paris Sénart 
      Students will stay in ICAM residence halls during the week, and in the families of ICAM students during a weekend.
    • Second 4 weeks during the internship Students will work with ICAM International office to identify and stay with a host family


    Richard Hill at or Carolyn Rimle at

Short term programs

Many short-term experiences abroad are open to enrolling students in programs outside of the disciplines, as well as alumni, and other guest students/participants. Please check with the program directors listed to ensure this is the case.

Faculty-Led Short Term Programs (credit-based)

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    International Business Experience - Greece, Spain, others

    International Business Experience- End of Winter Term 

    An eight-day educational experience abroad is available in international business. Program locations change annually. In recent years, the program has traveled to China, Costa Rica, Greece, Ireland, and Spain.  Travel to Germany is planned for the 2022 trip. Enrollment in BUS 4940 or MBA 5940 is required. Please contact Professor Gregory Ulferts 313-993-1219 or for further information about programming this academic year.


    International Experience in Community Development, Liberal Arts & Education in Havana, Cuba | Spring Break or End of Winter Term Educational and Humanitarian Visit

    International Experience in Community Development, Liberal Arts & Education in Havana, Cuba | Spring Break or End of Winter Semester Educational and Humanitarian Visit 

    CubaVisit Old Havana, a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site, while learning about arts, history, culture, community development and community health during this ten day intensive program. Pre-departure coursework takes place at Detroit Mercy's main campus; travel to Cuba taking place during spring break. The program integrates Detroit Mercy's Master in Community Development HOPE framework, which intersects the human, organizational, physical, and economic aspects of community development. Coursework based in CLAE includes Spanish language and culture coursework. While in Cuba, we participate in a humanitarian program, that includes site visits to community centers, contact with the people of Cuba, and a cultural asset mapping project that immerses participants in a holistic educational experience. Accommodations are located in walkable Old Havana. Site visits include schools (including arts and restoration schools), museums, community organizations and arts centers, organic and tobacco farms, Ernest Hemingway's Finca Vigia estate, and health-based programs organized by Catholic charities, as well as the Cuban government. This program provides opportunities to dialogue with city planners, and interact with educators, organizational leaders and residents. Contact Lara Wasner at 313-993-1191 or to inquire about approved courses this program year. Ask about travel grants available for students enrolling in coursework associated with this program! Students, faculty, and alumni are welcome to join this program.


    International Experience in Architecture in Volterra, Italy | Four weeks during summer term (May-June)

    International Experience in Architecture in Volterra, Italy | Four weeks during summer term (May-June)

    VolterraDates vary, depending on program year. The city of Volterra is an unspoiled medieval city in the Tuscan countryside that has rich resources for the study of history, art history, archaeology and the fine arts. Unlike the great tourist cities of Italy, Volterra is not overrun in the summer, and students have the opportunity to meet Italians and to be introduced to Italian life and culture. Beginning Italian is taught with an emphasis on conversation.

    All courses include visits to the museums and archeological sites in Volterra as well as in neighboring cities. A course is offered in the art history of the Etruscan, classical, medieval and Renaissance periods in Volterra, Tuscany and Italy. There are field trips to nearby Florence, Siena and San Gimignano. In addition, students have the opportunity for independent travel on weekends. The program opens with a trip to Venice, Padua and Vicenza. Since pre-Roman times, Volterra has been a center for sculpture. Students may take the sculpture studio; no previous fine arts experience is necessary.

    Courses include FA 2100: Art and Architecture in Italy, the study of art and architecture from ancient to modern times. Visits to museums, archeological sites and surrounding historic cities - Florence, Siena, Pisa and San Gimignano - are included. FA 3910: Alabaster Sculpture Studio introduces students to basic issues in the creation of sculpture. ITL 1150: Beginning Italian provides an introduction to the Italian language for everyday conversation. Students will be introduced to Italians who will participate in classes and with whom they may practice their language skills.

    For further information, contact Wladek Fuchs at


    Mercy Heritage Tour of Ireland: International Nursing Experience in Cork, Dublin and Limerick, Ireland

    Mercy Heritage Tour of Ireland: International Nursing Experience in Cork, Dublin and Limerick, Ireland | 10 days in June

    DublinThis 10-day experience in Ireland will significantly enrich participants’ understanding of the role of Catherine McAuley in shaping the student experience and educational foundation of a graduate from the McAuley School of Nursing. CHP faculty, student, and alumni participants will be exposed to an international perspective of healthcare as it relates to the college's objectives during this international experience, which takes travelers to Limerick - where we will stay at Mary Immaculate College (the only Mercy institution in Dublin), then travel to Cork before concluding our program in Dublin, Ireland.

    The aim of this internationally based experience is to enrich the classroom experience through cultural and spiritual immersion. Cultural immersion will be used to reinforce the Mercy-based values of Catherine McAuley while introducing students to the Irish social service, healthcare and academic environments.

    This experience will engage students in the life, work, and history of Catherine McAuley. Additionally, this experience will place emphasis on the meaning of a Mercy-Jesuit-value based education. This international experience includes a visit to the Mercy International Centre, the location of the first House of Mercy built by Catherine McAuley in response to the needs of the poor of Dublin. All will discover the story of Catherine McAuley by exploring Dublin and visiting many landmarks of importance in the life of Catherine and the history of the Sisters of Mercy. Students will also be immersed in the profession of nursing by touring a local hospital (Mater) and speaking with registered nurses and administrators. Students will be expected to provide service to the community by using their time and talents to serve others at a location identified by the Sisters of Mercy. Among various cultural experiences that will be provided to the students, the participants will attend Mass at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, travel to the McAuley School of Nursing in Cork and observe traditional Irish dance and music.

    Throughout this experience, students will examine and compare the cultural beliefs, values and health care practices of the Irish with those found in the United States, or more specifically, the metro Detroit area.

    For information, contact Sr. Judith Mouch at or Andrea Kwasky at


    NEW: International Experience in India | 10 days - End of winter term 2023

    NEW: International Experience in India | 10 days - End of winter term 2023

    Taj Mahal Agra IndiaThis journey will take us to India's famous "Golden Triangle" or the cities of New Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. On each leg of the tour, local expert guides will travel with the group sharing their insights into the specific region, as well as their knowledge of the historically and culturally significant sites we will be visiting. The trip is offered with a 3-credit history course taught by Dr. Diane Robinson-Dunn during winter semester of 2023. The class will explore the history of the Indian Subcontinent with an emphasis on cultural encounters and exchanges. For more information about the program in India, visit our travel manager EF College Education Tours at

    Dr. Diane Robinson-Dunn

Internationally-based Experiences (Short Term Programs not for credit)

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    Conversation Partner program in Zhaoqing China

    Conversation Partner program in Zhaoqing China, 3-4 weeks in July-August. This program has been placed on hold during Covid-19. We look forward to running the homestays in China again in the near future.

    This non-credit bearing program either begins with a brief two-day tour of Shanghai, China before students depart for the city of Zhaoqing in Southern China, where students from Detroit Mercy meet Chinese English-language learners from the Cambridge Summit Language School who will become their conversation partners during the four week program. During the stay in Zhaoqing, students from Detroit will facilitate conversations and assist teachers with planned programming at the nearby school. Students from Detroit can choose to stay in pairs or stay independently with selected families of teachers at the language school. Additional visits to Hong Kong and other nearby cities can be arranged at the students’ expense, while the pre-program tour and stay in Zhaoqing are covered by the language school. Program participants pay minimal expenses: airfare, insurance, incidental costs for this program where they explore Chinese history, arts, culture, and life in China’s megacities, learning about the impact of rapid modernization on China's institutions, infrastructure, family life, communities, and institutions. Pre-departure sessions are mandatory and include cultural themes and educational insights. Students can arrange a departure flight out of Shanghai, Hong Kong, or Beijing, and choose to stay for an optional tour on their own (and at their own expense) before returning to the US.  Contact Lara Wasner at 313-993-1191 or to inquire about this program.


    Medlife Mission Trip to Lima, Peru

    Medlife Mission Trip to Lima, Peru l December, post-semester, weeklong program. Contact Medlife to find a nearby chapter.

    medlife logoMEDLIFE stands for Medicine, Education and Development for Low Income Families Everywhere. We partner with low-income communities in Latin America and Africa to improve their access to quality healthcare, education and a safe home. We work to understand the root causes posed by poverty and create sustainable, quality solutions.

    For the first time, MEDLIFE has been brought to University of Detroit Mercy. During the winter break, our members will attend a mobile medical clinic in Lima, Peru. This mission trip will include helping Peruvians who lack access to basic needs.

    Register to be a MEDLIFE member.

Service Based Trips

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    University Ministry International Service Experience (ISE)

    Students in all disciplines have an opportunity to engage in experiences of transformative Jesuit and Mercy education outside of the classroom. These opportunities can include service, cultural learning, relationship building, and daily prayer and reflection. Check the University Ministry website for immersion experiences, which may vary annually.

    Immersion, Immigration, Rural Poverty | Early May - Contact University Ministry to obtain more information.

    Learn more from Campus Ministry.

Partner Programs

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    AJCU Shared Programs

    Being a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) has universal benefits. Detroit Mercy students may now apply to study for a semester in countries such as Belgium, China, Germany, the Philippines, South Africa and Vietnam. It is best to contact the individual listed via email to find out specific information, like when programs run, the courses attached to each program, cost of tuition, and other considerations.

    For the complete shared program list, click here.

    For more information about these institutional partners and study opportunities, please contact the program director associated with the program of interest.

I want to study abroad.
What should I do next?

Interested students should do the following when exploring these opportunities:

  1. Identify a program of interest and consult with the departments sponsoring the programs for more information;
  2. Contact the University's financial aid office to discuss resources for study abroad in their program of interest;
  3. Note what courses are offered and discuss the program of interest with your primary advisor to figure out whether and/or how credits will serve you toward graduation (if the program is offered for credit).

Still have questions?

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