International Service Learning Program

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Faculty Led

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Affiliate Providers

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Exchange (Partner Institutions)

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Partner University Teaching Abroad

There are lots of places in the world, and BHSU has identified several just for you. This means we have special partnerships or agreements in these countries that allow for students to take classes, grow, learn, and live. Each of the countries has special arrangements with BHSU, and the International Relations office can help you distinguish which one might be best for you. The least expensive study abroad options are often Partnership organizations and those are identified with an *.

Latin America

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Columbia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Peru




  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Fiji


If you would like to contact the International Relations & Global Engagement Office, here is the information:

International Relations & Global Engagement Office
Woodburn Hall #115
1200 University Street Unit 9519
Spearfish, SD 57799

How do I apply to study abroad?


Congratulations! You are ready to apply for a study abroad opportunity. Please complete the following steps to finalize your travels!

Check travel warnings and required vaccinations for the country you will be traveling to.

Apply for visas if necessary.

Enroll in CISI, the SDBOR approved Study Abroad Insurance Policy, through the International Relations office.


A study abroad experience is a life-changing endeavor, but it doesn’t have to make a huge dent in your wallet. BHSU has identified several different kinds of study abroad opportunities, allowing every BHSU student a chance to study abroad.

  • FREE-$: Inexpensive
  • $-$$: Moderate, but still low
  • $$-$$: Moderate

    Partner Universities

    Cost: FREE-$

    Partner universities are established connections that have an agreement with Black Hills State University. These institutions allow BHSU students to study at their university while paying South Dakota Board of Regents’ tuition and fees through BHSU. This is a less expensive option. Partner universities are available in Africa, Asia, and Europe at more than 20 different schools. Additionally, some schools offer free tuition, room and board, and round-trip transportation to and from the location.

    Teach Abroad

    Cost: FREE-$

    Whether you are an education major looking to do your student teaching abroad, or if you’re a native English speaker interested in teaching English, teaching abroad can be the least expensive study abroad option. In fact, in some cases, teaching abroad is actually less expensive than staying on campus. Sometimes institutions pay for full round-trip transportation, housing, supplies, food, and even a small stipend! If students want to continue taking BHSU classes, online classes or courses at the local university are available.

    Teach Abroad

    BHSU Sponsored trips

    Cost: FREE-$

    Faculty/Staff led study abroad opportunities are created by a Black Hills State University professor and can be long-term or short-term study abroad options. These options are only available when a professor has created an opportunity. Traveling with a professor is a great way to see the world in the company of other BHSU students, faculty, and/or staff. Oftentimes students fundraise to pay full or partial funds for a trip. In some cases, the host institution will pay a student’s fees.

    International Student Teaching

    Cost: $-$$

    For education majors, student teaching abroad is an exciting opportunity where students can complete part of their student teaching abroad. Students will complete ten weeks in the United States and then complete the remaining 6 weeks abroad. Students are responsible for transportation, but BHSU will pay the placement fee for the first six students abroad. Students must also complete a one-credit course that prepares them for an international student teaching placement. Teaching abroad is available in the following countries: Australia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England & Wales, India, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Russian Federation, Scotland, Spain, and Turkey. For more information on International Student Teaching contact Dr. Richard Carriveau at

    Affiliated Programs

    Cost $$-$$$

    Affiliated programs are established connections with program providers that provide study abroad opportunities to students throughout the United States and the world. These organizations are not strictly affiliated with Black Hills State University; however, they are recognized providers of study abroad and have been selected based on their reputation and myriad of study abroad opportunities. Outside scholarships are available to students. Students pay tuition and fees directly to the partner university. Affiliated programs run programs in all seven continents at more than 30 countries.

    Returning to Campus

    After a great study abroad experience, it is sometimes hard to come home. You may miss your experience, your new friends, or just the feel of your city. All of those feelings are normal, and it can be hard to assimilate back into BHSU life. The International Relations office is here to help you through that transition, and would like to add you to their network of study abroad alumni recruiters.

    Before You Go

    Before you start your journey, the International Relations & Global Engagement Office would like to offer a few tips for your pre-departure.

    Attend the pre-departure workshop

    The International Relations office prepares students for study abroad by preparing a pre-departure orientation for students and parents. This session talks about what to expect from the experience and how to finalize any remaining paperwork needed abroad.

    Pack lightly

    Students always take too much with them on their journey. Remember to pack lightly and leave room to bring a few things home.

    Keep us posted

    We want to know what you’ve been up to, so make sure and drop us a line every once in a while. Also, BHSU Marketing and Communications would love to hear about your travels.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is it dangerous to study abroad?
    The world is full of all kinds of people, and, just like in the USA, most people are good. However, you should use the same caution you would exercise when visiting a big U.S. city when you travel. In addition, the International Relations & Global Engagement office monitors the situation in each country where we have programs and will cancel a program if the U.S. Department of State issues a Travel Warning. Be careful, but don't be afraid to travel and study away.

    Wouldn't it be better to wait until I graduate to study abroad?
    You may have more money after graduation as, hopefully, you'll have a full-time job, but you won't have more time. Now is when you have the most time-flexibility in your life. Make the most of it. Remember also, if you enroll in a BHSU Partner Program or an affiliated program you can apply your federal financial aid toward the costs of your study abroad experience, and, in some cases, you can teach abroad and make money while you are still attending BHSU classes.

    Will I have to commit to a whole semester or year if I want to study abroad?
    While there is much to be gained from a longer experience that immerses you in the culture, there are shorter programs available that can be as short as one or two weeks in length. Sometimes a shorter experience can give you a small taste of studying abroad and lead to longer options when you are ready. The International Relations office can help you craft the right study abroad experience based on the time and budget you have available. We have a study abroad option for ALL students.

    Will I still be able to use my financial aid?
    BHSU partner exchange programs allow students to utilize both their federal financial aid and BHSU institutional scholarships because you are paying BHSU tuition. Outside Affiliated Programs give students the opportunity to apply their federal financial aid to their study abroad expenses. Financial aid eligibility for other programs offered by study abroad organizations or other U.S. universities that do not have an official partnership agreement with BHSU is determined on a case-by-case basis; BHSU institutional scholarships are not applicable to these programs. Confused? Come by and talk to the International Relations office to work on your individual financial plan for study abroad.

    Will studying abroad matter to future employers or graduate schools?
    The job market and admission to graduate or professional schools gets more competitive every day. Employers and graduate/professional school admissions officers are looking for something that sets you apart from the mass of applications they receive for each opening. Study abroad is a quality that sets you apart from the crowd, and more and more employers are looking for diverse learning experiences. Studying Abroad can tell employers that you can work independently, aren’t afraid of challenges, and can thrive in any location.

    Will my credits earned abroad transfer back to BHSU?
    When you apply for a BHSU International Relations Program, you'll complete the Learning Agreement Form (LAF). Before you ever leave Spearfish, every course you plan to take while studying abroad will be approved, and a BHSU equivalent will be determined. Completing the LAF and the rest of the Study Abroad application process ensures the credits you earn abroad will transfer back to BHSU.

    Will I still graduate on time if I study abroad?
    As long as you consult with your advisor, department head, and the International Relations & Global Engagement Office, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to graduate on time, even if you attend a full-year program abroad. The key is to plan and approve coursework before leaving and then stick to the agreed upon plan. If there will be any changes to your agreed upon plan while you are abroad, every effort must be made to work with the International Relations office to approve the new courses.

    Will I be able to meet my major requirements while studying abroad?
    While some BHSU majors are very specific about how you need to fulfill major requirements, most majors offer some flexibility, and many students are able to complete one or more major courses while overseas. What is required is advance planning and consultation with your academic advisor and the International Relations office.

    Do I need to learn another language to study abroad?
    Although some of our programs are designed for students with a foreign language capability, many programs are taught exclusively in English or in countries where English is either the native language or is widely spoken, such as Germany, Korea, or China.

    How much does it cost to study abroad? Is it very expensive?
    Studying abroad is much like buying a car. Many types and styles are available to fit a variety of budgets. At BHSU, we offer many high-quality, low-cost, partner university programs that are easily affordable for most students. These options allow students to utilize both their federal financial aid and pay BHSU tuition, making these programs incredibly affordable study abroad options. You don't need to go into major debt to study abroad, and, in some cases, you can teach English abroad while attending classes and actually make money in the experience! Come to the International Relations office to learn more!

    Parents Guide

    Studying abroad is exciting, but preparing to go can be filled with lots of details. Therefore, the International Relations office is here to guide you and your student through the experience. We help students learn about locations, costs (if any), and how to plan their schedules so as to not delay graduation.

    It is important to remember these things:

    Studying abroad can be cheaper than studying at the home campus. Some programs even offer small stipends to the students!

    Students can take classes and study in their major fields which helps them stay academically on track and not delay graduation.

    Some financial aid and scholarships can apply keeping costs low.

    Students return home! (While it can be hard to let them travel, students often site study abroad as a highlight of their college career!)

    Studying abroad helps students get jobs. Employers today value employees that have multicultural experience and critical thinking/problem solving skills.


    No matter where life takes you after Black Hills State University, you will be working and living with people from all cultures and backgrounds. Study abroad offers students a chance to understand these differences and strengthens their ability to successfully live and work in our interconnected global society. Many returned students have grown into more independent and competent citizens in addition to having a lot of fun and garnering amazing travel stories.

    Study abroad has been linked to higher GPAs, better career placements, and higher salaries among many other desirable outcomes.

    There are many benefits to studying abroad including:

    Gain Academic Credit

    See the world and get college credit! Studying history where that history was made, learning about international business in Germany, or practicing your Spanish with natives…it’s all possible. Exploring yourself in a culture teaches you more than you could ever learn in a classroom.


    Often travel is less expensive once you are already away. This can be a great opportunity to see much of the world.

    Build a Résumé

    Employers ask applicants about their global experience and multicultural awareness. Employees need to understand diversity and how to interact with all types of people in an interconnected global economy. Study abroad will help you in this challenge.

    Obtain an Internship or Teach Abroad

    With lots of hands-on learning opportunities, BHSU study or teach abroad offers unique ways for you to engage with the world. Internships provide real global work experience and teaching abroad (either as a major or non-major) allows for diversity in thought and theory. These experiences give tangible work experience to share while interviewing for a job or defining your next career move.

    Experience the World

    Venturing away from all that is familiar takes courage, but the rewards of studying abroad definitely outweigh the risks. Students often say that after studying abroad they have a growing confidence and new problem-solving abilities from having to make decisions by themselves. You will also be exposed to the way that others view you, which is a great way to reflect on yourself and your own culture.

    Make New Friends

    Study abroad allows you to establish a network of friends all over the world.


    The world is a big place with many areas to explore: more questions to be answered, more things to learn, and more trails to blaze.

    Clarify your Field of Study

    Studying abroad gives you opportunities to explore your interests. Internships, new ideas, and new friendships can give you unique experiences to help you to discover your passion.

    Learn a Language

    There’s no better way to practice a language than speaking with natives. We offer several opportunities to practice your Spanish or French.

    Save Money (Or Make Money!)

    With opportunities like Teaching Abroad or special arrangements in China, students can actually go to school for free, or even receive a small stipend for teaching English as a native speaker. Regardless of the choice, these options actually have less overall costs than studying on the Spearfish or Rapid City Campus. Really! Talk to the International Office today!


    Hello! Bonjour! ¡Hola! Sveiki! Pozdravljeni! 안녕하세요! 

    Welcome to the Study Abroad Program, brought to you by the International Relations & Global Engagement office. BHSU offers a variety of foreign academic experience options, and we encourage you to take some time to explore our program offerings. Our office is committed to assisting you in every step of the process as you embark on a fabulous journey to discover the world. You won’t be disappointed! 

    Choosing to study abroad will expand your world by providing opportunities to experience another culture while receiving a globalized education. You will be challenged in ways that you did not expect, learn things about yourself you did not know, and be exposed to a world that you never knew existed. It represents the perfect opportunity to “spice-up” your path to degree completion! 

    The BHSU International Relations & Global Engagement office is here to assist you with the entire process. We recognize that choosing from one of the many unique opportunities can be challenging, but keep in mind it represents the beginning of your adventure. Also, depending on your selection, a semester abroad won’t necessarily cost more than a semester at home or delay your graduation. Whatever the case or situation, the International Relations office is here to make your dream become a reality.

    How to Get Started


    Get started by selecting your study abroad opportunity

      We know that deciding where, when, and how to study abroad is a big task. Therefore, our International Relations office staff are ready to help you every step of the way! We think the best way to get started is to meet with our staff to go through the specifics. Don’t get overwhelmed; there are lots of details, but we can guide you through it seamlessly and find the perfect study abroad opportunity for you! Here is the easiest way to get started:

        It’s never too early to learn about your study abroad options! Contact the International Relations office to share your interests. By completing the Interest Form, you will share your interest and allow us to schedule an appointment to talk with you further. You can also call us at 605.642.6942, or come and visit us in the office at:
        International Relations & Global Engagement Office
        International Relations & Global Engagement Office
        1200 University St. #9519
        Woodburn Hall, Office #115

        Wheww. The hard part was step 1! Now that you are thinking about studying abroad, the rest of the steps are here for you to consider as you apply. Students who study abroad need to remember to study hard as most semester programs have a 2.5 GPA requirement. Don’t have a 2.5 GPA? Come talk to us to see about abroad options. We want every BHSU student to have an international opportunity!

        Start thinking about what factors are important to you in your study abroad choice. 
You may be thinking about:
      1. Price.
        This is a factor for many students, and the good news is there are some study abroad options that are actually cheaper than taking classes on campus! Think about your budget, your scholarships or aid (some BHSU aid will transfer to your study abroad opportunity), and come talk to the International Relations Office about your options.
      2. Academic Discipline.
        You can study your major in lots of different places, but maybe you would like to make some academic connections in a certain place, or you want to understand a certain country's view of your major. All of this is possible. Don’t forget to tell your academic advisor about your interests.
      3. Dates.
        Finding the right time to study abroad is important. Maybe you are on a sports team or have a leadership position on campus. Maybe you need a required seminar or lab class offered on campus. Working with an academic advisor can help you lay out your class schedules for your time at BHSU. There’s always room for a study abroad opportunity, we just might have to move some things around or find an abroad program with flexible dates.
      4. Program Location
        There are lots of places to travel in the world, and BHSU provides a great list of countries to visit. Visit the “Study Abroad Locations” section to learn about the different countries where we work! And if you don’t see a particular country listed there, just let us know, and we will go hunting for you!
      5. Traveling with people you know
        Sometimes it just feels better to travel with someone you know. We offer several programs led by BHSU faculty and staff, as well as options for pairing you up with other BHSU students on an exchange or partner program.
      6. The ability to teach or obtain an internship
        Some international opportunities allow students to teach or conduct an internship. Teaching is available both for education majors (for student teaching) and for non-majors (working with college students interested in learning English from a native speaker).
      7. The ability to speak a foreign language
        For many students, an international opportunity is a chance for them to practice or learn a foreign language.

        It’s never too early to start planning to study abroad. In fact, the better you plan, the more flexibility you’ll have in the classes and credit hours you take abroad. Start to make notes on your class schedule (tell your advisor about your interest to study abroad), and start thinking about all the fun you’re going to have!

    Meet Kaitlin Schneider

    Black Hills State University student Kaitlin Schneider got more than she expected during her Fall semester studying in Italy. Schneider, a psychology major from Sturgis, learned a new language, immersed herself in a new culture, and broadened her understanding of the world and herself.

    Although she’s only been back a few weeks, Schneider is already thinking about a return visit. “I have to go back and visit someday. It has become such a part of me. It has transformed my life.”

    Schneider had always been interested in traveling to Europe; however, her motivation increased after her brother, recent BHSU graduate Nolan Schneider, and his fiancée Rebecca Clausen, a BHSU biology and Spanish major from Sturgis, returned from a summer trip to Spain. “When I got that experience and exposure through them, I got this drive that I had to do this too.”

    She spoke with Rusty Wienk, the former BHSU international program coordinator, and searched several different programs before finding one that offered a psychology course that she needed to graduate this spring.

    During her fall semester at Florence University of the Arts, Schneider took cross-cultural psychology, Italian language, wine appreciation, and garden and arts which was a history lesson of the city and its politics and the culture that has evolved from it, she said. “The garden is such an important aspect of Florence and its history.”

    In her cross-cultural psychology course, Schneider utilized much of what she learned in her research methods and social psychology courses at BHSU. “My exposure with both of those classes helped me be one of the top students,” she said. “I already knew a lot of what the teacher was talking about. When she asked questions, I was able to facilitate discussions and understand the research she was talking about.”

    “It is good when your home University is setting you up for success all around the world.”

    While her classmates were all Americans, Schneider spent time outside of the classroom immersing herself in the culture of the city. “I started meeting more Italians. It was a great experience. I got to practice my Italian and learn so much more about the culture from the people I met.”

    One of her favorite memories in Italy happened in Cinque Terre when she and some classmates were trying to take shelter from the pouring rain under a restaurant’s umbrella.  The owner of the restaurant came out with a carafe of wine and a big platter of octopus. The owner said it was his birthday and wanted the group to celebrate with him. “He just kept bringing out dishes of beautiful seafood,” she said. “He fed 12 students for free. It was that kind of generosity that I often ran into.”

    Schneider explored Italy, mostly on bike, and would often communicate with friends and family about the amazing things she was seeing and eating. “I really appreciated having the experience alone. It teaches you so much about survival and what you are like. It is important to learn who you are; you don’t get that until you are alone for four months.”

    Aside from touring Florence, Schneider spent time in Rome, Venice, and all over the Tuscan hillside. She also spent her Fall break in France visiting Grace Boeun, a foreign exchange student she became friends with at BHSU.

    Boeun studied at BHSU last year and is currently studying in Lyon, France.

    “It was really exciting because I got to go see her in Lyon, and then we went to Paris together. It was an absolutely amazing experience. At one point we were sitting at this table with her friends, and she is from Korea, I’m from America, there was a boy from Austria and a boy from Morocco … we were all sitting at this table together in Paris. It was absolutely mindboggling.”

    Schneider will graduate in May and plans to pursue her master’s with a goal of eventually becoming a university professor. She said a big factor in her desire to follow that path was Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis, BHSU assistant professor of psychology.

    “I have fallen in love with the academic setting. I love college,” she said noting that she also wants to continue her involvement with research. “Research has become more of a hobby than a requirement for school.”

    For now, Schneider will continue working on her research with plans to attend some conferences and publish a paper for her senior project. And plan for her next trip abroad.


    Other Moments

    Kaitlin Schneider at the Piazzale Michelangelo

    Black Hills State University student Kaitlin Schneider at the Piazzale Michelangelo overlooking the city of Florence.

    Kaitlin at a Restaurant

    Kaitlin Schneider with some of her American classmates at a restaurant in Cinque Terre. The restaurant's owner, Claudio, provided the students with multiple seafood dishes while they waited for the rain to pass.

    Kaitlin and Grace

    BHSU student Kaitlin Schneider and former BHSU exchange student Grace Boeun in front of the Eiffel Tower. Originally from South Korea, Boeun is now studying in Lyon, France. Schneider visited Boeun during her fall break from Florence University of the Arts.