Off Campus Study Programs

Vanguard University is committed to cultivating Spirit-empowered leaders with significant cross-cultural experience. Toward that end, the university provides local and global outreach opportunities as well as off campus study programs for academic credit, both international and domestic. 



Vanguard Intercultural Studies Abroad (VISA) is a comprehensive program available to Religion majors (and qualifying Religion minors) with junior and senior status. The three-month program in San Jose, Costa Rica, includes 15 units of coursework, including language study, plus a three-unit on-field practicum.  For program details see Department of Theology.


Programs may change each year.  Contact the Office of Global Education and Outreach for more information as to what programs are available for this academic year.


A multi-week journey through the Holy Lands in partnership with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.  There are two programs available: one centered in Israel and the other focused on the Life of Paul that may include travel to Greece, Italy and Turkey.  Students earn 3 units of academic credit for each program.


Vanguard University maintains partnerships with a number of external study abroad programs as well as the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities’ Best Semester programs.  For more information about these opportunities see the Office of Global Education and Outreach.


The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), an association of more than 100 member institutions in North America and more than 70 affiliates in 23 countries, offers a number of semester and Summer programs to students of its member institutions. Students of Vanguard University are eligible to participate in any of the study programs offered by the CCCU (see below). These interdisciplinary learning opportunities are available to students with Junior or Senior standing. Students generally take at least 16 units during their semester abroad and should consult with their academic advisors to see how the off-campus study coursework fits with their academic program. Listed below are the courses available in each of the CCCU programs. For more detailed information about any of these programs visit the CCCU website at


Students can take the following courses during a semester-in-residence in Washington, D.C. (for a total of 15 units). ASP courses satisfy upper division History and Political Science major requirements and possibly other major requirements—consult your academic advisor. For more information, contact the Department of History and Political Science.


The CINCEL Program (Centro de Investigaciones Cultural y Estudios Lingüísticos) in San José, Costa Rica, in conjunction with Vanguard University, offers Vanguard students who are majoring in Spanish, and others, a total immersion experience in Spanish. Students must demonstrate commitment and interest in the Spanish language at Vanguard University before going to CINCEL. Motivation will be as important as actual previous achievement, since the CINCEL staff are accustomed to working with students at all levels. The program features home-stay with select host families, and an academic program of courses. The program is for one semester (16 weeks, 16 units) during any one of CINCEL’s trimesters, or a half semester (8 weeks, 8 units) available during the Summer trimester. For the purpose of assessment, students will take a proficiency test both before and following their CINCEL experience. Prerequisites: Upon approval of the Chair of the Vanguard University Spanish Department, students may apply CINCEL units toward their Vanguard University Major (8 or 16 units) or Minor (no more than 8 units). Students will receive no credit for CINCEL unless currently enrolled as full-time students at Vanguard University. Non-Spanish majors or minors may earn elective units providing they have previous clearance from their own department and the Spanish Department. Students must have completed the intermediate level (SPAN 203-204) or the equivalent.

CINCEL Courses (8, 16 units)

(Note:  The lesser unit values refer to courses in the 8-week Summer trimester for students pursuing the Minor in Spanish).

SPAN-380Cincel Semester Abroad1
SPAN-382Spanish Grammar, Cincel2-5
SPAN-384Spanish Conversation, Cincel2-4
SPAN-386Spanish Phonetics, Cincel2-4
SPAN-388Spanish Practicum, Cincel1-2

Advanced students, if recommended by CINCEL, may take one or more of the following courses:

SPAN-481Lit of Latin America, Cincel2
SPAN-483Composition, Cincel2
SPAN-485Translation, Cincel2

Additional Coursework at CINCEL

Any student desiring to take extra units of study while at CINCEL must receive written approval in advance from the Spanish Department, and have academic and financial registration completed for the units before going to CINCEL. To be counted as Spanish units, such extra units must be taught in Spanish with Spanish readings, and not novels in English translation, for example.


In addition to the off-campus programs offered by Vanguard University and its affiliates, students can study abroad in programs offered by select external organizations.   Students are required to complete a  Study Abroad Application Packet from the Office of Global Education and Outreach and consult with their academic advisors to see how any program they are considering fits with their academic program. 


Academic credit for college-sponsored study trips conforms to WSCUC guidelines. One-unit hour is granted for each week of study, with an additional unit hour possible if academically warranted. Students should consult with their academic advisor, department chair, and study abroad personnel for counsel on either Vanguard or off-campus study abroad programs. Please see the "Off-Campus Study Programs" section of this Catalog for more detailed information on study abroad programs offered through VU.  Students wishing to study abroad through an institution other than Vanguard should contact the Office of Global Education and Outreach for appropriate paperwork and approval.