Study Abroad as an Economics Major

As an Economics major you are encouraged to consider incorporating an off-campus program as part of your academic program.

Heidelberg, Germany, where Alexandra Kerns studied abroad.

My study abroad was one of my greatest learning experiences. I met lifelong friends, managed my way through challenging situations and lived in one of the most beautiful cities for six months. I was able to take classes in and out of my major and strengthen my German language skills at the same time. Heidelberg will always have a special place in my life!                                                                Alexandra Kerns, '18, Germany

Working with your academic advisor and the Office of International Education (OIE) you can plan an an experience that fits your academic and personal goals.

Why study abroad?

Students of all majors benefit from studying abroad. As an Economics major, you can:

  • consider current economic policy issues in an international context
  • expand pluralism in your economics education as you experience how other countries approach the field of economics
  • explore country-specific economic electives
  • broaden your world view and deepen your understanding of yourself
  • examine your values and beliefs in new ways
  • prepare for life after college by becoming a globally engaged citizen

How will study abroad count toward my major? Will it take me longer to graduate?

With planning, you can study abroad and graduate on time. Many students take general education and elective classes in addition to one or two credits in the major. This varies widely based on your program of interest and your individual degree requirements.

Majors may choose to take up to two lower-level (300 level) electives elsewhere. You are required to take Microeconomic Theory (Econ 363) and Macroeconomic Theory (Econ 364) at Willamette as these courses are structured differently from theory courses at other institutions. You are encouraged to consult with your academic advisor while deciding on courses to take while studying abroad.

An OIE advisor can help you to find a program that matches your academic needs and helps you to meet your personal goals and interests as well.

When should I study abroad?

Programs are offered during the summer, fall or spring semester or for a full academic year.

Economics majors typically study abroad as juniors. Students should discuss their interest in studying abroad with their advisors before deciding which term to complete abroad. Some courses may not be available in either spring or fall semesters. 

Summer programs are open to students at all levels, unless otherwise noted.

Can I afford to study abroad?

Yes! Willamette-sponsored semester programs are comparable in cost to being on campus for a semester and most forms of financial aid can be applied. See the OIE website for more details about program costs and additional expenses to consider.

Scholarships for study abroad are available and can be found on the OIE website. It is critical to begin to research scholarships early, even before you apply for study abroad.

How should I choose a program?

Explore! Just as you spent time researching colleges before deciding on Willamette, you will want to spend time investigating programs abroad to ensure a good fit.

  • Research class offerings to know whether there are classes that meet your academic needs.
  • Consider your personal goals for the experience and seek out programs that will help you to meet them.
  • Investigate which programs offer support services you may need during your time there.
  • Meet with an OIE advisor!

Programs for Economics majors to consider

Almost all study abroad programs offer applicable economics electives courses.  Economics majors who do not find an economics course abroad should still consider studying abroad to accrue non-economics credits. 

These are some programs to consider as you begin your research, but consult the Office of International Education for many more options as well.

Students may also choose from a variety of other programs.  Most programs are open to all majors.

Resources for study abroad:

Willamette students studying abroad in Germany

Office of International Education

Visit the Office of International Education’s website to learn more about program options, scholarships how to apply and more.

Credit considerations

Majors may choose to take up to two lower-level (300 level) electives elsewhere. You are required to take Econ 363 and Econ 364 at Willamette. Consult your academic advisor about what courses to take abroad.

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