Applied Learning

Put your knowledge into practice with these hands-on learning experiences.

In the International Studies Program, we consider this experience vital to the major and minor. No amount of classroom study can provide the knowledge that is gained through the experience of physically residing in a place.

Those with only a minor in international studies might not have time for a full semester abroad. Therefore, the international studies faculty accepts a J-Term or summer course for minors.

For majors, however, we insist upon a full semester or year in their region of interest. Majors also take courses from the perspective of that region. While there, students are encouraged to learn the language of the place if they have not done so already. The Center for Global Learning works with each International Studies major to find the study abroad program that best meets their academic interests and financial needs. The academic credits taken while studying abroad can transfer back to Luther, and count toward the International Studies major.

Luther College has a higher calling: to help students connect faith with learning, freedom with responsibility, and life’s work with service.

In response to this mission and in recognition of our globalized world, this scholarship assists women who major in international studies with study abroad expenses.

It draws from an endowment created in honor of Olga Fischer-Proehl, a German businesswoman of great strength and perseverance. When her husband died, Olga continued running the family foundry on her own. She did so successfully for the next three decades. Established by her daughter, Jutta Fischer Anderson, the scholarship serves as a lasting remembrance of her mother’s life.

Sophie BierleinThe 2022-2023 recipient, Sophie Bierlein, received the scholarship as a junior. In the summer of 2023, she spent 1 week in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and 6 weeks in Montevideo, Uruguay. During these 7 weeks, she studied historical and contemporary LGBTQ+ resistance movements in Uruguay and the broader Rio de la Plata region while learning and employing the Rio de la Plata Spanish dialect.

Outside of the classroom, she conducted a research project analyzing violence perpetrated through social media against female politicians in Uruguay. Through this project, she had the opportunity to meet with a wide variety of local female activists, artists, and political figures. Her biggest takeaway from the seven weeks is that even with pressure from all sides, women will always persevere.

Sophie is from Jordan, Minnesota. She is majoring in political science, Spanish, and international studies with a regional focus in Latin America. She also has a minor in religion. On campus, she serves as the treasurer for Luther’s Student Senate, is the current chair of the Honor Council, and co-executive editor of the Luther Political Review.

The Language Learning Center (LLC) offers resources and technical support for all modern language faculty and students. During scheduled hours, the LLC provides language help, drop-in tutoring, an extensive foreign-language film collection, and space for small groups to gather.

Learn More About Study Abroad at Luther College

A Luther College education connects students with global issues and ideas through study and scholarship on campus and through off-campus studies. Each year, between 400-500 Luther students participate in international study. Ranking Luther among the colleges in the nation for the percentage of students who study abroad.

Visit Luther’s Center for Global Learning