Short-term Abroad Programs

Short-term Abroad Courses

To excel in their career, our students need not only a deep understanding of global and regional issues, but also the ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead in a cross-cultural environment. Short-term abroad programs allow students to strengthen these skills as they travel with Elliott School professors to their regions of expertise. Through these intensive academic and cultural experiences, students will earn credit faster and increase their international knowledge and skills.

Winter 2024 Elliott School Short-term Abroad Program


Applications open: Aug. 24th, 2023


Applications close: Oct. 1st, 2023


Deposit deadline: Oct. 27th, 2023

IAFF 6385/ IAFF 3189: Foreign Influence in Senegal: Exploring its Effects and Senegalese Perceptions

Location: Senegal

Dates abroad: December 30th- January 8th

Faculty lead: Matthew Kirwin

Pre-departure class dates: Nov. 13th @ 7:30pm & December 8th @ 8pm 

Description: In STAP Senegal students will explore the various ways that foreign countries are seeking influence in Senegal and West Africa and how Senegalese interpret and respond to the efforts. The program will consist of lectures, site visits, focus group discussion and cultural excursions such as visits to Goree Island and St. Louis. For the final project, the students will jointly write a white paper that assesses the actions of the various countries seeking to gain influence and how Senegalese react to these messages and interventions--issues that U.S. policymakers are keen to learn more about. Students gain a deep understanding of Senegal and international affairs, Senegalese culture and foreign power competition.

Application link

Virtual Info-Session September 6th @ 12:00pm

Spring Break 2024 Elliott School Short-term Abroad Program


Applications open: Aug. 24th, 2023


Applications close: Oct. 1st, 2023


Deposit deadline: Oct. 27th, 2023

IAFF 6138: Solutions in Sustainable Development: Agriculture and Climate Change in Malawi

Location: Malawi

Dates abroad: March 11th-17th, 2023

Faculty lead: Samuel Ledermann

Pre-departure class dates: Jan 19th, Feb 9th, March 1st @ 5:30pm

Description: This course provides an opportunity for graduate students to apply their learnings and gain invaluable field experience abroad for their careers in sustainable development. The project-based course is offered in collaboration with Dr. Julius Manda from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) who leads efforts to increase adoption of sustainable agricultural practices amongst smallholder farmers. Under the guidance of their faculty advisor, who has extensive experience working and researching across sub-Saharan Africa, students will apply qualitative, participatory techniques to monitor mid-term progress made by Malawian smallholder farmers. Beyond sustainability, the course will focus on vulnerabilities to climate change and how to build resilience. The joint findings from the short-term course will flow back into programming by IITA. The program will include exposure visits with both local and national experts, and start in Lilongwe and culminate in Salima (at Lake Malawi). Note that the majority of the time is spent in the rural Dedza district interviewing smallholder farmers.

Application link

Virtual Info-Session September 7th @ 12:00pm

Summer 2024 Elliott School Short-term Abroad Programs


Applications open: Jan. 16th, 2024


Applications close: Feb. 28th, 2024


Deposit deadline: Mar. 29th, 2024

IAFF 6338/6138: The EU and NATO’s Responses to Emerging Security Challenges

Location: France & Belgium

Dates abroad: May 28th- June 6th, 2024

Faculty lead: Erwan Lagadec

Pre-departure class dates: During the week of May 20th, times and locations TBD

Description: The Transatlantic Program at the Elliott School's Institute for European, Russian & Eurasian Studies (IERES) offers a new short-term study abroad program on EU and NATO security, starting in Summer 2024. This STAP opportunity leverages ESIA's unique status as a European Union Center of Excellence, and our formal partnership with NATO's Allied Command Transformation. Complementing existing ESIA courses on the EU, NATO's Strategic Challenges, and Western Responses to Russia's Foreign Policy taught by Transatlantic Program Director Prof. Erwan Lagadec, this summer course will afford enrolled students a world-class opportunity to learn hand-on about the EU's and NATO's responses to emerging security challenges, such as disruptive technology, climate change, the mainstreaming of gender in security operations, Russian "hybrid" threats, and China's strategic assertion. The program will combine (a) seminars with faculty and other authoritative experts at Sciences-Po Paris (3 days); the Reims (Champagne) campus of Sciences-Po Paris specialized in transatlantic relations (1 day); the College of Europe in Bruges (1 day); and the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (4 days); (b) meetings with senior EU and NATO officials (including GW alumni) at the two organizations' headquarters, by way of which enrolled students will test our seminars' outcomes against the experience of real-world practitioners, and will develop their professional networks & career opportunities.

Application link

Virtual Information and Q&A Session with Faculty Lead Erwan Lagadec:

Jan. 23rd, 12:00pm

Virtual Info Session

IAFF 3186/6318: Discovering the Real Taiwan

Location: Taiwan

Dates abroad: June 11th-21st, 2024

Faculty lead: John Tai

Pre-departure class dates: May 21, 23, 28, 30, & June 4, 2024. Time TBD

Description: You have read about Taiwan in the headlines. You have read about Taiwan in U.S. government policy documents. But do you know the real Taiwan? Is Taiwan simply the next battleground in the contest for regional and global supremacy between the United States and China? Is Taiwan's significance based principally on its semiconductor manufacturing capacity? Or is Taiwan's value based solely on its central location in the first island chain? If you believe that the answers to this question are not a simple yes or no, then this course is for you. In this course, you will have the opportunity to visit Taiwan and experience its people, history, and institutions in person. There, you will see the real Taiwan. You will also have the opportunity to apply your research and analytical skills and experiences toward a research project through which you will acquire a deeper understanding of Taiwan's diplomacy, national security, political institutions, economy, history, the arts, and education. At the conclusion of the course, you will decide for yourself what is the real Taiwan.

Application link

Virtual Information and Q&A Session with Faculty Lead John Tai:

Jan. 17th, 12:00pm

Virtual Info Session

IAFF 3190/6118: Transatlantic Perspectives in Northern Europe


Location: Northern Europe: Norway, Sweden, Finland

Dates abroad: June 24th- July 5th

Faculty lead: Chris Kojm

Pre-departure class dates: June 17-21

Description: The course is a seminar designed to examine security issues in Northern Europe. The shock of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine led public opinion in Sweden and Finland to push their governments to apply for NATO membership. The Baltic States, already NATO members, are also acutely affected by Russia’s actions. The seminar will examine how governments in Northern Europe understand threats to their security, how they are responding, and what they expect from NATO and from the United States. Their decisions will be of keen interest to US policymakers and have a direct impact on US security interests.



Close Feb. 28th. Deposit deadline Mar. 29th.

Application link

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

To begin an Online Application, use the links above or find the brochure for the program(s) you are interested in applying for in the Programs section of GW Passport. Once there, click "Apply Now" to begin an application. (If no "Apply Now" button is appearing, that means the application cycle for the program is not yet open.) Students will be prompted to login using their GW Net ID and password. You will select the semester in which you wish to study abroad. The system will then direct you to your application home page. Complete all e-signature documents, fillable forms, and offline requirements as listed on the right side of the screen.

Are there funding opportunities available for these programs?

ESIA does not offer any short-term abroad specific scholarships at this time, but we encourage students to look into external funding opportunities. If you have funding or scholarships for tuition, that can be applied to the cost of tuition. If you have other scholarships or funding, please check with the financial aid office to see if they can be applied to the other program fee costs posted to your student account.

What if I missed the info session?

Please email [email protected] for info session recordings.

I am a faculty member interested in creating a STAP course, how should I proceed?

A call for STAP proposals for the next academic year is circulated to faculty during Spring semester. If you are interested in creating a program, please email [email protected].


If you have any questions about Short-term Abroad programs, please contact [email protected].