Study Abroad at Gonzaga

Students take a selfie in front of the Duomo in Florence, Italy.

March 15, 2023
Office of Undergraduate Admission

At Gonzaga, we want our students to have global experiences. No matter your academic major, Gonzaga has over 60 different study abroad programs designed to challenge your perspective and bring you to a better understanding of our ever-connecting world. Gonzaga is ranked #11 in the nation for students studying abroad and we hope you choose to study abroad as well! Hear from three of our Admission Counselors about their study abroad experiences.


Aaron Danowski, Admission Counselor – Cameroon


Gonzaga provided me with the opportunity to study abroad for a semester in Cameroon, a French-speaking country in central Africa. I chose Cameroon for several reasons:

1. I wanted to make use of my French language skills,

2. I was interested in delving into the international development field, and

3. I wanted to immerse myself in the local culture through homestays.

I attended the study abroad fair on campus the fall of my first year at Gonzaga to collect information, and after much research, I decided that the Cameroon program was the perfect opportunity for me. I joined five other students all from different colleges across the US, along with three local Cameroonian students to earn a full semester of college credit. Together, we travelled across the country and met with government officials, nonprofit leaders, and indigenous communities, deepening our understanding of how colonialism, geographic and ethnic diversity, and state and non-state actors all contribute to the country’s development and identity in the 21st century.

Much of my learning took place through homestays: I stayed with rich government officials in the nation’s capital, Yaounde; a middle-class widower and her kids, both adopted and biological, in the coastal port-city of Kribi; a polygamous traditional spiritual leader with 12 kids in the rural tribal kingdom of Batoufam; and a Muslim family originally from the far-north of the country living in the Muslim-quarter of the capital.

The last month of the program consisted of an independent research project. I was able to interview over a dozen social entrepreneurs working to alleviate poverty, conserve the environment, and advocate for workers' rights across Cameroon. My 80 page paper on the challenges these social entrepreneurs face was published in the SIT digital collection and has been downloaded over 1600 times!

Overall, my experience in Cameroon was life changing. It brought me face to face with people and places that challenged my understanding of the world and helped me develop as a person for and with others. I love that Gonzaga promotes study abroad opportunities such as this to its students, and I encourage every student I meet to consider going abroad.


Becky Doyle, Admission Counselor – Florence, Italy


When I first came to Gonzaga, I was not expecting to study abroad. However, after hearing all of the excitement from students returning from studying abroad, I simply had to see what I was missing out on. I then chose to study abroad in Florence, Italy, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made! From living just steps from the Duomo to eating the best Italian food, there truly is no shortage of things to experience while studying abroad in Florence.

But by far my favorite part of Florence was my Fashion Marketing & Retailing class. Getting the opportunity to explore Florence and its beautiful fashion scene is something I will never forget. Embodying the Jesuit practice of "learning by doing," our class would take to the city to discuss marketing strategies used by luxury fashion companies, such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès. We would analyze window displays, campaigns, and the practices of each of these luxury brands which was so cool to do as a business marketing student.

I paired this class with a marketing internship that I found during one of our field trips to downtown Florence. Each week, I would head to a local jeweler’s shop, Giuliano di Ricchi, and would work on his social media campaign. I did not speak any Italian, and Giuliano did not speak much English, but he and his employees became like family to me in Florence. He started to teach me Italian and showed me where to get the best coffee and cannoli in Florence! These two experiences really allowed me to gain incredible experience in the fashion industry. However, the biggest impact of my GIF experience was allowing me to embrace Italian culture and the people I met who made my semester abroad so special.


Grace Edwards, Admission Counselor – Copenhagen, Denmark


During the fall semester of my junior year at Gonzaga, I studied in Copenhagen, Denmark with a program called DIS (surprisingly, it doesn’t stand for anything!). I chose this program for a few reasons. First, I had not yet studied a foreign language, and I liked the idea of exploring a new culture but not having to worry about a language barrier. Most Danes speak English and very few people outside of Denmark know Danish, so no one blames you if you can’t hold a conversation in their native language. Second, the courses offered at DIS were unique, but would fulfill requirements for my degree. I referred to the guide on Gonzaga’s study abroad page to know what courses were already approved and which would require signatures and built a course schedule that I was excited about.

When you study abroad with DIS, you select one “core course” with which you travel to another country in Europe. Since I was majoring in political science and was considering a career in law, the core course I selected was Humanitarian Law and Armed Conflict. With this class of about 12 students, I travelled to Kosovo. Before that semester, I would not have been able to find Kosovo on a map. After the trip, I knew all about Kosovo’s war with Serbia in the 1990s, its declaration of independence in 2008, and its status in the UN as partially recognized. I also met the Kosovo Secretary of Defense, chatted with an American diplomat stationed there, and toured medieval UNESCO World Heritage sites. We spent five days there, and it was one of the most memorable and impactful experiences in my college career.

It’s fairly easy to travel around Europe once you’re there. Over weekends and holidays during the semester, I travelled to France, Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Austria, and the Netherlands! Somehow, with all this travel, I still felt immersed in Danish culture, and Copenhagen felt like home by the time I went back to the States. I hope to go back to visit Copenhagen one day. Current and future Zags – I encourage you to explore DIS and other sponsored study abroad programs!


Curious about Studying Abroad at Gonzaga?