Global Understanding and Diversity

When we welcome new ways of thinking and seeing the world, we grow more connected. When we seek out differences and experiences beyond our immediate reach, we bring the bigger picture that much closer. When we approach an academic community through a global lens, we become better able to navigate the world’s complexities.


"... As students, you are learning to think critically and express yourselves effectively. I hope you will also consider how those skills translate into engaged citizenship of our country, the more than 50 countries represented in our student body, and the world. By doing so, you'll help carry on the tradition of our founders who were all active abolitionists. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words, spoken in Grinnell in 1967, are as relevant today as they were then when he urged people to 'remain awake during a revolution.'"

- Raynard S. Kington, President



Grinnellians learn everywhere.                                        

Whatever your interests, you’ll find a dynamic range of programs that complement and extend your liberal arts education into other global contexts. As you live in a different society and interact with other cultures, you’ll forge new relationships, form new understandings, and acquire new ways of seeing the world. Take a look at Grinnell-in-London, or explore how our financial aid and credit policies make off-campus study more accessible. Our internal approval process, supported by faculty advisers and off-campus study staff, will help you choose a program that matches your academic goals.

See the world, starting in your first year.

In the fall of your first year, you’re eligible to apply for the Global Learning Program (GLP)  through the Institute for Global Engagement. These tutorials explore specific themes in a semester-long spring course. You’ll learn from a pair of Grinnell faculty on campus and travel with them internationally to two or more countries for a total of three to four weeks. The GLP course takes place during spring semester. The travel occurs either all at once in the summer, or in multiple segments, such as for the duration of Grinnell’s two-week spring break, plus a summer portion.

Expand your lexicon and your outlook.

Grinnellians are students of the world. If you believe that language opens the mind to diverse cultures and perspectives different from your own, then you’ll feel at home here. In addition to exceptionally strong language majors, you can take advantage of language immersion opportunities such as group dining and even housing arrangements. In addition, the Language Learning Center is available to study, relax between classes, and meet up with tutors or language assistants.

Related Links

Continue to explore more of the Grinnell experience.

Center for Careers, Life, and Service


Your hub of resources for living, learning, and working with meaning and purpose. 

Life at Grinnell


Grinnell, Iowa: An unexpected setting for bringing the world together. 

Global Grinnell


As a community we work continuously to broaden our knowledge of the world. 

Alumna Quote

I could never have imagined what life had in store for me when my adviser insisted that I consider taking those classes in global development.

Lilianna Bagnoli '15