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The World Is Your Classroom

The world today is a much smaller place, and Beacon’s international studies programs immerse you in what was once a faraway place. Structured specifically for students with learning differences, our programs are life-changing experiences that provide a global perspective, new intellectual challenges, opportunities to build deeper friendships, and a chance to lay the groundwork for new dreams and ambitions.

With semester-abroad options in Italy and Japan, annual trips led by faculty, and excursions for specific degree programs, Beacon offers international programs geared for lifetime experiences.

Semester Abroad

The Semester Abroad program offers an immersive cultural experience over the course of an academic semester. Up to 20 qualifying Beacon students, accompanied by a learning specialist and a program director, live and study in Italy or Japan for the entire term. Courses are conducted by both Beacon faculty and resident adjuncts and focus on subjects that make the most of local cultural and environmental resources. Numerous organized excursions ensure that students gain the broadest possible exposure to the unique environment.

Students may attend the Beacon Semester Abroad programs as a sophomore, junior, or senior depending on their major and current program status. Because we believe that travel abroad should be open to everyone with interest and demonstrated ability, tuition and fees are the same as at Leesburg — travel and incidentals are not included.

Learn more about the Study Abroad programs! Live and study in Italy or Japan for the entire semester with courses taught by Beacon faculty!

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Annual Trip

Beacon’s Annual Trip program is a directed excursion offered during the summer term. Typically, the Annual Trip experiences last about three weeks and emphasize out-of-classroom learning. The focus is often cultural or historical but can also center on environmental or scientific exploration, as in our trips to the Galapagos and Alaska. Any enrolled Beacon student may apply. Costs vary depending on location.

Learn More About the 2025 Trip to Greece and Italy

Experiential Learning

Offering directed excursions for academic majors, the experiential learning trips include itineraries that are geared toward specific degree programs, like the Anthrozoology program’s marine and terrestrial science trip in Belize or the Business Management Hospitality and Tourism program’s Royal Caribbean cruise. Depending on the location and experiences, these trips will be for a week in between semesters or in May. The focus is out-of-the-classroom learning related to a specific degree program. Any enrolled Beacon student may apply with priority to degree-specific students. Costs vary depending on location.

Learn More About the Marine and Terrestrial Science Belize Trip

Charles’ Story in Costa Rica

My favorite part of this trip was probably not shared by my peers. I am a massive fan of crocodiles, and I got to stand about 15 feet away from one of the largest crocodiles I have ever seen, roughly 13 feet long,” said Charles Dion, an anthrozoology major. “The experience of staring at an American Crocodile is not one I will soon forget."