ABOUT BCA

THE BCA PROGRAM MODEL

For more than 50 years, BCA Study Abroad has been committed to helping students understand the complexities of the contemporary world by providing quality academic programs and cross-cultural learning in locations around the globe. From its start, BCA focused its mission on bridging academic learning and connecting it directly to experiences with local people and the issues that impact their lives. As a result, BCA students actively participate in their own learning and develop critical skills that empower them to be engaged and informed global citizens.

  • Direct enrollment into universities around the world
  • Experiential learning that instills knowledge, critical analysis and tools for leading social change
  • Locations that provide learning and interaction with local communities
  • Unique excursions related to local social and environmental justice issues
  • Language immersion
  • Support and expertise of on-site staff
  • Focus on peace and social justice and the connections between global issues and their local components

PEACE & SOCIAL JUSTICE MATTERS

We are mission-driven education. As a non-profit with an educational mission shaped by peace and social justice values, our programs are designed to empower and inspire students to be informed and active global citizens, leading change for a more peaceful and just world.

VALUES MATTER

BCA has been dedicated to education for social change since 1962.  Our commitment to critical reflection, mutual respect and empathy is the foundation of our partnerships with local communities, universities and organizations at home and abroad.

ETHICS MATTER

BCA provides services and educational opportunities in shared endeavors with local experts. We are proud of our long-standing relationships with community partners and host families, some existing for decades.

PEOPLE MATTER

We are committed to mutually respectful partnerships with our colleagues, friends and families around the world who provide transformative and unique opportunities for BCA students.

ACTIONS MATTER

BCA alumni transform their learning into action for the greater good, acting with compassion and courage to create change in communities at home and abroad.

DIVERSITY MATTERS

We welcome all to participate in our programs. As an organization that is open to all, we respect and appreciate differences and foster human dignity for a more peaceful world.

OUR MISSION

Faithful to the values of peace and social justice that inspired its founding in 1962, BCA Study Abroad facilitates opportunities for growth in intercultural understanding and global awareness through educational programs that foster scholarship, community engagement and guided reflective learning.

BRIDGE THE WORLD.

CONNECT FOR PEACE.

ACT FOR JUSTICE.

CORE VALUES

As an organization committed to peace and social justice, we believe that our core values of mutual respect, empathy and inclusivity form the foundation of the supportive, immersive learning experiences we strive to provide.

We believe that meaningful engagement with people different from ourselves helps us to grow as individual members of a global civil society that affirms the dignity of all. We hope to inspire and empower our students to constructively and creatively engage the complex issues facing our world today by working alongside others to build a more peaceful, just world. In doing so, students expand their skills and grow in their knowledge of themselves, others, and the world around them.

BCA fulfills its mission through an integrative Program Model that includes:

Individualized Learning:

  • Direct enrollment in a host university
  • Independent study or research related to local topics of interest
  • Language immersion where appropriate
  • Internships and work experience for a variety of majors

Social Justice themes:

  • Intercultural understanding through mutual respect and empathy
  • Unique high impact excursions with social justice themes
  • Embedded learning in program orientation providing historical, economic, and environmental context of the host country

Guided Reflection:

  • Activities implemented by on-site staff to inspire dialogue and foster critical reflection
  • Commitment to diverse student groups and in building empathy and understanding through reflection

On-site support from Resident Directors:

  • Immediate and on-going cultural orientation and guidance
  • Careful monitoring of student progress throughout the academic experience
  • Response and management of crises and emergencies
  • Commitment to individual needs and requests

Community Engagement:

  • Living with a host family or dorms with local students
  • Volunteer opportunities with local agencies, non-profits, and NGO’s focused on human services, conservation, and other areas of support
  • Integration into a university with local and international students
  • Participation in the arts including local music, dance, theater and other avenues of artistic expression

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

BCA Study Abroad is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3), international education organization founded in 1962 by a consortium of seven colleges of the Brethren tradition: Bethany Theological Seminary (IN), Bridgewater College (VA), Elizabethtown College (PA), Juniata College (PA), Manchester University (IN), McPherson College (KS) and University of La Verne (CA).

The presidents of the founding colleges constitute the BCA Board of Directors. For more than 55 years, BCA Study Abroad has engaged students from a wide range of institutions–-more than 100 different U.S. universities and colleges–including many students from our original partners. The BCA Academic Council, which is a small team of academics from various colleges and universities, reviews courses for academic credit. The BCA Advisory Council provides guidance, makes recommendations and shares expertise to support BCA’s organizational initiatives and goals in program development. Elizabethtown College provides transcripts, but in most cases, transcripts come from our host universities abroad or our partners accredit the programs based on BCA grade reports. Our central office staff in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, handles BCA’s admissions processes, administrative oversight, marketing activities, financial operations, health and safety planning and procedures, as well as university relations, often in close collaboration with our on-site resident directors abroad who are responsible for program design, implementation and quality-control at each of our sites.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS / AFFILIATIONS