A Short History of Study Abroad at UP | University of Portland

A Short History of Study Abroad at UP


In August 1964, 32 students sailed from Montreal to Liverpool, where they met Fr. Ambrose Wheeler and bussed to Salzburg. They were the first group in what would end up being the University’s flagship study abroad program: The Salzburg Year. Fr. Wheeler and Fr. Bob Beh proposed the idea in the early ‘60s, choosing Salzburg over more popular destinations like Rome or Paris because of its central location, size, and the availability of English-speaking professors at University of Salzburg. University of Portland’s was only the second or third American program in the city. Tony Teske, a student from the first Salzburg Year (1964-65), says of his experience, “Salzburg is a wonderful opportunity. A year in your life that may turn out to be the year in your life. Certainly for me, it was the latter". Over 50 years later, this program still thrives. It has since grown to include a Nursing semester, Engineering semester, and two summer sessions, so that any interested and qualified student has the opportunity to experience the magic of Salzburg.

The London semester program began many years later in 1990. Fr. Arthur Wheeler became Director of Studies Abroad in 1995, and during his tenure developed many of the programs that are still fixtures of studies abroad at UP. University of Portland originally sent students to Granada, Spain as part of a consortium of schools. Eventually, we were sending more students over than most of the other schools combined. Fr. Art began the Granada Fall program in 2000 to meet the demand. A few years later, Fall 2003, 20 UP students studied in Australia. The Australia semester program has since become one of the most popular study abroad programs on campus. We partnered with Willamette University in 2012 to begin the Galway spring semester program.  The study abroad department has a history of partnering with other globally-minded Universities to provide students a wide range of high quality programs.

Over the past 50+ years of sending Pilots abroad, our office has remained dedicated to academic enrichment, safety, and providing depth of experience to our students. Former destinations include Mexico, Chile, Quebec, and Poland. Thousands of students and hundreds of faculty have participated. Become a part of this rich history – study abroad!