A Bastyr education prepares students to use their healing skills out in the world. To that end, we offer many opportunities to study off-campus. External health clinics let students train with diverse populations around the Seattle area. Student Council Venture Grants fund educational trips designed by students. Student clubs organize their own trips, like the Naturopaths Without Borders service trip to Guatemala.

Our study abroad and study away programs offer some of the most powerful, formative experiences of our students' education.

For more information on joining trips (some are open to the public), contact Student Services at studentservices@bastyr.edu or (425) 602-3090.

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine China Externship

Annual trip to China (master's students in September, doctoral trip in May-June)

Group watches a patient treated in medical clinic This intensive enables students to study in the hospitals of two of the top traditional medicine universities in China, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Students spend their mornings shadowing senior doctors and seeing patients. In the afternoon, they attend lectures by senior doctors in their area of specialty. Students also explore the rich culture of China on weekend trips to Mount Emei, a famous Buddhist site; Mount Qingcheng, a famous Taoist mountain; the Chengdu panda park; and Hangzhou, a city renowned for its natural beauty. 

Spa Medicine in Germany

Hillside pastures and forest and the town of Bad Orb. Photo courtesy Aimee Huyck September (annually)

Students on this two- to three-week trip study spa (or "sanitas per aqua") medicine, physical medicine, hydrotherapy and nature cure, and learn about the roots of naturopathic medicine in the country of its birth. There is a physical medicine prerequisite for this course.

Coordinator: Dr. Aimee Huyck

Herbal Medicine in Italy

Early September (every other year)

Students examine plants at roadside.This two-week intensive explores the history, folklore and culture of herbal medicine. Students learn about plant identification, medicinal preparations and clinical applications, talking to herbalists, botanists, teachers and others who love plants and plant medicine. Students travel to three regions – Sansepolcro in the region of Tuscany, Salerno in the region of Campania and Colipardo in the region of Lazio. The group visits herb companies, herb museums and gardens. Yoga classes are woven throughout the course to help maintain balance and centering.

Coordinator: Robin DiPasquale, ND, RH (AHG)

Botanical Studies in Costa Rica

Students examine Costa Rican stinging nettle. Photo courtesy Jenn Dazey.Winter (every other year)

Over 10 days, students explore botanical medicine in jungle canopies, rivers, mountains and ocean beaches. The group visits herbal farms, preservation gardens, jungle wilderness and sustainable communities. Students meet with long-time folk herbalists and world-renowned modern permaculturists, learning about herbal medicine, Latin American culture and holistic land stewardship.

Coordinator: Jenn Dazey, ND, RH (AHG)

Appalachia Field Course in Herbal Medicine

Late June (every other year)

Vista of Blue Ridge Mountains

This 10-day course explores traditional early-American uses of native plants and experiences the music, scenery and culture of the Appalachian hills in Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia. Students visit the homes of families who have been herbal wildcrafters since the 1700s, along with the Great Smoky Mountains, the Land of the Waterfalls scenic area and many historical sites. Students learn plant identification, harvesting and traditional medicine-making.

Coordinator: Sheila Kingsbury, ND, RH (AHG)

Plant Identification & Medicinal Field Botany

Summer quarter every year (three weekends)

Lush island in tidal deltaStudents spend three weekends camping and hiking in Washington state's Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges learning botany, plant identification and medicinal uses of native plants.

Coordinator: Eric Yarnell, ND

Herbal Medicine Throughout Oregon

Late June (every year)

Herbal medicine foraging in Oregon / photo courtesy Karen McCoyStudents spend seven days camping, hiking and touring herb farms and herbal production companies. The focus is on developing a deeper understanding of herbal medicine through the Oregon herbal community. Students car pool to the cities of Williams, Eugene and Sandy and set up base camps, then head out to day trips to woods, fields, farms and production facilities.

Coordinator: Crystal Hamby

Cascade Herb Experience

Instructor with students out in a field studyingOne weekend in summer quarter (every year)

Students spend a weekend learning to identify native plants in the North Cascade mountains near Mount Vernon, Washington. They also learn from a local herbal wildcrafter how to harvest native medicinal plants sustainably and how to make medicine from them.

Coordinator: Crystal Hamby and Suzanne Jordan

Related Independently Run Programs

Natural Medicine and Global Health in Nicaragua

Students at NDI cliniciTen-day trips multiple times per year

The non-profit Natural Doctors International offers service learning opportunities to experience the unique combination of Nicaragua, naturopathic medicine and teaching methods developed by educator and philosopher Paulo Freire. NDI trips include classes in global economics, naturopathic medicine and global health, combining popular education with medical service learning. Doctors receive clinical training in tropical medicine, medical students get to preceptor and other participants help in community projects and other clinic services. NDI is not formally affiliated with Bastyr University.

CoordinatorTabatha Parker, ND

More information from NDI.

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Venture Grant Travel

Each quarter the Bastyr Student Council awards venture grants to send students on learning trips that promote personal and professional growth. Students design and propose the trips themselves and give a campus presentation on their trip when they return.

Past students have studied herbs along the Pacific Crest Trail, innovative retirement-home kitchens on Vancouver Island and health systems in Ireland.

The Venture Grant Committee selects proposals that fit the mission and philosophy of the University. For more information, contact studentservices@bastyr.edu.