Elon University is a national leader in engaged learning with a global emphasis. All first-year students begin their academic program with a writing intensive seminar that explores the implications of diversity and public responsibility in an international context. By graduation, over 70% of students have studied abroad in at least one of 60 programs offered by Elon's Isabella Cannon Center for International Studies. The Princeton Review 2012 college guide ranked Elon's study-abroad program as #4 in the nation, and the university has committed to providing 100% access for all students who wish to study abroad.

The School of Communications is one of only 18 nationally accredited private communications programs and is a recipient of the national Equity and Diversity Award presented by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Its mission is to prepare students to be exemplary communicators in an increasingly diverse, interactive and global age. The program builds on the university's international commitment, offering numerous courses that emphasize responsible journalism and communications in a global context. Teacher-scholars also teach study-abroad courses and lead study groups around the world.

The School is home to the Imagining the Internet Center, with its mission to "explore and provide insights in the emerging network innovations, global development, dynamics, diffusion and governance." Elon is the only university that sends a team of students and faculty each year to cover the Internet Governance Forum. The School also supports "elondocs," a student organization designed to encourage the production of high-quality documentary films. Its Elon partners have included Project Pericles, which focuses on student engagement and social responsibility. Students have traveled to Africa to produce documentaries about HIV/AIDS in Namibia and about the racial complexities between black workers and a white farmer who moved to Zambia after losing his land in neighboring Zimbabwe.