Teaching Courses Abroad

Collegiate & Departmental

What is a Collegiate & Departmental Program? 

Collegiate & Departmental programs are learning abroad programs led and coordinated by faculty and staff from colleges or departments at the University of Minnesota. Through this option, the Learning Abroad Center provides essential support services while allowing leaders to design their own program.

Collegiate & Departmental programs typically have some of the following features:

Collegiate & Departmental Programs work well for leaders who:

Collegiate & Departmental Programs work well for students who:


For more information, or to begin the process of creating a program, contact the appropriate Learning Abroad Center staff member:

Brook Blahnik: Associate Director- Process and Enrollment

Lindsey Lahr: Program Director- Program Development

Eric Leinen: College of Liberal Arts; College of Continuing Education

Vanessa Walton: Academic Health Center; College of Biological Sciences; Athletics; University Recreation

Ryan McCarthy: College of Science and Engineering; Humphrey School of Public Affairs; College of Design; College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences

Jill Reister: College of Education and Human Development; Leadership Education and Development-Undergraduate Programs

Deadlines, Forms & Resources

Deadlines, Forms & Resources are available for planning purposes.


Courses are structured by the program leader and can be designed for undergraduates, graduates, or both. All learning abroad programs must have the same academic rigor as courses taught on campus. Course content, credit, required excursions, and prerequisites are all determined by the program leader and must be approved by the program leader's academic department and/or college.

Programs should also contain the following activities; pre-departure orientation, preparatory readings, on-site orientations and excursions that are related to the academic content. In addition, field assignments are an important component of active learning, and leaders should consider including different types of structured activities to enhance student learning.

Students are encouraged to pursue learning abroad opportunities that meet degree requirements and therefore, we highly recommend creating courses that allow students to meet major, minor or liberal education requirements. Pre-approving courses for various requirements is a critical component in helping students in their learning abroad academic planning process and will help recruit students to your program.

Be sure to consult with your college or academic department's advising unit regarding degree requirements and the pre-approval process. For liberal education review, you can submit your course to the U-Credit Abroad database.

Learning Abroad Center Support

The Learning Abroad Center provides support by offering support and expertise in the following areas:

Program Leader Experience

Collegiate & Departmental program leaders work closely with a small group of students in an overseas setting and share experiences that students gain from the program.

Prior to program departure, program leaders coordinate all aspects of study abroad program administration including budget development, marketing and promotion, participant selection, and on-site logistics (hotel arrangements, transportation, organizing excursions, and so on).

The Learning Abroad Center is available to assist with resources and program design recommendations. The program leader's salary is paid by their department, college, or by the students on the program as part of the program fee.

Student Application Process

Students can apply for your program online through your program's web page on the Learning Abroad Center website. As part of the application process, they will be asked to complete the following:  

Program leaders may request additional application and confirmation materials if desired (example: application essay, transcript, etc.).

Leaders are responsible for screening and accepting program participants. Once participants are selected, the program leader notifies the Learning Abroad Center to facilitate billing, registration, and enrollment of students in the mandatory online health & safety orientation.