University of Minnesota
http://www.umn.edu/
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Campuses:

Learning Abroad Center
Learning Abroad in American Studies

Learning Abroad in American Indian Studies

American Indian Studies is dedicated to advancing an awareness and understanding of the histories, cultures, arts, languages, literatures, philosophies, religions, economies, politics, and legal status of the native peoples of the US and Canada, but also draws on the experiences of indigenous peoples from other parts of the world. Learning abroad can help compare, contrast, and make connections between indigenous peoples in a global setting.

Study Abroad Process

This is the basic process you'll complete in order to study abroad. The order in which you do things is somewhat flexible.

Academic Planning

Review the following suggestions from the Department of American Indian Studies before beginning your study abroad research.

Align study abroad with your personal, academic, and professional goals

Choose your study abroad experience wisely

Work on your American Indian Studies major or minor

Consider timing and length

Seek cultural immersion

Pay special attention to program type

Fulfill Liberal Education requirements

Once You Have Selected a Program

While You Are Abroad

After You Return

Programs

Africa and the Middle East

Ghana

University of Ghana (available through CIEE Ghana-Legon: Arts & Sciences)

  • Program type: University Study
  • Comprehensive university offering many courses that provide comparative insights into Native American issues. CIEE supplements university courses with internship and research options.
  • Sample courses: Appropriate Technology for Rural Development; Traditional Popular Festivals; Foragers & Farmers in West Africa’s Prehistory; African Traditional Ethics; African Philosophy.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of an African language is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year.

Jordan

SIT Jordan– Water & Environmental Policy in the Middle East

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Highly experiential program based in Amman and including multiple excursions to other regions of Jordan and, conditions permitting, to Israel.
  • For anyone interested in water issues in the U.S., especially in Southwestern reservations, the program can provide rich comparative insights.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of Arabic is required. Summer.

Kenya

MSID Kenya (Minnesota Studies in International Development)

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion; great for comparative perspective on indigenous issues.
  • Past internship placements include women’s empowerment, literacy, ethnographic research, public health/nutrition, environmental issues, urban education, community development, others.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Swahili is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year; consider year option to maximize cultural immersion and gain deeper research experience.

Senegal

MSID Senegal (Minnesota Studies in International Development)

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion; great for comparative perspective on indigenous issues.
  • Past internship placements include social work agencies, youth projects, women’s groups, orphanages, health clinics, community centers, schools, environmental projects, many others.
  • Instruction is in French. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year; consider year option to maximize cultural immersion and gain deeper research experience.

South Africa

CIEE South Africa service-learning

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program combining classroom work on the University of Cape Town campus with community service and research in marginalized townships on the outskirts of the city.
  • South Africa is a fascinating place to reflect on the relationship among race, language, class, and political and economic power. Comparison can teach much about role and meaning of race in U.S.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of African languages required. Fall or spring semester.

SIT South Africa– Education & Social Change

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Highly experiential program based in Durban, on Indian Ocean. Includes field study assignments; visits to schools, NGOs, local communities, & government offices; and field trip to Johannesburg.
  • Examines history of education in South Africa and attempt to transform system since fall of apartheid. Instructive parallels and contrasts to Native American experience provide rich insights.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of an African language is required. Summer.

Americas

Bolivia

SIT Bolivia

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Three highly experiential program options in a country with a long history of popular movements, and now the first indigenous president in South America’s history.
  • Latin American Revolutionary Movements & Conflict Resolution (semester) and Lens on Latin America  (summer) are both based in La Paz, and Multiculturalism, Globalization, & Social Change in Cochabamba.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Spanish, Aymara, or Quechua is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or summer.

Chile

IES Chile

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Area studies and language program that also offers options to take regular Chilean university courses and/or to do an internship or a service-learning placement.
  • IES offerings include Native Cultures; Social & Political Role of the Arts in Chile & Latin America; The Radical Tradition in Latin America; and Human Rights in Latin America.
  • Instruction is in Spanish; 4 prior semesters of Spanish are required. Fall or spring semester, academic or calendar year.

SIT Chile– Public Health, Traditional Medicine, & Community Empowerment

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Highly experiential program based in Arica, near the borders with Peru and Bolivia. Provides first-hand experience with Chile’s health system. Includes field trips in Peru, Chile, and Argentina.
  • Examines different conceptions of wellness and healing, including beliefs and health practices of Aymara and Mapuche indigenous groups and how they interact with formal health care system.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Spanish language study is required. Fall or spring semester.

Ecuador

MSID Ecuador (Minnesota Studies in International Development)

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion. Ecuador is a hemisphere-wide center of indigenous activism.
  • Past internship placements include rural women’s empowerment, literacy, public health/nutrition, sustainable agriculture, community environmental conservation, fishing or handicraft cooperatives.
  • Instruction is in Spanish. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year; consider year option to maximize cultural immersion and gain deeper research experience.

Mexico

Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida (available through ISFA-Butler Mexico)

  • Program type: University Study
  • Located in the heart of the Maya region and close to to some of Mexico’s finest Mayan archaeological sites, UAY is strong in Anthropology, Archeology, and Latin American Studies.
  • ISFA-Butler supplements university courses with a mandatory Spanish course and two optional courses including one on Mayan history and culture.
  • Instruction is in Spanish. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year.

Peru

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (available through ISFA-Butler Peru or CIEE Peru—Lima Liberal Arts)

  • Program type: University Study (and Study Abroad Center)
  • Founded in 1917 and located on a 90-acre campus in Lima, PUCP is Peru’s oldest private university. Both CIEE and Butler supplement university courses with 2 required center courses.
  • For descriptions of lots of relevant courses, check out Anthropology, Archeology, History, and Sociology in the online course catalog, then look under Sumillas.
  • Instruction is in Spanish; five prior semesters of Spanish required for both ISFA-Butler and CIEE. Fall or spring semester, calendar or academic year.

United States

The University of Minnesota’s membership in the National Student Exchange (NSE) gives students access to nearly forty other US universities that offer American Indian studies programs. The department considers the following to be some of the strongest in the nation.

University of Arizona, Tucson (available through NSE)

  • American Indian Studies Program (AISP) seeks to develop a wider scope of understanding of America's indigenous peoples, their languages, cultures, traditions, and sovereignty.
  • Specialties of 27 graduate faculty (20 are American Indian) include verbal and non-verbal folklore, lives of non-literate women, American Indian literature, racial issues in American politics, federal Indian law and policy, anthropology, history, American Indian health issues, American Indian education (including bilingual education in Native American communities), Navajo, Hopi and Tohono O'odham languages, Native American families, contemporary indigenous art.

Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff (available through NSE)

  • NAU’s Native American student enrollment of about 1,300, one of the largest among four-year universities in the United States, represents at least forty tribes.
  • Mission of Applied Indigenous Studies is to prepare students to assume leadership roles in indigenous communities and institutions for the twenty-first century.
  • Besides delving into tribal histories and cultures, federal policies, and contemporary reservation conditions, curriculum equips students with tools and experience for contributing to communities.
  • NAU also boasts strong partnerships and collaborative programs with over 70 Native American tribes throughout the Southwest and beyond.

University of Hawaii, Manoa (available through NSE)

  • Mission of Hawaiian Studies Program is "to achieve and maintain excellence in the pursuit of knowledge concerning the Native people of Hawai'i, their origin, history, culture, language, literature, religion, arts and sciences; their interactions with their oceanic environment and other peoples; and to reveal, disseminate and apply this knowledge for the betterment of all peoples."
  • Kamakaküokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies represents university’s first substantial commitment to the coordinated study and preservation of Hawaiian culture, history, politics, and language.
  • Through student services, instruction, research, and community outreach the Center dedicates itself to serving the Native people of Hawai'i from Ni'ihau to Hawai'i Island.
  • Center's areas of inquiry include traditional culture, resource management, indigenous land and water rights and self-determination.

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (available through NSE)

  • Currently some 1,500 Native students attend the UNM main campus.
  • Native American Studies at UNM is an interdisciplinary unit that seeks to inform students and the public about the strong cultural heritage of Native American peoples in New Mexico and the U.S.
  • Goals of Native American Studies are to explore and transmit respect for the sovereignty of Native Nations, preserve cultural traditions, and support Native communities’ self-determination.

University of Washington, Seattle (available through NSE)

  • Washington State has 34 Indian tribes, a growing indigenous population, and a number of inter-tribal organizations, many with close ties to groups in neighboring states and provinces.
  • UW’s program offers a range of course work dealing with American Indian history, ethnology, law, religious belief, Indian-white relations, Navajo language, Salish language, documentary film making, and folklore, with a special emphasis on Western US and Northwest Coast tribal groups.

Study of indigenous languages through other NSE member institutions:
Besides the above institutions, you can use NSE to study an American Indian language elsewhere:

  • Arapaho, Cherokee, Cheyenne Choctaw, Kiowa, or Muskogee: University of Oklahoma
  • Hawaiian: University of Hawaii at Hilo
  • Lakota: South Dakota State University
  • Navajo: University of New Mexico, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, University of Washington
  • Northern Arapaho or Eastern Shoshone: University of Wyoming
  • Ojibwe: University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, University of Wisconsin-Superior
  • Oneida: University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
  • Shoshone: Idaho State University
  • Fall semester, spring semester, academic year, or (at some institutions) summer

Asia and Oceania

Australia

James Cook University

  • Program type: University Study
  • Two campuses, in Townsville and Cairns, both near the Great Barrier Reef on the tropical Queensland coast. Approximately one fourth of the student body is indigenous.
  • Large multidisciplinary School of Indigenous Australian Studies provides some of Australia’s best opportunities to study the history, culture, and challenges faced by the aboriginal population.
  • Fall or spring semester, academic or calendar year.

China

Alliance China– Xi’an

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Program name is Globalization Then and Now: Xi’an & the Silk Road. Includes two-week Silk Road field trip into Central Asia. Interesting for impact of globalization on formerly nomadic peoples.
  • Includes Chinese language study, The Silk Road Yesterday & Today, and choice of one other course in Chinese history, art history, or contemporary society and culture.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Chinese is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or summer.

SIT China– Chinese Culture & Ethnic Minorities

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Highly experiential program based in Yunnan Province, home to 25 of China’s 50-plus government-recognized minority groups, including Hmong and Tibetan.
  • Includes travel to several minority areas as well as an independent research project that could lend itself nicely to comparative study incorporating American Indian Studies themes.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of Chinese or of local minority languages is required. Fall or spring semester.

SIT China– Public Health & Traditional Medicine

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Experiential program based in ethnically diverse Yunnan province. Observation of (and in some cases practical training with) practitioners of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage therapy.
  • Program partners with Traditional Chinese Medical Hospital. Includes field trip to ethnically Tibetan areas. Great comparative experience for anyone interested in traditional American Indian healing.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Chinese language study is required. Summer.

India

CIEE India

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center and University Study
  • Area studies program based in the southern city of Hyderabad, India’s fifth largest and one of the most dynamic centers of its rapidly expanding global economy.
  • Also accessible: University of Hyderabad’s School of Social Sciences (includes a Centre for Folk Culture Studies and a Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion & Inclusive Policy Economics).
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of South Asian languages is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year.

MSID India (Minnesota Studies in International Development)

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion; great for comparative perspective on indigenous issues.
  • Past internship placements include rural women’s empowerment, literacy, environmental issues, public health/nutrition, sustainable agriculture, work with traditional herbalists/healers/midwives.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Hindi is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year; consider year option to maximize cultural immersion and gain deeper research experience.

New Zealand

University of Otago

  • Program type: University Study
  • Otago (enrollment 20,000) is located in the “college town” of Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island, a particularly attractive location for students interested in outdoor activities.
  • Otago has one of the strongest Maori Studies programs in New Zealand, as well as a number of course offerings on peoples of the Pacific
  • Instruction is in English. Fall or spring semester, academic or calendar year.
 
HECUA New Zealand Culture and the Environment: A Shared Future
  • The program examines how social and environmental factors impact and shape political and ecological aspects of identity and culture and how New Zealand populations are envisioning and developing a shared future in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Field seminars focus on environmental management, biodiversity protection, M?ori culture, national public policy, and urban planning.
  • Potential internship opportunities (not an exhaustive list) in the fields of wildlife and habitat conservation, climate change, food, environmental law, sustainability, transportation advocacy, community-based television, water quality, Permaculture and Transition Towns initiatives, local democracy, youth development, and urban agriculture.

Samoa

SIT Samoa– Pacific Communities & Social Change

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Program studies process of change in Samoa and other Pacific communities, including impact of new and different values on native peoples in light of development and globalization pressures.
  • Includes orientation In Hawaii, field study in Samoa, field trips to Fiji and American Samoa, and an independent research project.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Samoan is required. Fall or spring semester.

Thailand

CIEE Thailand– Development & Globalizaiton

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Based in Khon Kaen. Explores environment, development, and the nature of community in a globalizing world, including impact of globalization on traditional peoples.
  • Extensive field experience Includes visits to a number of community-based projects and opportunities for community research. Lends self to asking comparative questions about U.S.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Thai is required. Fall or spring semester.

Vietnam (and Cambodia)

SFS Vietnam/Cambodia– Environmental Ethics & Conservation

  • Highly experiential program exploring the natural, human, and political economy of Vietnam and upstream areas of the Mekong River Delta in Cambodia.
  • Examines issues of sustainable development, pressures on natural resource exploitation, and ecotourism in Vietnam and Cambodia—all with interesting parallels to Native American areas.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of Chinese or of local minority languages is required. Fall or spring semester.
  • Pre req:  One semester of college-level ecology or biology

Europe

Denmark

Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS)

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Copenhagen-based DIS, one of Europe’s largest and academically strongest study abroad programs, offers a wide variety of courses on Denmark, Scandinavia, and Europe.
  • Many courses stimulate reflection on American Indian experience, Holocaust & Genocide; Impact of Epidemic Disease upon European History; Environmental History of Europe; many others.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Danish is required. Fall or spring semester, academic year, or summer.

France

Study Abroad in Montpellier

  • Program type: University Study and Study Abroad Center (two tracks)
  • U of M program that permits a mix of special language and culture courses with regular Université Paul Valéry courses in a proportion suitable to each student’s language proficiency.
  • With its large population and its location just across the Mediterranean from North Africa, Montellier is a great place to gain insights into the role and status of minorities in France. Internships offered.
  • Instruction is in French; one year French prerequisite for center track, two for university study track. Fall or spring semester, academic year, or a summer intensive language program.

United Kingdom— England

Queen Mary University of London

  • Program type: University Study
  • QM’s academic departments, library, students’ union, and administrative buildings are all on one campus in the multicultural East End, making it unique among the traditional London colleges.
  • Most remarkable about Queen Mary is the extraordinary diversity of both the campus and the surrounding East End community, providing powerful insights into multicultural London.
  • Academic year (summer also available through ISFA-Butler).

University of East Anglia (available through IFSA-Butler England)

  • Program type: University Study
  • UEA, whose location in the city of Norwich offers easy access to the continent, has arguably the best American Studies program in the UK.
  • A substantial number of courses focus on ethnic minorities, civil rights, and inter-group relations in the US, including offerings in Native American history.
  • Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year.

United Kingdom— Northern Ireland

HECUA Democracy & Social Change in Northern Ireland

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Highly experiential program that examines historical, political, economic, and religious roots of conflict in Northern Ireland and progress being made toward reconciliation.
  • Half-time, 8-credit internship complements classroom and field study and provides in-depth experience with an organization addressing issues relating to justice, equality and conflict.
  • Instruction is in English. Spring semester.

Additional Options to Consider

Intensive Language Programs

  • Begin your language study or work toward completing requirements for a language minor.
  • Work on your CLA language requirement or on a language minor while immersed in the language
  • Complete two, three, or even four semesters of language in a semester or a summer.

Global Seminars

  • 3-week, 3-credit programs at the 3000-level led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff over Winter Break or May Session.
  • Fulfill Liberal Education requirements, or earn major/minor credit.
  • Explore an exciting location and topic! Check out this year's offerings!

Freshman Seminars

  • Freshman Seminars Abroad combine on-campus instruction during spring semester with a study abroad component during spring break.
  • Seminars are 3 credits at the 19xx level and most fulfill a liberal education requirement.
  • Seminars are designed specifically for first year students as an introduction to study abroad.

Student Project for Amity Among Nations (SPAN)

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Summer research abroad preceded by spring semester preparation and followed by fall semester project write-up; ideal vehicle for overseas research toward a senior project.
  • Faculty adviser helps students prepare, accompanies each group during the summer, and assists as the thesis is written.
  • Locations vary from year to year; two to four destinations offered annually. No language prerequisite for most sites. Summer.

Work, Intern, Volunteer, and Research Opportunities

Student Experiences

Visit the Learning Abroad Center's Student Experiences web page for details on other students' experiences studying abroad.

Twin Cities Campus: