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Learning Abroad for Pre-Law Students

Learning Abroad for Pre-Law Students

After reading a personal statement in which the applicant discussed her experiences abroad, “This applicant didn’t need to tell me she would be a self-reliant, inquisitive and broad-minded law student. Her story demonstrated all these qualities, as well as the perspective she gained on difference between . . . culture, both big and small.”
—Julie Ekkers
Assistant Director of Admissions, William Mitchell College of Law

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 Pre-Law program before beginning your study abroad research.

Study law from a different cultural perspective

Seek cultural immersion

Liberal Education requirements

Work on your major or minor requirements

Develop or improve second language skills Link to language page

Be deliberate about your law school application timeline

Programs

Africa and the Middle East

Kenya

Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID)

  • Program Type: Field Study
  • Program Term: Fall and Spring Semester, Academic Year
  • Grassroots internships working with local non-governmental organizations for development and social change form the core of this highly experiential program
  • Deep cultural immersion
  • Internship placements are highly individualized according to students’ backgrounds and interests
  • Sample areas: education, literacy, public health, youth work, environmental protection, women in development, human rights, and many, many more
  • No language requirement

Senegal

Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID)

  • Program Type: Field Study
  • Program Term: Fall and Spring Semester, Academic Year
  • Grassroots internships working with local non-governmental organizations for development and social change form the core of this highly experiential program
  • Deep cultural immersion
  • Internship placements are highly individualized according to students’ backgrounds and interests
  • Sample areas: education, literacy, public health, youth work, environmental protection, women in development, human rights, and many, many more
  • Instruction is in French; students must have 2 years of college-level French.

South Africa

CIEE South Africa– service-learning

  • Program Type: Field Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester
  • Engage in community service while taking part in a rigorous academic program of language study, social research methodology, African studies, and independent research
  • Instruction is in English.

Tanzania

Study Abroad in Tanzania

  • Program type:  Field Study
  • Program term:  Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Summer Term
  • Explore human rights, Tanzanian history and politics, and Swahili language on the semester program.  Two summer options: 9-week Intensive Swahili track, and 7-week Public Health and Medicine track. 
  • Homestays and service learning placement further enrich cultural immersion
  • No language prerequisite

Americas

Argentina

IES Argentina– Buenos Aires

  • Program Type: Host-University Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic or Calendar Year
  • An advanced Spanish Honors program based in Buenos Aires, this program gives access to the Universidad Torcuato di Tella, an exceptionally prestigious research and teaching institution.
  • Combination of IES courses and university courses.
  • Credit-bearing internships and service-learning placements available.
  • Instruction entirely in Spanish

Chile

CIEE Chile– Santiago

  • Program Type: Host-University Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring semester, Academic year
  • This program combines CIEE center courses with courses at the Universidad de Chile or the Universidad Católica de Chile.
  • Broad curriculum in I many subject areas including law, political science, history.
  • Two special CIEE courses on Chilean indigenous rights and Latin American human rights.
  • Non-credit internship options with human rights organizations.
  • All instruction is in Spanish; 3 years of college-level Spanish required.

Dominican Republic

CIEE Dominican Republic

  • Program Type: Field Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester
  • Based in the Dominican Republic’s second-largest city, this program combines community service-learning placement with in-depth study of social issues.
  • Deep cultural immersion.
  • Instruction is in Spanish; three prior year’s language study or equivalent required.

Ecuador

Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID)

  • Program Type: Field Study
  • Program Term: Fall and Spring Semester, Academic Year
  • Grassroots internships working with local non-governmental organizations for development and social change form the core of this highly experiential program.
  • Deep cultural immersion
  • Internship placements are highly individualized according to students’ backgrounds and interests
  • Sample areas: education, literacy, public health, youth work, environmental protection, women in development, human rights, and many, many more.
  • Instruction is in Spanish; students must have 2 years of college-level Spanish.

Venezuela

Study Abroad in Venezuela

  • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic year, Summer
  • This language and area studies program is set in a university city high in the Andes.
  • Spanish courses available from the beginning to advanced level.
  • Wide variety of courses available in Spanish in the social sciences, humanities, cross-cultural communication, international business, and environmental studies.
  • Some area studies courses focus on Venezuela, others on Latin America as a whole.
  • English-taught courses and intensive language study for students with insufficient Spanish.
  • Extremely affordable.
  • Sponsor: Learning Abroad Center (LAC)

Asia and Oceania

Australia

Study and Internships in Sydney

  • Program Type: Field Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Summer
  • Although this program could easily have been listed instead in the section on Study Abroad Centers, its greatest attraction for many pre-law students is likely to be the internship component.
  • Extraordinary range of internship opportunities could include law offices, human rights organizations, environmental advocacy groups, and many others
  • Instruction by Australian faculty
  • Classroom courses in semester programs include Contemporary Australia Government & Politics in the Pacific Rim Context

Australian Parliamentary Internships

  • Program Type: Field Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic or Calendar Year
  • This program offers opportunities for in-depth internships with a member of parliament, or in some cases with a public service agency, an industry or community organization, or a lobby group.
  • Based in Canberra, Australia
  • One or more classroom courses complement and support the internship.

China

CIEE China– Shanghai

  • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic year
  • This program offers special CIEE courses taught on the campus of East China Normal University.
  • Broad curriculum in many subject areas including law, political science, and history.
  • Extensive range of course offerings, including such courses as International Business Law and Intercultural Communication & Negotiation.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Chinese language study required.

India

Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID)

  • Program Type: Field Study
  • Program Term: Fall and Spring Semester, Academic Year
  • Grassroots internships working with local non-governmental organizations for development and social change form the core of this highly experiential program.
  • Deep cultural immersion
  • Internship placements are highly individualized according to students’ backgrounds and interests
  • Sample areas: education, literacy, public health, youth work, environmental protection, women in development, human rights, and many, many more.
  • There is no language requirement.

New Zealand

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.
  • 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.
  • While in Auckland students are in Homestays; Language of Instruction is English

Victoria University of Wellington

  • Program Type: Host-University Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic or Calendar Year
  • This university of over 17,000 students is located in the political capital of New Zealand.
  • Location and the country’s small size (4 million) mean students have unparalleled access to politicians and the political process.
  • Courses available in such areas as Commercial Law, Criminology, International Relations, Maori Studies, Political Science, Law, Public Policy, and Social Policy, and many others.

Japan

Exchanges in Japan

  • Program Type:  Host-University Study
  • Program Term: Spring Semester or Academic Year
  • The University’s exchange arrangements provide relatively affordable access to several Japanese Universities.
  • Hitotsubashi University (Tokyo), the University of Hiroshima, Nagoya University, Ritsumeikan (Kyoto) and Sophia Univerisity (Tokyo)
  • All three universities offer an intensive Japanese language option.
  • Non-language courses are available in English.
  • Prior Japanese language study encouraged by not required.

Jordan

CIEE Jordan– Language and Culture program

  • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic Year
  • This program combines area studies courses, cultural experiences, and language study to gain a greater understanding of the Middle East.
  • Arabic language plus options from such fields as archeology, history, politics, economics, culture, media, religion, environmental studies, and current social issues.
  • Includes several courses dealing with peace and conflict.
  • Very good for students interested in comparative politics and Middle East regional security issues.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Arabic required.

Russia

Russian Politics & Foreign Affairs

  • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
  • Program Term: Summer Term
  • This University of Iowa program is based at the Moscow State University for International Relations.
  • Courses include: Russian Politics & Institutions in a Comparative Perspective and Russian Foreign Policy.
  • Extremely Affordable.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Russian required.

Thailand

CIEE Thailand

  • Program Type: Field Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester
  • Based in Khon Kaen, in northern Thailand, this program explores issues of globalization in relation to development and the environment.
  • Includes visits to a number of community-based projects and opportunities for field research, asking interesting questions about the nature of community in a globalizing world.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Thai required.

Europe

Czech Republic

CIEE Czech Republic

  • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic year, Summer
  • Located in the stunning city of Prague, this program offers a wide variety of courses focused especially on the Czech Republic or more broadly on Central Europe.
  • Curricular strengths include politics and international relations
  • Internships available
  • Instruction in English; no prior Czech required

Denmark

Danish Institue for Study Abroad (DIS)

  • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic year, Summer
  • Copenhagen-based DIS offers a broad curriculum on Denmark, Scandinavia, and Europe.
  • Offers a wealth of law-relevant courses on such topics as human rights, criminal justice, international law, the European Union, health care, and environmental studies.
  • Sample law-related courses
  • Excellent study tours
  • Instruction is in English.

France

Study Abroad in Montpellier

  • Program Type: Host-University Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic Year
  • One of the premier study opportunities in France, the University of Minnesota’s own program in Montpellier attracts students from throughout the US.
  • Special language and culture courses for international students plus courses from the regular curriculum of l’Université Paul Valéry
  • Rich array of disciplines available.
  • For-credit internships available in many settings.
  • Instruction entirely in French.

Germany

IES European Union

  • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester
  • This interdisciplinary program is based in Freiburg, a medieval university town at the base of the Black Forest near the French and Swiss borders.
  • Political science, economics, business, and international relations courses focused on contemporary European Union.
  • Includes visits to major EU institutions and international organizations in other countries as well as to new EU member states in Eastern Europe.
  • Internship opportunities (for students with advanced German proficiency) and a model EU.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior German required.

IES Germany– Freiburg

  • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester
  • This additional interdisciplinary Freiburg-based program is ideal for students interested in environmental law.
  • Host city is a hotbed of the German environmental movement
  • Modular course calendar permits full immersion in one course at a time
  • Sample courses: Ecology and Management of Forest Landscapes in Southwest Germany & the Swiss Alps; Global Environmental Change; Methods in Ecosystem Analysis
  • Post-program research assistantships available
  • Instruction is in English; no prior German required

Ireland

Irish Parliamentary Internships

  • Program Type: Field Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester
  • This program offers opportunities for in-depth internships with a member of parliament, or in some cases with a public service agency, an industry or community organization, or a lobby group.
  • Based in Dublin, Ireland
  • One or more classroom courses complement and support the internship.

Italy

Arcadia Italy– Sicily

  • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring semester, Academic year, summer
  • Based at the Mediterranean Center for Arts & Sciences (MCAS) in Syracuse on the island of Sicily, this program offers particular strengths in Mediterranean studies.
  • Offers courses in such fields as anthropology, economics, history, international business, political science, and sociology .
  • Sample courses of interest to pre-law students include: Mafia Politics and History, European Union Politics, International Relations, and Greek & Roman Political Theory.
  • Curricular strength in environmental studies appeals to students interested in environmental law.
  • Instruction in English; no prior Italian required

Bologna Consortial Studies Program

  • Program Type: Host-University Study
  • Program Term: Preferred length is Academic year, fall or spring semester also available.
  • The university of Bologna is the oldest in Europe and arguably the most prestigious in Italy.
  • BCSP combines UB courses with courses designed for US students.
  • Pre-session strengthens language skills before UB classes begin.
  • Deep integration into Italian student life.
  • Instruction is entirely in Italian.

Netherlands

IES Netherlands– Amsterdam Pre-Law Certification Program

  • Program Type: Host-University Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester
  • This special program is based at the University of Amsterdam
  • 5-credit IES core course plus two 5-credit pre-law courses through the University of Amsterdam.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Dutch is required.

Norway

University of Oslo

  • Program Type: Host-University Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic Year
  • Located in the country’s capital, the University of Oslo is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive institution of higher education.
  • Unusually affordable.
  • Wide range of course offerings available in English; no prior Norwegian required.
  • Many courses on law topics courses (www.uio.no/studier/emner/jus/jus/in-english.xml) including some with a focus on human rights (www.uio.no/studier/emner/jus/humanrights/in-english.xml).
  • Law courses are graded SN only so students should take others as well.

HECUA Norway:
   The New Norway: Globalization, National Identity, and the Politics of Belonging;
   Divided States of Europe: Globalization & Inequalities in the New Europe.

  • Program Type: Field Study
  • Program Term: The New Norway Offered fall semester, Divided States offered spring semester.
  • Based in Oslo, both programs use carefully integrated field study, classroom study, and volunteer placements to explore their respective themes.
  • The New Norway focus: Scandinavian grassroots citizen involvement, as well as state support of health care, education, and economic security.
  • Divided States focus: Development and recent eastward expansion of the European Union and questions whether the EU is in fact globalization with a human face.
  • Comparative field study in selected regions of Norway, Sweden, and Denamrk (The New Norway) or Poland and other Scandinavian locations (Divided States)
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Norwegian is required.
  • Sponsor: HECUA

Spain

International Program in Toledo

  • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic Year, Summer
  • Offered for the past two decades by the University of Minnesota, the Toledo program affords an opportunity to study in Spain’s former capital surrounded by some of Europe’s best-preserved medieval and Renaissance architecture.
  • Strong social science and humanities curriculum includes courses on Latin America as well as Spain.
  • Internship opportunities include Castilla La Mancha regional parliament.
  • service-learning course offered on the immigrant experience in Spain.
  • Instruction is in Spanish.

Sweden

CIEE Sweden

  • Program Type: Host-University Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic Year
  • Students in this program study alongside Swedish and international students at the University of Uppsala, one of Sweden’s oldest and most prestigious.
  • Offers a variety of courses focused on law, international and comparative politics, and conflict studies.
  • Sample course titles: Comparative European Politics; Comparative Welfare State; Nationalism and Ethnic Relations in Eastern Europe; Introduction to EU Law; International Conflict Studies; and Explaining Post-Communist Transformation: Institutional Theory and Constitutional Law.
  • Many courses offered in English; no prior Swedish required.

United Kingdom

Queen Mary, University of London

  • Program Type: Host-University Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Academic Year
  • This program offers two things exceedingly rare in London university options: affordability and on-campus housing.
  • Large, comprehensive, exceedingly diverse campus is part of University of London system.
  • Astounding ethnic diversity in the surrounding East End of London.
  • Availability of on-campus housing is rare in London.

Scottish Parliamentary Internships

  • Program Type: Field Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester
  • This program offers opportunities for in-depth internships with a member of parliament, or in some cases with a public service agency, an industry or community organization, or a lobby group.
  • Based in Endinburgh, Scotland
  • One or more classroom courses complement and support the internship.

HECUA Northern Ireland– Democracy & Social Change

  • Program Type: Field Study
  • Program Term: Spring Semester
  • This program examines the historical, political, economic, and religious roots of the conflict in Northern Ireland, the prospects for peace, and the progress being made.
  • Participants gain powerful insights and analytical tools concerning inter-group peace and conflict.
  • Half-time, 8-credit internship complements classroom and field study.
  • Instruction is in English

Study and Internship in London

  • Program Type: Field Study
  • Program Term: Fall or Spring Semester, Summer
  • This study abroad center features a wide variety of courses on Britain and Europe. For many pre-law students, however, the central attraction is likely to be the internship component.
  • Sample courses from a wide range of offerings: Understanding Britain; Western /European Government & Politics; Criminal London—Aspect of Crime & Criminal Justice in Britain; International Trade; and Ethical Issues in the British Media
  • Extraordinary range of internship opportunities could include law offices, local or national government, advocacy organizations, and many others
  • Instruction by British faculty

University of Glasgow

  • Program type: University Study
  • Fall or spring semester, academic year
  • Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the United Kingdom, and consistently ranks as one of the UK's most highly-rated schools
  • The university is host to more than 20,000 students from over 100 countries and offers an exceptional breadth of academic choice across the physical and life sciences, social sciences and the humanities

 

Additional Options to Consider

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.

Work, Intern, and Volunteer Abroad Programs (non-credit)

  • An alternative or compliment to study abroad.
  • Explore new interests or gain experience related to your field of study.
  • Consider paid and unpaid opportunities offered throughout the year at locations around the globe.

Student Experiences

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

Twin Cities Campus: