Learning Abroad Center

Virtual Research

The Virtual International Research is a four-credit research opportunity. It’s critical to learn to adapt, acclimate, discover new ways to contribute, and be productive working remotely. Virtual research combined with the research course give you an opportunity to learn and develop valuable skills.

You’ll work on projects from the US for an international organization in Argentina, Ecuador, Kenya, Senegal, or Spain, while adding a global perspective to your professional and academic experience. You’ll apply your in-class knowledge to real-world meaningful work, gain experience, expand your skill base, earn four credits from coursework, and maximize your time. While we’ll try to place you in your preferred location, keep in mind that our top consideration is making an appropriate match to your skills, experience, and research goals.

Research Areas

Agriculture   X   X X
Business & Economic Development X X     X
Environment & Sustainability X X   X X
Health X X X X X
Human Rights   X     X
Humanities X   X X X
Psychology X   X   X
Social Sciences X X X    

Research Placement & Language Information

Research conducted in English is available in most locations. Although not required for all placements, language skills are required for some placements. This will be noted on the individual program pages. For more detailed information on research placement opportunities, refer to the Coursework section of the Academics tab for each Virtual Research program.

Location English Spanish French
Buenos Aires X X  
Dakar X   X
Madrid X X  
Nairobi X    
Quito   X  


The virtual research experience includes a four-credit online course. The course will be taught and facilitated using lectures, small-group discussions, readings, posting to prompts, as well as research outputs such as a lit review, methodology, data analysis, etc. It also includes synchronous class sessions that you will need to attend virtually during the semester or summer. All other coursework will be asynchronous. 

A Virtual International Research placement is an excellent opportunity to gain research experience, develop intercultural communication skills, and build professional relationships with international colleagues.

Research Placement Hours

Exact number of hours per week will vary by location and term depending on our partner organization, host country laws, and the needs of your placement organization. Most placements will require 12-15 hours per week during the semester and 15-20 hours per week during the summer.

Dates & Deadlines

Program Dates

Spring 2022

We are unable to offer this program in spring 2022 but hope to offer it again in future terms.

Fall 2021

September 7: Virtual research course begins
September 13: Virtual research placement begins
December 10: Virtual research placement and course ends

Summer 2021

June 1: Virtual research course begins
June 7: Virtual research placement begins
July 30: Virtual research placement and course ends


Spring 2022

We are unable to offer this program in spring 2022 but hope to offer it again in future terms.

Fall 2021

  • Application open date: April 15, 2021
  • Application deadline: June 1, 2021

Summer 2021

  • Application open date: February 15, 2021
  • Application deadline: April 1, 2021



The tuition rate for this 4-credit course is the same as other undergraduate UMTC courses and will be billed to your UofM student account. In addition to tuition, you will also be billed a $600 placement fee. If you are already taking 13 credits during fall or spring semester, you can add the virtual international research course at no additional tuition costs, but will be billed the additional cost of the $600 placement fee. Visit Onestop for additional information about tuition costs.


A program fee of $2,050 will be billed to your UofM student account. This amount is equivalent to a 4-credit course on the UMTC campus.

Cancellation Policy

The regular Learning Abroad Center cancellation and refund policy does not apply to this course. If you decide to cancel your participation in the course after confirming your participation, the Learning Abroad Center will bill your University of Minnesota student account for non-recoverable costs incurred to secure a research placement on your behalf. In addition to any tuition refund processed per Onestop policies, if you cancel before the course start date, you will be billed $400. If you cancel after the course start date, you will be billed $600.

Eligibility Requirements

  • 2.5 GPA
  • Minimum of sophomore status
  • Some research placements require language proficiency, as indicated on the individual program page

Application Process

Click the "Apply" tab of any individual program page to access the online application.

The application will ask you to express interest in three research areas (either in the same location or various locations) and rank them in order of preference. You will also submit a cover letter and resume, indicate any language skills or preferences you may have, and discuss what you hope to gain from the research experience. 

Some research locations may require submission of additional materials, as indicated on the "Apply" tab of the program webpage. 


To find contact info for a specific program, visit the individual program pages below. If you have general questions or are unsure if which location or placement would be best for you, contact [email protected].

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dakar, Senegal
Madrid, Spain
Nairobi, Kenya
Quito, Ecuador