Learning Abroad in Biological Sciences

Learning Abroad in Biological Sciences

"There are few things more educational than experiencing your own country from the perspective of a foreign land. It makes you realize there are things other countries do much better than your country does, and it makes you appreciate things about your own country that you would otherwise take for granted." 
Valery E. Forbes, Dean, College of Biological Sciences 

Do biological science students study abroad? Yes, every year. An international experience will provide you with the necessary skills to work effectively in health care, academia, industry, or the public sector. Every biological science student should consider gaining international experience through study abroad.

Learning Abroad Process

This is the basic Learning Abroad Process you'll complete. The order in which you do things is somewhat flexible.

Academic Planning

Review the following suggestions from the College of Biological Sciences before beginning your study abroad research.

How will the study abroad program fulfill my requirements?
(All CBS majors)

Foundations of Biology I and II:

CBS students should consider the timing of the two-semester Foundations of Biology sequence when planning study abroad. Unless students complete a pre-approved yearlong biology sequence at another school they should plan to take Biol 2002 and Biol 2003/4 on campus.

Courses in the Major:

With careful planning it is possible to take many CBS major and core courses abroad (e.g. ecology, animal biology, major elective lab). Your adviser can help you determine if the courses you plan to take could fit into your major. If the courses have not previously been evaluated, your adviser can also explain the course evaluation process.

Liberal Education:

Many students fulfill liberal education requirements through study abroad. Advance planning can help you identify which requirements you can fulfill on your study abroad program and which you should fulfill on campus.  Consult the U Credit Abroad Search to find courses that have been pre-approved for UofM liberal education requirements.

Engage in Fieldwork, Directed Research, or Internships:

Study Abroad opportunities are not limited to formal instruction. Consider taking advantage of the unique research, internship, and fieldwork opportunities available in different regions of the world. Consult with your CBS adviser about how to gain credit for these experiences.

Additional Planning Considerations for CBS Majors

Biochemistry majors:

Biology majors:

Ecology, Evolution and Behavior majors:

Genetics, Cell Biology and Development majors:

Microbiology majors:

Neuroscience majors:

Plant and Microbial Biology majors:

Considerations for Pre-Health Science Students:

College of Biological Sciences Study Abroad Scholarship 

The purpose of the CBS Study Abroad Scholarship is to promote more CBS students a) going abroad and b) studying science while they are abroad. Preference is given to students who are participating in a program that is at least a semester in length and to students who are taking at least one science course while abroad. However, all CBS students participating in a study abroad experience are highly encouraged to apply. Awards are up to $2500. For information regarding deadlines, essay questions, and application instructions visit the Learning Abroad Center's Online Scholarship Portal

Programs

Africa and the Middle East

Kenya

MSID—International Development in Kenya

  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion.
  • Past MSID health internship foci have included: public health/nutrition, maternal health, pediatrics, HIV/AIDS awareness, environmental monitoring, animal care for conservation/rehabilitation. Interns observe daily activities, assist with non-sensitive care, and engage in discussions involving health care in developing countries
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Swahili is required

Kenya/Tanzania

Environmental Field Studies programs (available through the School for Field Studies)

  • The School for Field Studies (SFS) offers semester and summer programs that focus on critical environmental issues through a combination of coursework, field study and a directed research project 
  • The Kenya/Tanzania site focuses on wildlife management studies
  • All programs are taught in English

Senegal

MSID—International Development in Senegal

  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion
  • Past MSID health internship foci have included: public health/nutrition, maternal health, pediatrics, HIV/AIDS awareness
  • Interns observe daily activities, assist with non-sensitive care, and engage in discussions involving health care in developing countries
  • Instruction is in French

South Africa

University Study in South Africa: University of Cape Town 

  • Areas of study available at this university include: anatomy, physiology, immunology, genetics, neuroscience, pathology, physiotherapy, biology, chemistry and others
  • This program is a university study program, which allows you to directly enroll in a foreign university and take classes with host country students. Instruction is in English by African faculty
  • No language prerequisite

 

Americas

Argentina

University of Buenos Aires (available through IFSA-Butler Argentina or CIEE Argentina)

  • Attend this prestigious Latin American university to take regular course work along side Argentinean students for a semester or academic year
  • Course work is available in biochemistry, ecology, genetics, physiology, botany, and molecular biology
  • All courses are in Spanish; at least 2 years of college-level Spanish required

Bonaire

CIEE Bonaire—Tropical Marine Ecology & Conservation

  • This program combines classroom-based learning and field study in the tropical ecosystems of the southern Caribbean
  • Students enroll in Coral Reef Ecology, Human Ecology, Marine Resource Management, Independent Research Project, and Fundamentals of Scientific Diving Research Methods
  • Participants must have scuba certification but may complete the open water scuba skills portion of the certification in-country before the program begins.  One year of biology or environmental science required
  • Courses are taught in English

Costa Rica

CIEE Costa Rica—Ecology of the Rain Forest

  • This summer or semester program offers courses in tropical biology and conservation taught by biologists from Costa Rica, the US, and Europe
  • Based at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, students spend considerable time on field trips to other regions and ecosystems throughout the country
  • Courses, all taught in English, include Tropical Diversity, Tropical Community Ecology, and Humans in the Tropics 

Environmental Field Studies programs (available through the School for Field Studies—Costa Rica)

  • The School for Field Studies (SFS) offers semester and summer programs that focus on critical environmental issues through a combination of coursework, field study and a directed research project 
  • The Costa Rica site focuses on sustainable development
  • All programs are taught in English

Ecuador

MSID—International Development in Ecuador

  • Program term: academic year, fall or spring semester
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion
  • Past MSID health internship foci have included: public health/nutrition, disease mapping, maternal health, pediatrics, HIV/AIDS awareness, environmental monitoring
  • Interns observe daily activities, assist with non-sensitive care, and engage in discussions involving health care in developing countries
  • 2 years college-level Spanish required

Turks and Caicos

Environmental Field Studies programs (available through School for Field Studies—Turks & Caicos)

  • The School for Field Studies (SFS) offers semester and summer programs that focus on critical environmental issues through a combination of coursework, field study and a directed research project
  • The Turks and Caicos Islands focuses on marine resource studies
  • All programs are taught in English

Asia and Oceania

Australia

Study & Intern in Sydney

  • Program term: fall or spring semester, summer
  • Summer internship program available 
  • Past health-related internship opportunities include:  work in clinics, hospitals and research projects

University Study in Australia: James Cook University

  • Program term: fall or spring semester, academic year
  • Create a program in the sciences, social sciences, arts, business, or engineering
  • Health-related courses include: nursing, occupational health, speech/language pathology
  • Courses feature fieldwork and internships
  • There may be prerequisites for specific courses

University Study in Australia: University of Melbourne

  • Program term: fall or spring semester, academic year
  • Coursework available in biological and physical sciences 
  • Health-related courses include: public/community health, nursing, art or music therapy
  • Fieldwork and lab research are available
  • There may be prerequisites for specific courses

Bhutan

School for Field Studies—Bhutan

  • Program term: Summer
  • The School for Field Studies is a non-profit organization that provides high quality, field-based environmental studies programs
  • SFS is partnering with the Ugyen Wanchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment, an international research and training facility in Bhutan

New Zealand

University Study in New Zealand: University of Auckland

  • Program term: fall or spring semester, academic year
  • Biology course titles include:  Biology for Biomedical Sciences: Cellular Processes and Development, Genetics, Food and Beverage Microbiology, and Developmental Biology and Cancer, and Nutritional Science
  • Health-related course titles include:  Social Science for Health, Current Debates in Health and Health Policy, and Science
  • There may be prerequisites for specific courses

University Study in New Zealand: University of Otago

  • Program term: fall or spring semester, academic year
  • Courses available in the sciences, physical education, liberal arts and others
  • Health-related areas of study at this university include Drugs and Human Health; Infection and Immunity; Nutrition, Metabolism and Human Health; and Reproduction, Genetics and Development
  • There may be prerequisites for specific courses

University Study in New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington

  • Program term: fall or spring semester, academic year
  • Wide variety of subject choices available
  • Health-related course titles include: The Biology of Disease, Physiology and Pharmacology, Abnormal Psychology and Popular Psychology
  • There may be prerequisites for specific courses

Thailand 

MSID—International Development in Thailand

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and internship/research further enrich cultural immersion. Based in Chiang Mai but with internship options outside the city.
  • Choice of course tracks and internship or research placements have focused on such areas as sustainability and the environment and public health.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Thai language is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year; consider year option to maximize cultural immersion and gain deeper research experience.

Europe

Denmark

Study Abroad in Denmark

  • Program term: fall or spring semester, summer
  • Programs include Medical Practice and Policy, Biomedicine, Neuroscience, and Public Health
  • Summer courses (subject to change) include HIV/AIDS in Europe: A Biometric Perspective, HIV/AIDS in Europe: Public Health Perspectives, Human Health and Disease: A Clinical Approach, and Introduction to Cellular Neuroscience
  • No language prerequisite

Ireland

University College Cork (available through Arcadia Ireland)

  • University College Cork offers the best of traditional scholarship and cutting-edge technology in a beautiful, friendly city
  • Cork offers a wide range of courses in the biological sciences, engineering, business, humanities and social sciences
  • Internships are available in the Freshwater Ecology Laboratory, Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology, and the Faculty of Science

Norway

Exchange in Oslo 

  • Study at the University of Oslo, Norway’s largest and oldest university. Based in the vibrant capital city surrounded by fjords, lakes, and forests, this is a highly affordable program
  • Choose from a wide variety of courses taught in English in the sciences, social sciences, health care management, humanities, and the environment.
  • Examples include Nature and Society, Cross-Cultural Perspective on the Environment, Environmental Philosophy and Ethics, Environmental Economics.
  • UofM students at UMB are eligible to apply for the Norwegian Centennial Travel Scholarship to defray the cost of the program.

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

  • A small university of 3000 students, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) offers the opportunity to study the sciences in an intimate setting.
  • UMB focuses specifically on biology, food, environment, land use, and natural resource management with departments of ecology and natural resource management, plant and environmental sciences and international environment and development studies
  • UMB also offers a special summer university program, which includes a field study component
  • UofM students at UMB are eligible to apply for the Norwegian Centennial Travel Scholarship to defray the cost of the program. It may also be possible for students to engage in research with transatlantic research teams of UofM and UMB faculty.

Spain

Psychology and Research in Madrid 

  • Program term: summer session
  • Research opportunities in biology and neuroscience  
  • Enroll in Introduction to Biological Psychology and Research Laboratory in Psychology and earn a total of 6 credits
  • Taught in English—no Spanish language pre-requisite
  • Six-week summer program

Sweden 

Study Abroad in Sweden 

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Location: Stockholm
  • DIS, one of Europe's largest and academically strongest study abroad programs, offers a wide variety of courses and study tours in Stockholm, Scandinavia, and Europe.
  • Courses offered in Medical Practice & Policy.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Swedish is required. Fall or spring semester.

United Kingdom

Study & Intern in London

  • Program term: fall or spring semester, summer session
  • Semester and summer internships available
  • Internship placements may be possible within the healthcare industry
  • Past internship experiences include clinic, hospital and research settings

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

  • Program term: fall or spring semester, academic year
  • UEA has established a reputation as one of the top universities in the UK
  • Courses available in a wide range of science and liberal arts areas
  • There may be prerequisites for specific courses

University Study in the UK: Queen Mary University, University of London

  • Program term: fall or spring semester, academic year
  • The only option in London with a campus environment, Queen Mary offers students the opportunity to live and study with British students
  • Courses available in a wide range of science and liberal arts areas
  • There may be prerequisites for specific courses
  • Fall or spring semester, academic year

University Study in the UK: Glasgow University

  • Program term:  fall or spring semester, summer, academic year
  • Anatomy for Pre-Med Program: designed for US study abroad students, offered during Fall or Spring semester, and as a stand-alone summer program
  • Courses available in a wide range of science and liberal arts areas
  • There may be prerequisites for specific courses

Additional Options to Consider

International Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Scholarship

  • Funding for students enrolled in select credit-bearing learning abroad programs involving a research project
  • Must be a semester or academic year in length involving a minimum of 100 hours dedicated to research that occurs onsite

Intensive Language Programs

  • Begin your language study or work toward completing requirements for a language minor
  • Complete a semester of language on a short-term program or explore options to complete two or more semesters of language on semester long program

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 (WIV) Abroad Programs (non-credit)

  • An alternative or complement 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

Daniel in South Korea
Biochemistry junior Daniel M. spent an academic year studying at Yonsei University in South Korea where he was able to immerse himself in Korean culture and language.

Chris in Germany
Chris is a German studies and biology major who spent a year in Berlin.

 

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