Learning Abroad Center

Learning Abroad in Special Education

Gain a different cultural perspective on Special Education. Different nations and cultures have very different practical expectations for children with special needs. A learning abroad experience can open your mind to how different nations and cultures work with and value their citizens who have disabilities. 

Department Recommendations 

Fulfill Requirements

Major Requirements

Meet with your Special Education Departmental Adviser to determine appropriate course equivalencies for your major before applying to a program. Use the Academic Planning for Study Abroad (APSA) Form to structure your academic planning.

Consider the following:

  • You may be able to take several of your elective courses during your study abroad experience.  
  • You may, with prior approval be able to take some required courses and some foundation courses, such as child psychology abroad.  
  • The Teaching Practicum in France offered through the Learning Abroad Center (LAC) allows students to examine French education practices and complete a portion of your teaching practicum through teaching English in a French school. See program listings in France for more information below.  

Liberal Education Requirements

You can fulfill liberal education requirements while abroad. Consult the U-Credit Abroad Search for more information.

College/Department Scholarships for UofM Students

Programs

Africa and the Middle East

Senegal

MSID—International Development in Senegal

  • Term: Fall or Spring semester
  • Participate on the Education & Literacy academic track, as part of the International Development course, which will focus your studies and help prepare you for your internship.
  • Students will analyze the educational system, government policy, and impact on local educational structures, the disparities in access to education, and the relationship between education and development.
  • Past internship placements in education include teaching in the schools, youth projects, teaching and assisting at an orphanage, working at youth care centers, working with youth with special needs.
  • Language prerequisite: Minimum 4 semesters college-level French

Americas

Costa Rica

Universidad Nacional de Heredia, Costa Rica (available through IFSA Costa Rica)

  • Term: Fall, Spring, or Academic Year
  • Offers students the opportunity to take integrated courses in a variety of areas
  • Students may also pair up with Costa Rican students to volunteer at a local primary school every week
  • Available to Spanish speakers

Ecuador

MSID—International Development in Ecuador

  • Term: Fall or Spring semester
  • Participate on the Education & Literacy academic track, as part of the International Development course, which will focus your studies and help prepare you for your internship.
  • Students will analyze the educational system, government policy, and impact on local educational structures, the disparities in access to education, and the relationship between education and development.
  • Past internship placements include teaching in the schools, youth projects, women’s groups, orphanages, health clinics, community centers, and many more.
  • Language prerequisite: Minimum 4 semesters college-level Spanish

Asia and Oceania

Australia

Macquarie University (available through IFSA Australia)

  • Term: Fall, Spring, or Academic Year
  • Institute of Early Childhood has an outstanding international reputation.
  • Sample courses include Child Development: Approaches to Theory and Practices, Curriculum and Play in Early Childhood, Early Childhood Math, Science and Technology, Developmental Difference and Disability, Early Education for Young Children with Disabilities, Early Childhood Management, Family and Communities in a Culturally Diverse Society

Thailand

MSID—International Development in Thailand

  • Term: Fall or Spring semester
  • Participate on the Education & Literacy academic track, as part of the International Development course, which will focus your studies and help prepare you for your internship.
  • Students will analyze the educational system, government policy, and impact on local educational structures, the disparities in access to education, and the relationship between education and development.
  • Past internship placements include teaching in the schools, youth projects, women’s groups, orphanages, health clinics, community centers, and many more.

Europe

Denmark

Study Abroad in Denmark (DIS)

  • Term: Summer, Fall, Spring
  • Particularly suited for students in education, child development, and psychology
  • Combines theory with a supervised practicum experience in a daycare center, early education institution or after school program
  • Summer program offers 3 or 6-week programs with courses such as Children with Special Needs, Children in a Multicultural Context, and Cross-cultural psychology
  • Semester and Academic-Year coursework have track options. Each track has one required core course with two accompanying study tours, including a Child Diversity and Development track.

France

Teaching Practicum in France

  • Term: Fall, Spring
  • Complete your teaching practicum through teaching English in a French school
  • Language Development in Cross-Cultural Perspective, Directed Research, Comparative Education and Pedagogy as well as humanities and business courses in English are also offered  
  • Fulfill Liberal Education requirements
  • Begin or continue your study of French with a French language course
  • Courses pre-approved to UofM credits and UofM degree requirements
  • No language prerequisite. Coursework in English.
  • Additional information about the program including videos of student experiences 

United Kingdom

Study & Intern in London

  • With an internship in an urban school, you will have the opportunity to interact with students as a classroom assistant and receive guidance from the local teachers
  • Sample courses include:  Child Development in a British context, Childhood's Books, in addition to courses in history, literature, theatre, and many other subjects 

Additional Options to Consider

LAC 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.
  • Explore an exciting location and topic, Fulfill Liberal Education requirements, or earn major/minor credit.

LAC Freshman Seminars

  • Combine on-campus instruction during the spring semester with a study abroad component during spring break, on a 3 credits, 1xxx level Seminar.
  • Freshman Seminars Abroad are designed specifically for first-year students as an introduction to study abroad, an opportunity to explore an exciting location and topic, and likely fulfill a liberal education requirement.

Additional LAC Seminars

  • Check out additional LAC Instructor-led Seminars that might run over winter break, spring break, May, and summer sessions. They vary in length, dates, and content so students can find one that best fits their academic and professional goals.

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.