Learning Abroad Center

Learning Abroad in African American & African Studies

“The African-American and African Studies curriculum encourages a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the experiences of African peoples, and students who study abroad have an excellent opportunity to learn about those experiences firsthand by engaging with local communities. We strongly encourage students to take advantage of the university’s many learning abroad programs.”

Departmental Advisor

Academic Planning Recommendations

Students can take classes across the Diaspora and in Africa on music, fine arts, race/class/gender, public policy, human geography, and community and national development. Moreover, American studies courses taken in another country can offer challenging perspectives on the African American experience. Relevant internships may also be considered for major credit.

In addition to learning abroad opportunities, National Student Exchange (NSE) offers study at another US institution. A dozen HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) belong to NSE; other universities with strong African American and/or African Studies programs may also be of interest. Participants earn transfer credit rather than resident credit through NSE.

Liberal Education Requirements

Search the U Credit Abroad Search. You may also submit any liberal education course not yet evaluated for approval online.

Major and Minor Requirements

Most major requirements may be satisfied through appropriate courses taken abroad; however, Afro 1012, 4105, and 4557 usually must be taken here because there are few counterparts outside the University of Minnesota.

College of Liberal Arts Language Requirement

Courses taken abroad for the CLA Language Requirement (for BA degrees) must be at least 4 credits. CLA college advisers can approve courses that are clearly identified in a syllabus or online course description as first-, second-, third-, or fourth-semester language courses. If a course level is not explicitly stated, you must work with your CLA adviser to have the course evaluated by the appropriate language department. Advisers cannot approve these courses.

Who will advise me and help me with course approvals?

Learning Abroad Center advisers can help you find program and course information to help you prepare for your study abroad academic planning discussion with your academic adviser. Once you have narrowed down your program options contact your academic adviser to use the Academic Planning for Study Abroad (APSA) form to structure your academic planning.

College/Department Scholarships for UofM Students


Africa and the Middle East


University of Botswana (offered through ISEP Botswana)

  • Located in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana and has a student body of 18,000.
  • Botswana is a country with political freedom that ensures that frank and intense debates occur on a regular basis concerned with issues related to economic, social and political development.
  • The University of Botswana is widely known for African studies, environmental science, humanities and social sciences.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of an African language is required.
  • Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year.


University of Ghana (available through ISEP Ghana)

  • Comprehensive university on the outskirts of the capital, Accra, one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa.
  • ISEP students can also take advantage of local language classes, volunteering, independent study & research opportunities as well as excursions planned for ISEP students.
  • ISEP students studying in Ghana thrive in fields such as African studies, business, geography and resource development, agriculture, social sciences and public health.
  • English is the official language of Ghana and instruction is in English.
  • Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year.


MSID—International Development in Senegal

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion.
  • Past internship placements include social work agencies, youth projects, ethnographic research, women’s groups, orphanages, health clinics, literacy projects, community centers, many more.
  • Instruction is in French. Fall or Spring semester.

South Africa

University of Cape Town (offered through IES South Africa)

  • Program type: University Study
  • Post-Apartheid South Africa is attempting one of history’s most dramatic transformations in race relations; yet class inequality remains vexing even as racial inequality begins to diminish.
  • UCT and UKN are both strong in African archaeology, history, literature, political science, sociology; UCT also in religious studies and African languages, UKN in art history and geography.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of an African language us required. Fall or spring semester, academic or calendar year.)



MSID—International Development in Ecuador

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships, which can be in Afro-Ecuadorian communities. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion.
  • 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 or Spring semester.



IES France—Paris French Studies

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center (plus University Study)
  • Language and area studies program whose course offerings include some on the Francophone world. Also available: internships and courses in Paris universities.
  • Sample courses: The Maghreb & Arab World; Francophone Paris; France & Francophone Africa; Contemporary France; Gender Relations in the Francophone World.
  • Instruction is in French; two years prior college language study required. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year.

Language & Culture in Southern France

  • Program type: University Study and Study Abroad Center (two tracks)
  • UofM program in Montpellier, a city with large West and North African immigrant populations. Permits a mix of center courses, regular Université Paul Valéry courses, and internships.
  • Students in the University Study track may also take language and culture courses from the Center track; these include some civilization and culture courses, although no courses on Africa.
  • 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

University Study in the UK: 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, which include many people with African or West Indian roots.
  • Academic year (summer also available through IFSA United Kingdom).

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London (available through IFSA United Kingdom)

  • Program type: University Study
  • Located in the heart of London, SOAS was founded in 1916, at the height of the British Empire, and has become one of the worlds’ great centers of expertise on Africa/Asia/Middle East.
  • Many departments offer African courses, including Anthropology, Art/Archeology, Economics, History, Music, Languages/Cultures (7 African languages taught), Law, Political Studies.
  • Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year.

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.