Learning Abroad Center

Learning Abroad in American Studies

You can take American Studies courses in a university in Germany, Great Britain, Australia, or Ireland, accelerate your language skills in Mexico, France, or Italy, view the world from a Japanese perspective in Tokyo, or study world cultures in Italy. Study abroad programs offer an array of American studies and related courses as well as intensive language study and internships. The possibilities are limitless! With proper planning study abroad can help you prepare for your professional and civic life in today's global context.

Academic Planning Recommendations

American Studies students are encouraged to study abroad at any time during their undergraduate career.

Some required courses for the major are offered only once a year, so discuss your plans with your adviser in advance to determine when a learning abroad experience would best fit within your program of study. The two senior pro-seminars, for example, are a required fall-spring sequence for all American Studies majors.

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

  • Learning abroad courses may be most commonly approved as electives toward the American Studies major. Also, remember that a wide variety of courses can fulfill the World Cultures 3xxx-level requirement in the major. 
  • Most learning abroad courses are approved at the 1xxx, 2xxx, or 3xxx level for both the major and the minor. 
  • Learning abroad internship opportunities may be applied toward an American Studies major with pre-approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

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, meet with your academic adviser to use the Academic Planning for Study Abroad (APSA) form to structure your academic planning.

College/Department Scholarships for UofM Students

Programs

Africa and the Middle East

Senegal

MSID—International Development in Senegal

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion. Provides interesting insights into US role in Third World.
  • Past internship placements include social work agencies, youth projects, women’s groups, orphanages, health clinics, community centers, and 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
  • Still struggling to emerge from the nightmare of apartheid, South Africa is a particularly interesting place to study for students with a focus on the civil rights era in the US.
  • One of the country’s top research and teaching institutions, UCT offers courses in a broad range of humanities and social science disciplines.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of African languages required. Fall or spring semester, academic or calendar year.

Americas

Argentina

Study & Intern in Buenos Aires

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Bargain-priced UofM program open to all but aimed especially at students interested in Latin America but with insufficient Spanish language skills to take courses taught in Spanish.
  • Argentina’s economic collapse in the 1990s foreshadowed US crisis a decade later; similarities and differences are instructive. Curriculum offers language, area studies, and community engagement.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Spanish is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or summer.

Ecuador

MSID—International Development in Ecuador

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion. Provides interesting insights into US role in Third World.
  • 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. 

Asia and Oceania

Australia

Study & Internships in Sydney

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Area studies program with a multidisciplinary array of courses focused on Australia. Curriculum is nicely designed to generate comparative insights into US society and culture.
  • Program centerpiece is an outstanding internship option (6 credits in semester program, 3 or 6 credits in summer program), for which an astounding variety of placements is possible.
  • Fall semester, spring semester, or summer.

University of Melbourne (offered through IFSA Australia)

  • Program type: University Study
  • One of Australia’s largest and most prestigious universities, Melbourne offers an American Studies major housed in the School of Historical Studies.
  • Although history is the dominant discipline among the American studies offerings, there are also courses in such fields as film and literature.
  • Fall or spring semester, academic or calendar year.

University Study in Australia: University of Sydney

  • Program type: University Study
  • Located on the edge of downtown, the University of Sydney is an old and traditional institution by Australian standards—something of an Australian counterpart to an Ivy League school.
  • American Studies program consists of a core seminar plus cross-listed US-content courses from other departments, especially English and History.
  • Fall or spring semester, academic or calendar year.

Japan

IES Japan—Tokyo Society & Culture

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center (and University Study)
  • Multidisciplinary language and area studies program that includes extensive experiential learning opportunities such as field trips, cultural events, volunteer opportunities, and field placements.
  • With instructor’s permission, students may also take courses in English offered by Kanda University of International Studies.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Japanese is required. Fall or spring semester, academic year, or summer.

New Zealand

University Study in New Zealand: University of Auckland

  • Program type: University Study
  • New Zealand’s largest university, located in its largest city. About one out of every three New Zealanders lives in Auckland, a subtropical city on the North Island.
  • Although there is no American Studies program per se, a number of US-focused courses are offered in history, plus a smattering in other fields such as art history, English, political studies.
  • Instruction is in English, although some Maori studies courses are taught in Maori instead. Fall or spring semester, academic or calendar year.

University of Canterbury (available through IFSA New Zealand)

  • Program type: University Study
  • University of Canterbury lies near the east edge of New Zealand’s South Island just outside Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city (population 350,000).
  • Canterbury’s American Studies program, by far the strongest in New Zealand, focuses primarily on contemporary American culture.
  • Fall or spring semester, academic or calendar year.

Thailand

MSID—International Development in Thailand

  • Based in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion. Provides interesting insights into US role in Third World.
  • Contribute through an internship or research project with a nonprofit organization
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Thai required. Fall or Spring semester. 

Europe

Denmark

Study Abroad in Denmark

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Copenhagen-based DIS, one of Europe’s largest and academically strongest study abroad programs, offers a wide variety of courses and study tours to Denmark, Scandinavia, and Europe.
  • More than a hundred courses offered in dozens of academic disciplines. Thematic concentrations include European Culture & History, and European Politics & Society. Extensive use of field trips.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Danish is required. Fall or spring semester, academic year, or summer.

France

Language & Culture in Southern France

  • Program type: University Study and Study Abroad Center (two tracks; mixing possible)
  • Permits a mix of special language and culture courses for international students and regular Université Paul Valéry courses, in a proportion suitable to each student’s language proficiency.
  • Although the university has no American Studies department, it does offer many US-focused courses in literature and history and some in other departments. Internships are also available.
  • Instruction is in French; one year of prior French is required for center track, two for university study track. Fall or spring semester, academic year, or a summer intensive language program.

Germany

IES Germany—Berlin Language & Area Studies

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Having been on the front lines of the Cold War and a major focal point of US foreign policy during the 20th Century, Berlin is a fascinating city to experience as it seeks to become whole again.
  • Program includes strong field study and internship opportunities. Students with advanced German fluency may also take regular courses at universities in the former West and East alike.
  • Instruction is in German; two years of prior college language study or equivalent are required. Fall semester, spring semester, academic year, or summer.

IES Germany --Freiburg Language & Area Studies

  • Program type: Study Center
  • Courses in the English/American Studies department, ranked among Germany’s best, are taught in English; most focus on literature, although there are others in film studies and cultural studies.
  • Additional US-focused courses, taught in German, are available in such disciplines as history, political science, and sociology.
  • Instruction in most of the university is in German. Spring semester or academic year.

Ireland

Study Abroad in Dublin--University College Dublin

  • Program type: Study Center & University Study
  • Located on the outskirts of the Irish capital, UCD is one of Ireland’s strongest universities and its top institution in American Studies.
  • Sample course offerings: Visualizing Americanization; Globalization & American Lit; Ireland & the US; Race, Class, & Gender in the US; Religion in the Americas; War & US Society.
  • Instruction is in English. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year.

Italy

Universitá di Bologna (available through Bologna Consortial Studies Program, BCSP)

  • Program type: University Study (and Study Abroad Center)
  • Bologna, the oldest university in Europe and arguably the most prestigious in Italy, offers several relevant courses in American literature and in American Indian studies.
  • The BCSP program supplements UB courses with courses designed for US students. A pre-session intensive Italian course strengthens students’ language skills before UB classes begin.
  • Instruction is in Italian; at least two prior years of language study are required. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year. (Academic year option highly recommended.)

Spain

Study & Intern in Toledo

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • UofM program located in Spain’s former capital and one of Europe’s most picturesque cities—a living museum of medieval and Renaissance architecture.
  • Strong curriculum in humanities and social sciences includes not only courses on Spain but also some on Europe as a whole or on Latin America. Internship and community engagement options as well.
  • Instruction is in Spanish; four prior semesters of Spanish are required. Fall or spring semester, academic year, May term, or summer.

United Kingdom

Study & Intern in London

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Area studies program offering a multidisciplinary array of course offerings, some on Europe as a whole, most specifically on Britain.
  • Special features include a 6-credit course-internship combination (3 credits in the summer) and a 6-credit community engagement course (semester only).
  • Fall or spring semester, academic year, or summer.

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.