Learning Abroad in Global Studies

Learning Abroad in Global Studies

“Study abroad is the best way for you to indulge your curiosity about the world beyond our borders. Whether you are examining a thematic issue from a new perspective, immersing yourself in a particular region of concentration, or honing your language skills, your experiences abroad will force you to understand global studies in exciting new ways. There is simply no substitute for such an experience.”

—Evelyn Davidheiser, Director, Institute for Global Studies

Learning Abroad Process

Familiarize yourself with the Learning Abroad Process. The order in which you do things is somewhat flexible.

Academic Planning

Review the following suggestions from the Institute for Global Studies before beginning your study abroad research.

Choose your study abroad experience wisely

Align study abroad with your personal, academic, and professional goals

Work on your global studies major or minor

Consider funding opportunities and lower-cost options

Consider timing and length

Seek cultural immersion

Pay special attention to program type

Fulfill Liberal Education requirements

Once You Have Selected a Program

While You Are Abroad

After You Return

Programs

Africa and the Middle East

Ghana

University of Ghana (available through CIEE Ghana)

  • Program type: University Study
  • Comprehensive university on the outskirts of the capital, Accra, supplemented by CIEE courses plus the option of doing a research project and/or a community-focused internship.
  • Extensive African studies curriculum includes such disciplines as art history, anthropology, gender studies, geography, history, philosophy, political science, religious studies, sociology.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of a West African language is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—African coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Depending on coursework (see adviser).

Israel

University Study in Israel: University of Haifa

  • Program type: University Study
  • Participants study in the University of Haifa’s Rothberg International School. Strengths include religious studies, Israeli and Middle Eastern studies, and especially peace and conflict studies.
  • Although most students in International School courses are from other countries, participants fluent in Hebrew may also take regular University of Haifa courses alongside Israeli students.

University Study in Israel: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem 

  • Program type: University Study
  • Instruction at the Rothberg International School is in English; no prior Hebrew is required. Fall semester, spring semester, academic year, or summer.
  • The Rothberg International School also offers a six-week intensive Arabic program during the summer. Beginning and intermediate courses are available.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—Middle East coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Depending on coursework (see adviser). Can work well also for Arabic or Hebrew language study.

Kenya

MSID—International Development in Kenya

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion; Global Studies is among the most popular majors of participants.
  • Past internship placements include rural women’s empowerment, literacy, ethnographic research, public health/nutrition, sustainable agriculture, community environmental conservation, refugees.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Swahili is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year; consider year option to maximize cultural immersion and gain deeper research experience.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—African coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Can fulfill 1 to 3 courses for all themes (depends on semester vs. year); Additional—If you enroll for the academic year, consider using MSID’s directed research course as a vehicle for a major project (see adviser).
  • For students interested in doing research, MSID-Kenya is an International UROP-eligible program

Morocco

Arabic Language & Culture in Morocco

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • UofM program based in the picturesque historic city of Fez. Homestay housing choices between the traditional medina or the modern city outside the walls.
  • Arabic language instruction at all levels, plus area studies courses on Moroccan society and culture.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Arabic is required. Fall or spring semester, academic year, or summer.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—African or Middle East coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Depending on coursework (see adviser).

Senegal

MSID—International Development in Senegal

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion; Global Studies is among the most popular majors of participants.
  • Past internship placements include social work agencies, youth projects, women’s groups, orphanages, health clinics, community centers, education, and many more.
  • Instruction is in French. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year; consider year option to maximize cultural immersion and gain deeper research experience.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—African coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Can fulfill 1 to 3 courses for all themes (depends on semester vs. year); Additional—If you enroll for the academic year, consider using MSID’s directed research course as a vehicle for a major project (see adviser).
  • For students interested in doing research, MSID-Senegal is an International UROP-eligible program

South Africa

University Study in South Africa: University of Cape Town

  • Program type: University Study
  • Post-Apartheid South Africa is attempting one of the most dramatic transformations in race relations that the world has seen. Extensive volunteer opportunities supplement classroom work.
  • Look for relevant courses under African Studies, Environmental & Geographical Science, Media & Communication, History, Political Studies, Social Anthropology, Social Development, many others.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of African languages required. Fall or spring semester, academic or calendar year.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—African coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Depending on coursework (see adviser).

Uganda & Rwanda

SIT Uganda & Rwanda—Peace & Conflict Studies in the Lake Victoria Basin

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Highly experiential program integrating lectures, classroom discussions, readings, and debriefings on history, contemporary politics, and the role of the state.
  • Program engages students with the active peace-building and NGO communities in the Lake Victoria Basin. Two homestays, one in each country, plus multiple excursions.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of French or an African language required. Summer
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—African coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Human Rights & Justice electives.

Explore these and many more opportunities using the Learning Abroad Center program search.

Americas

Argentina

Study Abroad in Buenos Aires

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Very cost-effective UofM language and area studies program open to all but aimed especially at students with insufficient Spanish language skills to take courses taught in Spanish.
  • Sample courses: Politics & Society in Latin America; Latin American Economy—Argentine Perspectives; and service-learning in Buenos Aires. All students also take 2 Spanish courses.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Spanish is required. Fall  semester, spring semester, or summer.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—Latin American coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Depending on Coursework (see adviser).

Costa Rica

School for Field Studies Costa Rica—Sustainable Development Studies

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Strongly field-oriented program based at a field station in Costa Rica’s Central Valley. Includes considerable research plus (semester only) an extended Nicaraguan field trip.
  • Semester courses focus on tropical ecology, sustainable development, resource management, and ethical and economic issues in sustainability..
  • Instruction is in English. Semester program requires one prior course each in Spanish and ecology or environmental science, summer program none. Fall semester, spring semester, or summer.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—Latin American coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Environment & Sustainable Development electives.

Dominican Republic

CIEE Dominican Republic (Santiago)

  • Program type: Study center courses with the opportunity to enroll at a local host university
  • In Santiago, students can choose from a Liberal Arts program or a Service-Learning program. The Liberal Arts program offers a variety of Spanish-taught courses in history, literature, politics, religion, economics and psychology. The Service-Learning Program includes a language component and a community advocacy internship.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—Latin American coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Environment & Sustainable Development electives.

Ecuador

MSID—International Development in Ecuador

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion; Global Studies is among the most popular majors of participants.
  • 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 semester, spring semester, or academic year; consider year option to maximize cultural immersion and gain deeper research experience.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—Latin American coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Can fulfill 1 to 3 courses for all themes (depends on semester vs. year); Additional—If you enroll for the academic year, consider using MSID’s directed research course as a vehicle for a major project (see adviser).
  • For students interested in doing research, MSID-Ecuador is an International UROP-eligible program

Uruguay

CLA Departmental Exchange in Uruguay

  • Program Type: University Study
  • Very cost-effective departmental exchange program based at The University of the Republic (UDELAR) in Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Enroll in classes across the university. Many fields of study are available, including political science, sociology, social work, development studies, literature, linguistics, history, anthropology, education, and philosophy.
  • Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a 3.0 GPA or above in the College of Liberal Arts

Explore these and many more opportunities using the Learning Abroad Center program search.

Asia and Oceania

China

CIEE China– Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center with the option to enroll at a local university (Beijing and Nanjing only)
  • Select from a variety of program offerings – from intensive Mandarin to studying business, politics or environmental, cultural and economic sustainability
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Chinese is required. Fall or spring semester, academic year, or summer.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—East Asian coursework (see adviser); Thematic— Depending on coursework (see adviser).

Japan

Hiroshima University (available through Exchange in Hiroshima, Japan)

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center and University Study
  • Japanese language study plus content courses taught in English, some in special study abroad program, others for Japanese students as well.
  • Sample center courses: Japanese Society & Gender Issues; Japanese Culture & Education; Japanese Society & Lifestyles; Peace & Human Rights; Development Economics; Internship.
  • Instruction is in English; prior Japanese language study preferred but not required. Spring semester or academic year.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—East Asian coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Depending on coursework (see adviser).

Sophia University, Tokyo (available through Exchange in Japan or CIEE Japan)

  • Program type: University Study
  • Jesuit university with two campuses, one of which teaches in English and draws both foreign students and Japanese students who have lived abroad for extended periods of time.
  • Sophia offers a wealth of courses on Japan or East Asia in anthropology, art history, history, international business & economics, literature, philosophy & religion, political science, languages.
  • Instruction is in English; prior Japanese language study preferred but not required. Spring semester or academic year; calendar year and summer through CIEE only.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—East Asian coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Depending on coursework (see adviser).

Nagoya University, Nagoya (available through Exchange in Nagoya, Japan)

New Zealand

HECUA New Zealand Culture and the Environment: A Shared Future
  • The program examines how social and environmental factors impact and shape political and ecological aspects of identity and culture and how New Zealand populations are envisioning and developing a shared future in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Field seminars focus on environmental management, biodiversity protection, M?ori culture, national public policy, and urban planning.
  • Potential internship opportunities (not an exhaustive list) in the fields of wildlife and habitat conservation, climate change, food, environmental law, sustainability, transportation advocacy, community-based television, water quality, Permaculture and Transition Towns initiatives, local democracy, youth development, and urban agriculture.

South Korea

CIEE South Korea: Yonsei University

  • Program type: University Study
  • Yonsei, located in Seoul, teaches mostly in English as a strategy to position Koreans for the global workforce; therefore, study abroad students are able to take courses alongside Korean students.
  • Strong multidisciplinary curriculum not only in Korean studies but also in Asian studies more broadly.
  • Most instruction is in English; no prior Korean is required. Some additional courses available in Korean for students sufficiently proficient. Fall or spring semester, academic year, or summer.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—East Asian coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Depending on coursework (see adviser).

University Study in South Korea: Korea University 

  • Program type: University Study
  • Korea University, located in Seoul, teaches many courses in English as a strategy to position Koreans for the global workforce; study abroad students take courses alongside Korean students.
  • Extremely broad range of courses offered, many focused specifically on Korea or Asia.
  • Many courses taught in English; no prior Korean is required. Some additional courses available in Korean for students sufficiently proficient. Fall or spring semester, academic year, or summer.

Thailand

MSID—International Development in Thailand

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion; Global Studies is among the most popular majors of participants.
  • Possible internship placements include: Researching sustainable energy, teaching English in a local school or NGO, work with organizations that are helping young girls who have been trafficked or are at risk of being trafficked
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Thai is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year; consider year option to maximize cultural immersion and gain deeper research experience.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—Asian coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Can fulfill 1 to 3 courses for all themes (depends on semester vs. year); Additional—If you enroll for the academic year, consider using MSID’s directed research course as a vehicle for a major project (see adviser).
  • For students interested in doing research, MSID—Thailand is an International UROP-eligible program

Explore these and many more opportunities using the Learning Abroad Center program search.

Europe

Austria

IES AustriaEuropean Studies and Culture

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Large language and area studies program with extremely broad curriculum. Some courses on Austria, others on Central and Eastern Europe, and others on Europe as a whole.
  • Includes opportunities for business internships (German required), public service internships (no language requirement), or education field experiences (no language requirement).
  • Instruction is in English; no prior German is required. Students sufficiently proficient may also take IES or University of Vienna courses in German. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—European coursework (see adviser); Thematic— Depending on coursework (see adviser).

University of Graz (available through Bilateral Exchange in Graz)

  • Program type: University Study
  • Law courses taught in English are available to UofM Global Studies students through the Diploma studies program
  • Human rights is a focus of the Law Faculty, which has a research cluster on human rights, democracy, diversity and gender
  • Academic year or spring semester

Balkans

SIT Balkans—Serbia, Bosnia, & Kosovo: Peace & Conflict Studies in the Balkans (semester)
SIT Balkans—State Building in Kosovo, Macedonia, & Serbia (summer)

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Highly experiential program focused on human rights and post-conflict nation building. Integrates lectures, discussions, readings, debriefings, and research projects (semester program only).
  • Extensive field trips in both programs permit comparative perspective on three countries of the former Yugoslavia as they seek to rebuild themselves after years of war.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of a South Slav language is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or summer.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—European coursework (see adviser); Thematic— Human Rights and Justice, and Global Cultural Analysis.

Czech Republic

SIT Czech Republic—Arts and Social Change

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Highly experiential program that examines the history, and visual, performing, and literary arts of the Czech Republic. Excursions to Slovakia and Poland enrich comparative perspective.
  • Students engage with artists, civic leaders, and leading academics who share lessons learned from their use of the arts to confront and contribute to the fall of a communist regime.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Czech is required. Fall or spring semester.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—European coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Human Rights and Justice, and Global Cultural Analysis.

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 on Denmark, Scandinavia, and Europe.
  • Exceptionally broad, multidisciplinary curriculum. Sample tracks include European Humanities, European Politics, Justice and Human Rights, and Sustainability in Europe.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Danish is required. Fall or spring semester, academic year, or summer.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—European coursework (see adviser); Thematic— Depending on coursework (see adviser).

France

IES France—Paris Business & International Affairs

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center (plus University Study)
  • Program permits you to combine courses through the IES Center with university courses at the Institute Catholique, whose disciplines include both political science and international relations.
  • IES curriculum includes courses on French politics, comparative European politics, international political economy, and political economy of European integration. Internships also available.
  • Instruction is in French. Fall semester, spring semester, academic year, or summer.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—European coursework (see adviser); Thematic— Depending on coursework (see adviser).

Study Abroad in Montpellier

  • Program type: University Study and Study Abroad Center (two tracks)
  • 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.
  • Paul Valéry curriculum includes a rich array of courses, in various disciplines, not only on France but also on southern European politics or the Mediterranean more broadly. Internships offered.
  • 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.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—European coursework (see adviser); Thematic— Depending on coursework (see adviser).

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 twentieth century, Berlin is fascinating city to experience as it seeks to become whole again.
  • Area studies program that also offers internships and access to two of Germany’s top institutions, the Freie Universitat of Berlin (formerly in the West) and Humboldt University (formerly in the East).
  • Instruction is in German; two years prior college language study required. Fall semester, spring semester, academic year, or summer.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—European coursework (see adviser); Thematic— Depending on coursework (see adviser).

IES  European Union—Freiburg

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Thematic program located in a picturesque medieval university town at the foot of the Black Forest. Focuses on the European Union: economics, politics, and cultural and social issues.
  • Includes visits to major EU institutions and international organizations in other countries as well as to new EU member states in Eastern Europe. Internship opportunities in Freiburg or Brussels.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior German is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or summer.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—European coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Depending on Coursework (see adviser).

Iceland

University of Iceland (available through Scholarship Exchange in Iceland)

  • Program type: University Study
  • One of the great bargains in study abroad. Two students annually receives scholarships covering tuition and fees, room and board.
  • Iceland-focused courses available in archeology, cultural studies, folklore, history, language, literature, sociology, Viking studies, as well as many Europe-focused courses in political science.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Icelandic is required. Academic year only.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—European coursework (see adviser); Thematic— Depending on coursework (see adviser).

Ireland – Northern Ireland

HECUA United Kingdom: Democracy and Social Change in Northern Ireland

  • Program type: Study center
  • Students examine the historical, political and religious roots of the conflict in Northern Ireland, the prospects for peace, and the progress being made. The program explores theoretical approaches to understanding conflict and its transformation as well as the processes underway in Northern Ireland to create a sustainable democracy.
  • Students enroll in four 4-credit courses: Understanding the Northern Ireland Conflict, Building a Sustainable Democracy and Northern Ireland Internship and Integration Seminar (equivalent to two courses)
  • Students spend the first five weeks taking core seminars at the University of Ulster at Magee and the next seven weeks at a nearly full-time internship in Londonderry/Derry
  • The internship component qualifies for International UROP funding

Italy

Study & Intern in Rome

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • Relatively new UofM area studies program offering a multidisciplinary Italy-focused curriculum expected to expand gradually over the years.
  • Sample courses: Leadership Across Cultures; Italy—Case Study of The New Norwayainability; Italian Cinema; Italian Media—Popes, Politicians, & Popular Culture. Internships also offered.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Italian is required. Summer only.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—European coursework (see adviser); Thematic— Culture, Power, Place; other themes (see adviser).

Study & Intern in Florence

  • Program type: Study Abroad Center
  • UofM program that offers Italian language, English-taught area studies coursework and an internship option
  • Sample courses: History and Sociology of Modern Consumerism, Literary Representations of Florence: Space, Self and the other, and Internships in Florence: A Comparative Approach to the Italian Workforce
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Italian is required. Fall semester or spring semester.
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—European coursework (see adviser); Thematic— Culture, Power, Place; other themes (see adviser).

Norway

The New Norway: Globalization, National Identity, and the Politics of Belonging (HECUA)

  • Program type: Field Study
  • The New Norway affords an excellent opportunity to learn about Scandinavian grassroots citizen involvement, as well as state support of health care, education, and economic security.
  • The New Norway affords an excellent opportunity to learn about Scandinavian grassroots citizen involvement, as well as state support of health care, education, and economic security.
  • The New Norway includes comparative field study elsewhere—in selected regions of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Norwegian is required. Fall semester (The New Norway) 
  • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—European coursework (see adviser); Thematic— See adviser.

Russia

CIEE—Russia

  • Fall semester, spring semester or summer term
  • Semester: Choose from two levels of Russian language courses and/or area studies electives, taught in English. No prior Russian required. Subjects include history, politics, sociology, art, literature, cinema and more.
  • Summer: Advanced Russian Language Program (requires four semesters of college-level Russian)
  • Programs include local and regional excursions, visits to museums and historical sites, and theaters, and interaction with locals

Additional Options to Consider

Intensive Language Programs

  • Begin your language study or work toward completing requirements for a language minor.
  • Work on your CLA language requirement or on a language minor while immersed in the language
  • Complete two, three, or even four semesters of language in a semester or a summer.

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.

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.

 

Non-Credit Opportunities

 

  • Non-credit  opportunities can be a great option for students who do not need academic credit but want to gain skills and experience abroad related to their field of study.  

Student Experiences

Kim Studies in Fez, Morocco

As a Political Science and Global Studies major, Kim chose Fez because she really wanted to be immersed in the language and culture of Morocco. With four hours of language instruction a day, and class sizes limited to three students, she saw her Arabic skills improve dramatically. Though it was her first time abroad, she says she felt very welcomed by her host family and found it easy to settle in to life in Morocco.

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