group of U of M Students in front of a windmill in Spain

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

    Academic Planning

    Review the following suggestions from the Institute for Global Studies before beginning your study abroad research.  Be sure to work with your global studies adviser to make sure that your courses integrate well into the global studies major.

    • Study abroad programs that are 6 weeks or longer fulfill your “experiential learning” requirement for the global studies major.
    • Choose a study abroad program in your region to complete regional course requirements.
    • Choose a study abroad based on your theme to complete thematic course requirements.
    • Many programs can complete both theme and region requirements, especially programs that allow you to directly enroll at a foreign university.
    • Only upper division courses will fulfill requirements in the global studies major.

    Consider funding opportunities

    Consider timing and length

    • There is no “best” time for everyone, although global studies majors often find that studying abroad during their sophomore or junior year works the best.
    • Keep in mind that GloS 3144 and GloS 3145, required courses for the major and minor, are offered only in the fall (GloS 3144) and spring (GloS 3145) semesters.

    Fulfill Liberal Education requirements

    • Advance planning can help you apply study abroad credits to many of the University’s Liberal Education requirements.
    • Decide early which requirements you want to satisfy through courses taken abroad and plan your coursework accordingly.
    • Consult the U Credit Abroad Search to find courses that have been approved for Liberal Education.

    Once You Have Selected a Program

    • Use the Academic Planning Form to structure your academic planning and get your courses pre-approved for major or minor credit
    • Once you have chosen the courses that you want to take abroad (always choosing more courses than you intend to take), meet with the global studies adviser—preferably at least 3 months before departure. Bring your Academic Planning Form and the course descriptions.
    • Meet similarly in other departments for additional majors or minors.

    While You Are Abroad

    • If, once you are in country, you become interested in a course that was not included on your Academic Planning Form but might be pertinent to your major or minor, gather as much information as you can about the course and then consult by email with the global studies adviser before committing yourself.
    • Hold onto course materials (e.g., syllabus, exams, papers, reports, and at least a photocopied table of contents of any key textbook) and bring them home with you.

     

    Programs

    Africa and the Middle East

    Israel

    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 or Spring semester. 
    • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—African coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Can fulfill 1 to 3 courses for all themes.
    • 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 or Spring semester. 
    • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—African coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Can fulfill 1 to 3 courses for all themes.
    • 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).

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

    Americas

    Argentina

    Study & Intern 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. All students also take 2 Spanish courses. Community engagement course is also available.
    • 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.

    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 or Spring semester. 
    • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—Latin American coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Can fulfill 1 to 3 courses for all themes.
    • For students interested in doing research, MSID—Ecuador is an International UROP-eligible program

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

    Asia and Oceania

    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).

    Exchange in Tokyo, Japan: Sophia University

    • 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.
    • 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

    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 or Spring semester. 
    • Major requirements most often satisfied: Regional—Asian coursework (see adviser); Thematic—Can fulfill 1 to 3 courses for all themes.
    • 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 Austria—European 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

    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).

    Language & Culture in Southern France

    • 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 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.

    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.