Learning Abroad in Individualized Degree Programs

Learning Abroad in Individualized Degree Programs

The benefits of study abroad in individualized degree programs are as varied as the students and the degree programs they design. Through study abroad, you’ll develop your language competency, build confidence and problem-solving skills, discover new worlds and ways to adapt (even in your own world), and make life and career connections. But mostly, it’s an ancient, proven way of learning, “indispensable to any close observer of human beings” (Wilhelm von Humboldt).

This covers 4 individualized degree programs:

Study Abroad Process

This is the basic process you'll complete in order to study abroad. The order in which you do things is somewhat flexible.

Academic Planning

Review the following suggestions from the BIS, IDIM, ICP, and MdS programs before beginning your study abroad research.

Many BIS, IDIM, ICP, and MdS students use credits from study abroad as part of their individualized degree program. All four programs are sufficiently flexible to incorporate study abroad. The key is advance planning. The earlier you select your study abroad program—or programs (some students do more than one)—the easier you will find it to integrate the courses into your individualized degree plan.

Identify your learning goals

Before choosing a program, think carefully about why you want to study abroad. Ask yourself questions such as the following:

Consult with your advisers on timing and credit issues

The BIS, IDIM, ICP, and MdS degree programs can be flexible about incorporating credits from abroad. Again, careful planning and consultation is the key. Discuss the following with your adviser:

Pay particular attention to program type

Format and teaching approach are every bit as important as location and length. Consider your learning style, your educational and personal goals, and department advice.

Field Study programs

Learn through doing (internships, service-learning, field research, etc,). These fit nicely with the powerful tradition of fieldwork in both cultural anthropology and archaeology.

University Study programs

Become a temporary foreign student at a host university. Seek places offering anthropological methodologies, theoretical perspectives, or courses different from ours.

Study Abroad Centers

Take classroom courses tailor-made for non-native students. Many such centers also offer opportunities to engage in field study and/or to take courses as a local university.

Integrate service-learning or an internship into your degree program

Work on your language requirement

Build second language skills

If you hope to jumpstart a new language or to gain advanced fluency, select a program that suits your goals.

For suggestions, see the LAC’s Language Study Options.

Fulfill Liberal Education requirements

College/Department Scholarships for UofM Students


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

As you plan your learning abroad experience, be sure to refer to the Major Advising Page associated with your interdisciplinary major. Work with your adviser to explore how you might integrate an experience abroad into your undergraduate career.

Additional Options to Consider

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

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