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

Learning Abroad in American Indian Studies

    American Indian Studies is dedicated to advancing an awareness and understanding of the histories, cultures, arts, languages, literatures, philosophies, religions, economies, politics, and legal status of the native peoples of the US and Canada, but also draws on the experiences of indigenous peoples from other parts of the world.Learning abroad can help compare, contrast, and make connections between indigenous peoples in a global setting.


    Academic Planning Recommendations

    While some of our students visit and study global indigenous communities in Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America, we also encourage students to take part in the National Student Exchange to engage with American Indian communities as well. The Department of American Indian Studies encourages exchange to other national universities with Native/American Indian/Indigenous/First Nation Studies programs and can help you locate sources for these.

    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

    • Only upper-division coursework will fulfill elective requirements in the American Indian Studies major.
    • General Track or Language Track: In both tracks, learning abroad courses are most commonly approved as American Indian Studies electives. 
    • With planning and approval from the American Indian Studies DUS, it is possible to meet the General Track “group” requirements. 
    • Consider fieldwork or internship experiences that can be developed into your senior project. 
    • Learning abroad internships may also be applied toward an American Indian 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


    Africa and the Middle East


    MSID—International Development in Kenya

    • Program type: Field Study
    • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion; great for a comparative perspective on indigenous issues.
    • Past internship placements include women’s empowerment, literacy, ethnographic research, public health/nutrition, environmental issues, urban education, community development, others.
    • Instruction is in English; no prior Swahili is required. Fall or Spring semester. 


    MSID—International Development in Senegal

    • Program type: Field Study
    • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion; great for a comparative perspective on indigenous issues.
    • Past internship placements include social work agencies, youth projects, women’s groups, orphanages, health clinics, community centers, schools, environmental projects, many others.
    • Instruction is in French. Fall or Spring semester. 



    IES Chile

    • Program type: Study Abroad Center
    • Area studies and language program that also offers options to take regular Chilean university courses and/or to do an internship or a community engagement placement.
    • IES offerings include Native Cultures; Social & Political Role of the Arts in Chile & Latin America; The Radical Tradition in Latin America; and Human Rights in Latin America.
    • Instruction is in Spanish; 4 prior semesters of Spanish are 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. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion. Ecuador is a hemisphere-wide center of indigenous activism.
    • 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. 


    Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (available through IFSA Peru)

    • Program type: University Study (and Study Abroad Center)
    • Founded in 1917 and located on a 90-acre campus in Lima, PUCP is Peru’s oldest private university. IFSA supplements university courses with 2 required center courses.
    • For descriptions of lots of relevant courses, check out Anthropology, Archeology, History, and Sociology in the online course catalog, then look under Sumillas.
    • Instruction is in Spanish; five prior semesters of Spanish required. Fall or spring semester, calendar or academic year.

    Asia and Oceania


    University Study in Australia: James Cook University

    • Program type: University Study
    • Two campuses, in Townsville and Cairns, both near the Great Barrier Reef on the tropical Queensland coast. Approximately one fourth of the student body is indigenous.
    • Large multidisciplinary School of Indigenous Australian Studies provides some of Australia’s best opportunities to study the history, culture, and challenges faced by the aboriginal population.
    • Fall or spring semester, academic or calendar year.


    IFSA China—Xi’an

    • Program type: Study Abroad Center
    • Program name is Globalization Then and Now: Xi’an & the Silk Road. Includes two-week Silk Road field trip into Central Asia. Interesting for impact of globalization on formerly nomadic peoples.
    • Includes Chinese language study, The Silk Road Yesterday & Today, and choice of one other course in Chinese history, art history, or contemporary society and culture.
    • Instruction is in English; no prior Chinese is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or summer.

    New Zealand

    University Study in New Zealand: University of Otago

    • Program type: University Study
    • Otago (enrollment 20,000) is located in the “college town” of Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island, a particularly attractive location for students interested in outdoor activities.
    • Otago has one of the strongest Maori Studies programs in New Zealand, as well as a number of course offerings on peoples of the Pacific
    • Instruction is in English. Fall or spring semester, academic or calendar year.

    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, Maori 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.


    MSID—International Development in Thailand

    • Based in Chiang Mai, Thailand
    • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and research further enrich cultural immersion; great for a comparative perspective on indigenous issues.
    • Contribute through an internship or research project with a nonprofit organization
    • Instruction is in English; no prior Thai required

    Vietnam (and Cambodia)

    SFS Vietnam/Cambodia—Environmental Ethics & Conservation

    • Highly experiential program exploring the natural, human, and political economy of Vietnam and upstream areas of the Mekong River Delta in Cambodia.
    • Examines issues of sustainable development, pressures on natural resource exploitation, and ecotourism in Vietnam and Cambodia—all with interesting parallels to Native American areas.
    • Instruction is in English; no prior study of Chinese or of local minority languages is required. Fall or spring semester.
    • Pre req: One semester of college-level ecology or biology



    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.
    • Many courses stimulate reflection on American Indian experience, Holocaust & Genocide; Impact of Epidemic Disease upon European History; Environmental History of Europe; many others.
    • Instruction is in English; no prior Danish is required. Fall or spring semester, academic year, or summer.


    Language & Culture in Southern France

    • Program type: University Study and Study Abroad Center (two tracks)
    • UofM program that permits a mix of special language and culture courses with regular Université Paul Valéry courses in a proportion suitable to each student’s language proficiency.
    • With its large population and its location just across the Mediterranean from North Africa, Montpellier is a great place to gain insights into the role and status of minorities in France. 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.

    United Kingdom—England

    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, providing powerful insights into multicultural London.
    • Academic year (summer also available through IFSA United Kingdom).

    University of East Anglia (available through IFSA United Kingdom)

    • Program type: University Study
    • UEA, whose location in the city of Norwich offers easy access to the continent, has arguably the best American Studies program in the UK.
    • A substantial number of courses focus on ethnic minorities, civil rights, and inter-group relations in the US, including offerings in Native American history.
    • Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year.

    United Kingdom—Northern Ireland

    HECUA Democracy & Social Change in Northern Ireland

    • Program type: Field Study
    • Highly experiential program that examines historical, political, economic, and religious roots of conflict in Northern Ireland and progress being made toward reconciliation.
    • Half-time, 8-credit internship complements classroom and field study and provides in-depth experience with an organization addressing issues relating to justice, equality and conflict.
    • Instruction is in English. Spring semester.

    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.
    • Explore an exciting location and topic! Check out this year's offerings!

    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.