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

Learning Abroad in Philosophy

    “Abandoning the familiar in order to travel and experience different places, people, languages, and cultures at its best fosters one's abilities to understand, analyze, and assess complex phenomena—all skills that serve the student of philosophy well. Study abroad is for the student today what the Grand Tour was for such great minds as Boswell, Goethe, and James.”
    —Michelle Mason, Professor, Department of Philosophy

    Department Recommendations

    Review the following suggestions from the Department of Philosophy before beginning your study abroad research.

    Academic Considerations for Philosophy Students

    Philosophy is a very broad discipline, which encompasses a wide variety of theoretical and empirical lines of inquiry. The Department of Philosophy encourages you to explore their variety through study abroad.

    Identify your professional and personal goals for your learning abroad experience

    Choose from a wide variety of programs. Look for options that fit your course of study and your professional and personal goals.

    Complete philosophy major credit while learning abroad

    • Many courses can be applied toward major requirements. For approval of a study abroad course, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies at least a month before departure. Discuss timing and coursework that will fit with your academic program.
    • Use the Academic Planning Form to get approval for using courses toward your major, minor, and liberal education requirements.
    • You can fulfill requirements for the Ethics and Civic Life concentration in philosophy while learning abroad. 

    Consider varied educational experiences

    • Educational systems vary from country to country. Taking courses in a host-country institution permits you learn about these differences first-hand.
    • Fieldwork and internships give you an opportunity to get involved in host-country life outside the classroom.

    Pay special 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. Programs built around internships, community engagement, field research, interview projects, etc., may work especially well for experiential learners.

    Host-Univerity Study programs

    Become a temporary foreign student at a host university. Seek locations offering history, 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.

    Fulfill Liberal Education requirements

    • You can fulfill Liberal Education requirements while abroad. Work with your College Liberal Arts adviser to find courses.
    • Consult the Learning Abroad Center’s database of study abroad courses that have been approved for Liberal Education, or submit courses online to be evaluated.

    College/Department Scholarships for UofM Students

    CLA students can apply for CLA Study Abroad Scholarships in addition to other Learning Abroad Center scholarships.

     

    Programs

    Africa and the Middle East

    Kenya

    MSID—International Development in Kenya

    • Program Type: Field Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring semester. 
    • Location: Nairobi and other locations, Kenya
    • MSID offers credit through coursework, research, field placements and internships. Work along-side host nationals on development projects or with agencies working in their area of interest.
    • Internship placements are related to development. Past examples include opportunities to work in schools, public health and nutrition, family planning, youth work, and many more.
    • Language prerequisite.

    Senegal

    MSID—International Development in Senegal

    • Program Type: Field Study
    • Program Term: Fall or Spring semester
    • Location: Dakar and other locations, Senegal
    • MSID offers credit through coursework, research, field placements and internships. Work along-side host nationals on development projects or with agencies working in their area of interest.
    • Past internship placements or research categories include: public health, women's groups, education, community organization, and many more.
    • Two years of College-level French required.

    South Africa

    University Study in South Africa: University of Cape Town 

    • Program Type: Host-University Study
    • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Academic Year
    • Sitting between Table Mountain and the ocean, Cape Town is a mix of European and African influences, boasting cultural activities as well as beautiful natural scenery.
    • Take courses in philosophy that include Classical Political Philosophy; Language, Thought, and Reality and many more.
    • Other course options include psychology, economics, political science and many others.
    • Instruction is in English.

    Americas

    Argentina

    IFSA Argentina

    • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
    • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Summer Term, Academic year
    • Combine intensive language and culture courses, university courses, and specially designed program courses while living in Buenos Aires.
    • Choose from Several University study programs that offer philosophy and other related courses.
    • Courses are taught in Spanish.

    Chile

      IES Chile—Santiago

      • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Summer Term, Academic Year
      • By choosing to study in Santiago, Chile, you will be immersing yourself in a country that is an emerging economic power with modern social programs and ties to both Europe and Asia.
      • Take courses at the IES study center and at local universities.
      • Explore a wide variety of subjects including area course studies, language, and philosophy.
      • Courses are taught in Spanish.

      Ecuador

      MSID—International Development in Ecuador

      • Program Type: Field Study
      • Program Term: Fall or Spring semester
      • Location: Quito and other locations, Ecuador
      • MSID offers credit through coursework, research, field placements and internships. Work along-side host nationals on development projects or with agencies working in their area of interest.
      • MSID internships and research projects are related to development, and are grassroots-immersing you directly and personally in the social realities of the poorer strata of the population.
      • Past examples includes opportunities to work in schools, public health and nutrition, family planning, youth work, and many more.
      • Two years of College-level Spanish required.

      Asia and Oceania

      Australia

      Study & Intern in Sydney

      • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Summer Term
      • This program appeals to students who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding, need to fulfill liberal arts requirements, and want to participate in an internship related to their field of study.
      • Take a variety of Australian area courses.
      • Participate in an unpaid internship.

      University Study in Australia: University of Melbourne

      • Program Type: Host - University Study
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Academic or Calendar Year
      • The University of Melbourne is an internationally acclaimed institution, known for academic excellence and achievement in education and research.
      • Classes in philosophy include Great Thinkers in Moral Philosophy; Analytic Philosophy; and Chinese Philosophy.

      University of Wollongong (available through Arcadia

      • Program Type: Host-University Study
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Academic or Calendar Year
      • Located in a seaside city of about 250,000 people just south of Sydney, Wollongong is a highly international university.
      • Classes in philosophy include Contemporary European Philosophy; International Studies in Philosophy; Political Philosophy; and much more.

      Japan

      Exchange in Tokyo, Japan: Sophia University

      • Program Type: Study Center Program with a university component
      • Program Term: Spring Semester, Academic year
      • Housing: Apartment, Dormitory
      • Intensive Japanese language study available
      • Non-language courses available in English including philosophy courses 
      • Volunteer opportunities are available

      IES Japan

      • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Academic Year
      • Small classes in the midst of fast paced Tokyo provide a great mix of the fast paced society that is still bound by tradition.
      • Take courses on Japanese language instruction.
      • Area studies courses include anthropology, international relations, economics, and more.

      New Zealand

      University Study in New Zealand: University of Auckland

      • Program Type: Host-University Study
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Academic or Calendar Year
      • The University of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest university is an international center for learning.
      • The university offers courses in philosophy such as Community, Society, and Rights; Philosophy and Gender; and 20th Century German Philosophy.
      • Students may also take related courses in psychology, sociology, and other areas.

      University Study in New Zealand: University of Otago

      • Program Type: Host-University Study
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Academic or Calendar Year
      • Founded in 1869, the University of Otago has a long and rich history of education.
      • Course options in philosophy include Philosophy of Mind and Language; Philosophy of Science; and Moral Philosophy.
      • Students can take courses in related fields of study.

      University Study in New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington

      • Program Type: Host-University Study
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Academic or Calendar Year
      • Wellington is located on the North Island immediately across the Cook Strait from the South Island.
      • Courses for philosophy major students include philosophy, political studies, and economics.

      Thailand 

      MSID—International Development in Thailand

      • Program Type: Field Study
      • Program Term: Fall or Spring semester
      • Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
      • MSID offers credit through coursework, research, field placements and internships. Work along-side host nationals on development projects or with agencies working in their area of interest.
      • Internship placements are related to development. Past examples include opportunities to work in schools, public health and nutrition, family planning, youth work, and many more.
      • No language prerequisite.

      Europe

      Denmark

      Study Abroad in Denmark

      • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Summer Term, Academic Year
      • Choose a track of study focusing on European Humanities, European Politics, or International Business.
      • Includes extensive study tours in Denmark and elsewhere in Europe.
      • Instruction is in English; no prior Danish is required.

      France

      Language & Culture in Southern France

      • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, May Term, Summer Term, Academic Year
      • One of the premier study opportunities in France is the University of Minnesota’s program in Montpellier.
      • Combine courses from Université Paul Valéry with special courses for international students.
      • Students must have excellent French language skills and a solid background in philosophy to attend.
      • A pre-session course strengthens your language skills before you being regular classes.
      • Instruction is in French.

      Germany

      IES Germany--Berlin Language and Area Studies

      • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Summer Term, Academic Year
      • Courses are through both the IES center and the renowned Humboldt University.
      • Students can take courses on such topics as German political thought, international politics, political sociology, social policy, and political theory.
      • Strong field study and internship opportunities supplement the classroom program.
      • Instruction is in German.

      IES Germany--Freiburg Language and Area Studies

      • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
      • Program Term: Spring Semester, Academic Year
      • This program provides the opportunity to enroll at the Albert Ludwigs Universität Freiburg in the beautiful city of Freiburg located within the Alps.
      • The university offers many courses in the philosophy department as well as other related subjects.
      • Instruction is in German.

      Norway

      Exchange in Oslo 

      • Program Type: Host-University Study
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Academic Year
      • The University of Oslo is Norway’s largest and oldest university.
      • The university offers courses such as Philosophy of Action and Epistemology and Philosophy of Science.
      • Choose from a wide variety of courses in the science, social science, health care management, humanities, and the environment.
      • Instruction is in English.

      Scotland

      University of St. Andrews (available through Arcadia Scotland)

      • Program Type: Host-University Study
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Academic Year
      • Enjoy a rich and stimulating philosophical environment situated on a cliff-top with sea views over St. Andrews Bay towards the Angus coast and the Grampian Mountains.
      • Courses in philosophy focus on metaphysics, logic, moral philosophy, and the history of philosophy.
      • Other related field course work is available.

      Spain

      Study & Intern in Toledo

      • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, May Term, Summer Term, Academic Year
      • Set in Toledo, Spain, this program offers courses in language, culture and philosophy.
      • Philosophy courses are taught at both the study center and the local university, la Universidad de Castilla la Mancha.
      • The international Program in Toledo, Spain offers internships assisting in local schools alongside a classroom education.
      • Instruction is in Spanish.

      Study & Intern in Madrid

      • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
      • Program Terms: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Summer Session
      • English taught coursework and English speaking internships available in a variety of fields
      • Contemporary Moral Problems: Ethics is equivalent to PHIL 3302
      • The Philosophy of Religion: The Problem of God is equivalent to PHIL 3521
      • Live with a Spanish host family
      • Instruction is in English; however, one semester of college-level Spanish is required

      United Kingdom

      London School of Economics (offered through Arcadia England and IFSA United Kingdom)

      • Program Type: Host-University Study
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Summer Term, Academic Year
      • Arcadia offers placement in the London School of Economics, known for its cutting-edge research and extraordinary faculty.
      • Located in Central London, LSE is enveloped by the bustling metropolis of London.
      • Take classes through the Department of Philosophy, Logic, and Scientific Method.

      Study & Intern in London

      • Program Type: Study Abroad Center
      • Program Term: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Summer Term
      • This program appeals to students who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding, need to fulfill liberal arts requirements, and want to participate in an internship related to their field of study.
      • Participate in an unpaid internship.
      • Community engagement opportunities are available.

      University of East Anglia (available through IFSA United Kingdom)

      • University of East Anglia (UAE) is one of the UK's top research
        universities, with a long established reputation for philosophy and
        for inter-disciplinary work across the boundaries between philosophy
        and other subjects.
      • UEA has special research expertise in philosophy of
        language/linguistics, Classical Philosophy, and History of Modern
        Philosophy.
      • Students can take classes in any of the numerous degree programs
        offering including, Philosophy with History, BA Art History and
        Philosophy, and BA Philosophy.

      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.
      • 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.