Learning Abroad Center

Learning Abroad in Political Science

Push global barriers and learn beyond borders. As a political science major, the world is yours to explore. Study the politics and economics of another country and deepen your understanding of international and comparative politics to provide insights into your own political system.

"Living and studying abroad, immersing yourself in another culture, helps you to understand things about yourself and your own country and culture that you might have never thought about. If politics is the art of the possible, then study abroad helps you get a clearer sense of what 'the possible' can mean. According to 16th-Century French essayist, Michel de Montaigne: 'Traveling through the world produces a marvelous clarity in human judgment."

Lisa Hilbink, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Department Recommendations

  • Talk with your advisers and faculty to discuss how a study abroad experience aligns with your personal, professional and academic goals.
  • Observe how political scientists in other countries view their discipline. Listen to other students' perspectives on their own political systems as well as their observations on American politics.
  • There is no "best" time to study abroad. Be sure to discuss with your academic adviser your intended courses to structure your academic and career plans.

Academic Planning

Review your program requirements before beginning your study abroad program research. Be sure to work with the Political Science Undergraduate Advising Office to make sure that your courses and experiences integrate well into the major

Best time to go abroad

There is no "best" time to study abroad. Be sure to discuss with your undergraduate political science adviser the courses you plan to take abroad to best structure your academic and career plans. 

Who will advise me and help me with Political Science 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 political science academic adviser. Once you have narrowed down your program options, email [email protected] with information about your program preference. They will then send you previously approved course options for that particular program.

Liberal Education Requirements

Search the U Credit Abroad Search to select from more than 2,000 study abroad courses that have already been pre-approved for liberal education requirements. You may also submit any liberal education course not yet evaluated for approval online. 

Major and Minor Requirements

The Department of Political Science has started using the U Credit Abroad Search to store major/minor requirements and you may search for equivalencies approved for your requirements. If coursework has not already been pre-approved, you may submit them for review through the Political Science Transfer Credit Review Request.  If coursework has not already been pre-approved, they will link to their online evaluation form. No evaluations are done during appointments, so it is best to follow this process before setting up your appointment for the Academic Planning for Study Abroad (APSA) Form approval.

Once you have gotten the appropriate evaluations completed, set up an appointment with Josie in Political Science (z.umn.edu/POLAppt). She will meet with you to review your coursework, discuss your study abroad options, and sign your Academic Planning for Study Abroad (APSA) Form. 

College/Department Scholarships for UofM Students

Programs

Africa and the Middle East

Ghana

University of Ghana (available through ISEP Ghana)

  • Comprehensive university on the outskirts of the capital, Accra, one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa.  
  • The Political Science department is one of the oldest departments at the university, and delivers quality teaching and conducts research focusing on elections, local government administration, foreign policy, public policy design, implementation and evaluation, democratization, civil-military relations and the public bureaucracy
  • English is the official language and instruction is in English
  • Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year

Ghana’s Business of Doing Good:  Social Startups & Public Affairs

  • May Term Abroad in Accra, Kumasi, & Cape Coast, Ghana
  • Learn how public policy and social enterprises are shaping Ghana into one of West Africa’s most stable emerging markets.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of social life and culture in Ghana by engaging with local professionals and organizations.
  • This program is led by Simone Gbolo, National Director of the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Program and instructor in the Leadership Minor. Approved for Global Perspectives & Social Sciences Liberal Education requirements.

Israel

University Study in Israel: Hebrew University of Jerusalem

  • Jerusalem, holy city of Islam, Christianity and Judaism alike, provides a fascinating case study of an ethnically divided city
  • Offers Political Science classes focused on Israel, the MIddle East, Peace and Conflict Studies, International Relations and Globalization. Internship and research placements available
  • Fall or spring semester, academic year, or summer. Summer offers coursework during either July or August sessions.
  • Spring in Jerusalem—Honors Program is offered in the spring semester. Combines language study, research, and advanced coursework. Includes study tours and additional lectures. Available to outstanding students on a competitive basis.
  • Students accepted into the Spring in Jerusalem Honors Program receive a $4000 merit scholarship (in addition to the $6000 UMN student scholarship through Spring 2023) as part of their acceptance to the program - no additional application is required. Students do not need to be enrolled in the UMN Honors program in order to qualify for this scholarship - the requirement is a minimum of a 3.7 GPA.

Senegal

MSID—International Development in Senegal

  • Participants focus on International Development in Senegal, choosing from the following themes:  Entrepreneurship, Health, Human Rights, and Sustainability  
  • Participants will either receive credit for Internship in Senegal, or Research in Senegal, depending on which option they choose. Participants are placed at a local NGO and get hands-on experience or conduct research
  • Language training in French or Wolof

South Africa

University of Cape Town (available through IES South Africa)

  • Post-Apartheid South Africa is ideal for observing how differently another society defines and deals with issues of race, inequality, and the redesigning of a political system
  • The political science department is one of the continent’s best. Extensive volunteer opportunities supplement classroom offerings
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies that have been approved for major requirements.

United Arab Emirates

American University of Sharjah (available through ISEP United Arab Emirates)

  • Studying in the United Arab Emirates gives you access to both lavish luxuries and a chance to experience a culture firmly rooted in Islamic traditions. Sharjah is the third-largest emirate of the seven that comprise the country and has been deemed the cultural capital of the UAE
  • Political Science students may be interested in their multidisciplinary International Studies department offerings.  Examples of upper division courses include: Religion and Society, Disease and Disaster, the European Union, Civil Society in the Middle East and North Africa, and Fascism and the Populist Right. 
  • This diverse and comprehensive palette of courses forms a coherent program, rooting students in their time and place while enabling them to handle the challenges of the contemporary world. 

Americas

Argentina

Study & Intern in Buenos Aires

  • Study language and culture in Buenos Aires, the political and economic heart of Argentina. Students can take a breadth of courses in economics and Argentine history.
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies from this program that have been approved for major requirements. 
  • No language prerequisite; Courses available in English including "Politics & Society in Latin America" which fulfills upper-division political science credit. 

Chile

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Universidad de Chile (available through IES Chile)

  • Top-rate Santiago institutions, both with strong political science departments. Required IES offerings supplement the university coursework
  • Sample course titles: Chilean Foreign Policy; Chilean Political Parties; Re-Democratization in Latin America; Contemporary International Conflicts; Latin American Politics; Political Ethics

Ecuador

MSID—International Development in Ecuador

  • Participants focus on International Development in Ecuador, choosing from the following themes:  Entrepreneurship, Health, Human Rights, and Sustainability  
  • Participants will either receive credit for Internship in Ecuador, or Research in Ecuador, depending on which option they choose.Participants are placed at a local NGO and get hands-on experience or conduct research
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies from this program that have been approved for major requirements  
  • Language training in Spanish

Asia and Oceania

Australia

Study & Intern in Sydney

  • The greatest attraction for many students is the internship component
  • An extraordinary range of internship opportunities could include law offices, human rights organizations, environmental advocacy groups, and many others
  • Instruction in English, by Australian faculty
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies that have been approved for major requirements

University Study in Australia: University of Sydney

  • Ranked one of the 30 best Political Science departments in the world, offering classes in Australian, Asian and Transatlantic Politics, Aboriginal Politics, and dozens more.
  • Credit-bearing internship and research placements available
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies that have been approved for major requirements.

Cambodia

The School for Field Studies-Cambodia

  • Study the environmental dynamics of the Mekong River, which provides habitats to myriad species and sustains life for millions of people.
  • Examine the interaction between human life and the ecology of the river and region. In addition, students explore a variety of regional development and conservation challenges and community-based solutions during travel across rural and urban Cambodia.
  • All courses taught in English. No language prerequisite. One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science required for semester program. Semester and summer options available.

China

CET China: Internships in Shanghai and Beijing

  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies from this program that have been approved for major requirements  

Japan

Exchange in Kyoto, Japan - Ritsumeikan University

  • Japanese language courses available - beginning to advanced
  • Sample course offering areas, taught in English include political science, business, economic development to contemporary Japanese culture through the "Study in Kyoto: Japanese and World Perspectives Track"

Exchange in Tokyo, Japan: Sophia University

  • A broad range of political science offerings. Samples: Japanese Government & Politics; Japanese Foreign Policy; Citizens & Political Organizations; Peace & Security in Northeast Asia
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies from this program that have been approved for major requirements
  • Instruction is in English; prior Japanese language study preferred but not required

New Zealand

University Study in New Zealand: University of Auckland

  • New Zealand’s top-ranked Political Science and International Relations program
  • Coursework in Comparative Politics, Media & Politics, New Zealand and Maori Politics, Asian and Transatlantic Politics, and several others

Victoria University of Wellington (available through IFSA New Zealand)

  • The department’s broad range of political science course offerings includes many regional courses on East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and the Pacific, as well as Europe and the US.
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies from this program that have been approved for major requirements.South Korea

South Korea

University Study in South Korea: Korea University

  • 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.
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies from this program that have been approved for major requirements. 
  • Extremely broad range of political science 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

  • Participants focus on International Development in Thailand, choosing from the following themes:  Entrepreneurship, Health, Human Rights, and Sustainability 
  • Participants will either receive credit for Internship in Thailand or Research in Thailand, depending on which option they choose. Participants are placed at a local NGO and get hands-on experience or conduct research
  • Language training in Thai

Thammasat University (available through ISEP Thailand)

  • Thammasat has a Politics and International Relations degree program solely offered in English, providing a variety of course options for students.
  • The Program integrates theoretical approaches with case studies, current issues as well as practical skills. It also gives a priority to a diverse range of academic questions essential to the field of politics and international relations

Europe

Czech Republic

CET Czech Republic, Prague

  • Visit the Museum of Communism or go on a site visit to Lidice with your politics and history class
  • Select the Central European Studies concentration and you’ll take Political & Cultural History of East-Central Europe in the 20th Century

Denmark

Study Abroad in Denmark and Summer in Denmark & Sweden

  • Curriculum is organized into a number of core courses (including study tours to destinations in Scandinavia and Europe) including Cultural Diversity & Integration, European Game of Politics: Crisis and Survival, Humanitarian Law & Armed Conflict, and Terrorism & Counter-Terrorism from a European Perspective
  • Elective courses in Intelligence, Geopolitics, History, Environmental Policy, Law, Religion, and Sociology
  • Summer in Denmark & Sweden offers you the opportunity to explore one or both countries and build your summer experience abroad
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies that have been approved for major requirements

Finland

University of Jyväskylä (offered through ISEP Finland)

  • Known as the land of a thousand lakes, the midnight sun and the Northern Lights, Finland is famous for its natural beauty
  • The citizens of Finland enjoy many individual and political freedoms. Finnish women became the first in the world to have unrestricted rights to vote and to run for public office
  • Political science at Jyväskylä is not divided into separate research fields of national and international politics

France

Université Paul Valéry through Language & Culture in Southern France

  • Paul Valéry curriculum includes a rich array of political science courses, including many on southern European politics and Mediterranean politics
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies that have been approved for major requirements

Germany

IES Germany—Berlin Language & Area Studies

  • Political science courses offered both through IES and through two of Germany’s top institutions
  • IES courses in such areas as political thought, Cold War Germany, German international relations, Germany and European unification. Program is strong in field study, including internships

Greece

American College of Thessaloniki (ACT) (available through ISEP Greece)

  • A lively college town, Thessaloniki is a fun learning environment with a charming waterfront, interesting neighborhoods, delicious cuisine, and great cycling
  • ACT’s Political Science and International Relations program of studies is particularly strong in American and EU politics, international law and organizations, gender, globalization, and contemporary Balkan and Aegean affairs
  • While Greek is the official language, ACT is an English-speaking University, so all instruction is in English. There are no language prerequisites

Iceland

University of Iceland (available through Exchange in Iceland)

  • Political Science offerings emphasize international relations, including a number of courses on the European Union

Ireland

Study Abroad in Dublin

  • Live and study in the heart of Dublin. Participate in an internship, research project, or practicum to engage with the local community

Italy

Summer in Sicily

  • 8-week summer session
  • Study complex topics in Europe's Southern border, taught by local Political Scientists and Law professors.
  • Courses of interest include International Human Rights Law, and Migration, Human Rights, & the Media
  • Research placements in Human Rights are available
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies that have been approved for major requirements

IES Italy—Rome

  • Study relevant Italy-focused offerings in history and international relations. Internships available with NGOs and political parties
  • Students also have access to some English-taught courses on European Union topics at Libera Università Internationale degli Studie Sociali

Universitá di Bologna (available through Bologna Consortial Studies Program, BCSP)

  • Bologna, the oldest university in Europe, has a strong political science department
  • BCSP program supplements UB courses with courses designed for US students

Netherlands

University of Amsterdam (Exchange in Amsterdam, Netherlands)

  • Study at the University of Amsterdam’s International School for Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Sample courses: Global Civil Society; Politics of Development; Policy Making in the EU; Public International Law; Global Politics & Euro-Asia; Political Geography of the EU
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies that have been approved for major requirements

Spain

Study & Intern in Barcelona

  • Fall semester, Spring semester, or Summer session
  • Participate in an internship with a local company or organization to develop professional skills and immerse yourself in Spanish culture.
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies that have been approved for major requirements.

Study & Intern in Toledo

  • Strong humanities/social science curriculum includes courses on Latin American politics, Spanish politics, Spain and the EU, modern Spanish history
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies that have been approved for major requirements
  • Internships and community engagement also offered

Sweden

Study Abroad in Sweden and Summer in Denmark & Sweden

  • 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 in Sweden, with study tours within Scandinavia and Europe.
  • Thematic concentrations include: Terrorism & Security, Swedish Politics and Society
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Swedish is required. Fall or spring semester, academic year, or summer.

United Kingdom

University Study in the United Kingdom: Queen Mary University of London

  • Study at Queen Mary’s highly-ranked Political Science department alongside local students.
  • Coursework in British and European Politics, Brexit, War & Security, the Post-Colonial World, and several others. Many modules have pre-established UMN equivalencies
  • Review the U Credit Abroad Search to view course equivalencies that have been approved for major requirements

University Study in the United Kingdom: University of Glasgow

  • Coursework on British Politics, Scottish Nationalism, the European Union, and dozens more
  • Study alongside local students at one of the UK’s highest-ranked Political Science programs

Study & Intern in London

  • Area studies program offering such courses as European Government & Politics; British History in the 20th Century; Politics, Islam, Politics, & Britain; Citizenship & Gender in Modern Europe
  • Internships available in politics, public administration, law, human rights, international relations, and other fields including with political parties and with MPs

London School of Economics & Political Science (available through IFSA United Kingdom)

  • One of the world’s leading institutions for the social sciences
  • Sample course offerings: Public Choice & Politics; Politics of Economic Policy; Public Policy Analysis; States, Nations & Empires; and Theories & Problems of Nationalism

Additional Options to Consider

LAC 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.
  • Explore an exciting location and topic, Fulfill Liberal Education requirements, or earn major/minor credit.

LAC Freshman Seminars

  • Combine on-campus instruction during the spring semester with a study abroad component during spring break, on a 3 credits, 1xxx level Seminar.
  • Freshman Seminars Abroad are designed specifically for first-year students as an introduction to study abroad, an opportunity to explore an exciting location and topic, and likely fulfill a liberal education requirement.

Additional LAC Seminars

  • Check out additional LAC Instructor-led Seminars that might run over winter break, spring break, May, and summer sessions. They vary in length, dates, and content so students can find one that best fits their academic and professional goals.

Intensive Language Programs

  • Begin your language study or work toward completing requirements for a language minor.
  • Complete a semester of language on a short-term program or explore options to complete two or more semesters of language on semester-long program.