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

Learning Abroad for Student-Athletes

    “The Athletics Department and the Lindahl Academic Center for Student-Athletes fully support student-athlete participation in the University's Learning Abroad program.  We see this as an extraordinary opportunity for a one of a kind student learning experience in a different part of the world and have had many student-athletes participate over the years."
    —JT Bruett, Director of the Lindahl Academic Center for Student-Athletes

     

    Department Recommendations

    Student-athletes can go abroad with careful planning. The University wants you to include an international experience as an integral part of your undergraduate career. Learning abroad can fit very effectively into your University of Minnesota degree plan without delaying your graduation.

    Programs vary in length, academic focus, teaching format, language requirements, cost, and degree of independence demanded of the participant.

     

    Student-Athlete Study Abroad Process

    1. Getting Started with the Lindahl Academic Center for Student-Athletes

      • Pick up Lindahl Academic Center Study Abroad Form—signatures are required through this process
      • Discuss appropriate travel time and training needs with your coach
      • Ask your Lindahl Academic Center counselor about specific academic degree requirements you must meet
    2. Getting Started with the Learning Abroad Center

      • Follow the steps outlined in the Learning Abroad Center's Process.
    3. Consult with Your College/Major Adviser(s)

      • Download the Academic Planning for Study Abroad form
      • Discuss the list of items your Lindahl Academic Center counselor generated to be discussed with your college/major adviser
      • Meet with your major adviser and discuss how your study abroad program fits into your curriculum. Have them sign the Academic Planning for Study Abroad form
    4. Select and Finalize your Program in Consultation with your Lindahl Academic Center Counselor

      • Complete the Athletics Study Abroad Program Form
    5. Meet with the Scholarship Coordinator in the Compliance Office

      • Discuss athletic scholarship issues related to study abroad and obtain the corresponding signature on the Checklist (scholarship athletes only)
    6. Submit Program Application

      • Work directly with the Learning Abroad Center if you have questions about submitting the application 

     

    Special Considerations for Student-Athletes

    Timing

    • Timing of study abroad is of crucial importance to student-athletes. There are many program lengths to choose from, ranging from year-long to just two or three weeks in duration.  
    • You will need to consider various factors, including practice and competition schedules, likelihood that you will have a chance to engage in post-season competition (bowl games, Big Ten or NCAA tournaments/meets, etc.) other team commitments, off-season activities, eligibility issues, scholarship constraints, and access to conditioning facilities while abroad.
    • Speaking with your coach and Lindahl Academic Center counselor will help in determining the most appropriate time for you. See Timing by Sport guidelines below.

    Credit Arrangments

    As a student-athlete, you MUST choose a program that yields resident credits, meaning that you will earn an actual grade for the course on your University of Minnesota transcript, rather than just transfer credits.

    Eligibility

    Speak with your Lindahl Academic Center Counselor and the Compliance staff with regards to any specific eligibility issues. The NCAA has strict requirements regarding participating in outside competition; be sure to obtain all the necessary information from Compliance and your Lindahl Academic Center Counselor prior to going abroad.

    Training

    Even more so than most students, it is essential that while you are abroad you continue to maintain your physical fitness. Speak with your coach and/or trainers about developing a plan for while you’re away.

     

    Programs

    The listings below reflect institutions with well-equipped workout facilities or programs that have special topics that might be of interest to student-athletes.

    Asia and Oceania

    Australia

    University Study in Australia: University of Melbourne

    • Program Type: Host University Study
    • Program Term: fall semester, spring semester, academic year, calendar year
    • The University of Melbourne is an internationally acclaimed institution, known for academic excellence and achievement in education and research
    • Comprehensive athletic facilities: http://www.sport.unimelb.edu.au/fitnesscentres

    University Study in Australia: University of Sydney

    • Located in the vibrant capital city of Australia
    • Strong sports science program with access to a multitude of outdoor activities
    • Comprehensive athletic facilities: https://www.susf.com.au/
    • Credit-bearing internships available

    New Zealand

    University Study in New Zealand: University of Otago

    • Program Type: Host University Study
    • Program term: fall semester, spring semester, academic year, calendar year
    • The University of Otago, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the southern hemisphere, is located in Dunedin, on New Zealand's South Island.
    • Dunedin, New Zealand's "college town," is friendly and intimate with a population of 120,000 and a thriving student population. While there is a relaxed feel about the city, opportunities abound for pursuing outdoor and sporting activities
    • Courses include Exercise Testing and Prescription, Nutrition for Exercise and Sport, Sports Injuries, Sport and Exercise Psychology, Coaching 
    • Comprehensive athletic facilities: http://www.otago.ac.nz/recreation/index.html

    Europe

    France

    Sports & Culture in France

    • Program Type: Study Center
    • Program term: May term, 3 credits, 3 weeks
    • Study sports tourism, sports psychology and sports pedagogy in one of France's most sporty cities

    Ireland

    University Study in Ireland: University of Limerick

    • Program Type: Host University Study
    • Program Term: fall semester, spring semester, academic year
    • Study in Limerick, located in western Ireland on the banks of the Shannon River
    • The Physical Education and Sport Sciences (PESS) department in the University of Limerick is the principal centre in the republic for tertiary education and research in Physical Education and one of the main centres for the teaching of Sport and Exercise Sciences
    • The University offers innovative academics, state-of-the-art sports facilities, and vibrant campus life
    • Comprehensive athletic facilities: http://www.ulsport.ie/

    United Kingdom

    Study & Intern in London

    • Program Type: Study Center
    • Program Term: fall semester, spring semester, summer term
    • Offers an internship and courses in humanities and social sciences for liberal education credit
    • Earn 6 credits of professional internship placement
    • Past placements include Lansdowne Club, Wembley Hospital, Pimlico Secondary School, St.  Katherine’s Health Club 

    University Study in the United Kingdom: Northumbria University

    • Program Type: Host University Study
    • Program term: fall or spring semester, academic year
    • Physical activity and human movement courses are available in addition to courses available in a wide range of science and liberal arts areas
    • There may be prerequisites for specific courses
    • Comprehensive athletic facilities: https://northumbriasport.com/facilities
    • Wide variety of sports activities: https://northumbriasport.com/

    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.

    Timing by Sport

    The table in the following section provides some general guidelines by sport; however, it is essential to speak early with your coach and Lindahl Academic Center Counselor to determine the most appropriate times for your particular case. Note: Some of the times listed on the sheet will work only if you are able to find sufficient training facilities to train while studying abroad; consult early with your coach.

    Sport Fall Sem. Winter Break Spring Sem. May Term Summer* Spring Sr. yr.
    WOMEN'S SPORTS
    Basketball        Y M  
    Golf   Y     Y  
    Gymnastics       Y Y  
    Hockey       Y Y  
    Rowing  M M     Y  
    Soccer   M   Y Y Y
    Softball         Y  
    Swimming/Diving       Y M  
    Tennis   M   Y  
    Track & CC         Y  
    Volleyball   M   Y M Y
    MEN'S SPORTS
    Baseball   Y     Y  
    Basketball       Y M  
    Football       Y M Y
    Golf   Y     Y  
    Gymnastics       Y Y  
    Hockey       Y Y  
    Swimming/Diving       Y M  
    Tennis   M   M Y  
    Track & CC         Y  
    Wrestling       Y Y  

    Key:

    Y - Times generally work for students 

    M - Times that are less than optimal but might work after speaking with Lindahl Academic Center Counselor 

    Blank - Times that most student athletes should not consider except possibly during a redshirt year

    Footnotes:

    * For many sports summer suitability depends on length of program and which months.  Consult with your Lindahl Academic Center Counselor and coach when planning a study abroad experience.  

    ** If you plan to use your scholarship or financial aid to study abroad consult with your Lindahl Academic Center Counselor and the Scholarship Coordinator in the Compliance Office about its applicability.

    FAQs

    Will studying abroad conflict with my athletics schedule and commitments?

    • Each sport is unique. All have different schedules, season lengths, structure, etc. As a result, it is extremely important that you have clear and upfront conversations with your coaches and Lindahl Academic Center Counselor. They will be able to help you gauge whether a particular study abroad opportunity would pose any conflicts to your athletic commitments.
    • Fortunately, study abroad calendars are many and varied. Programs are offered fall and spring semester alike, as well as during winter break, May term, early summer, mid-summer, and late summer.
    • Through conversations with coaches, support staff, and the Learning Abroad Center, you should be able to identify a program that works for you. 

    I'm worried about staying in shape while I'm away. Are there programs that would have the time and resources so I could maintain my physical fitness?

    • Sure, lots of them. If this is a crucial issue for you before you commit to a particular program ask the corresponding adviser in the Learning Abroad Center to inquire about what sorts of facilities on site will be available.
    • Does the environment lend itself to jogging? Are gyms, health clubs, swimming pools, or other workout facilities available to program participants? If so, are any extra costs involved beyond the program fee?

     What if the application deadline for my program is before the date I will know whether I get into post-season competition?

    • The Learning Abroad Center will be happy to help you pick a program that might be more flexible with regard to application deadlines.
    • Each case is different; the key is go get into the Learning Abroad Center as early as possible so you can get help in your program selection and planning. You will also need to consult early with your coach, of course.

    Have other student-athletes studied abroad, and if so, what was their experience?

    A number of student-athletes have studied abroad in recent years, and all of them have described the experience as one of the most significant of their undergraduate years. One student referred to her time in Australia as the “best two months of my life! For example, you can use a short-term introductory program to get your feet wet as a freshman or sophomore, then spend a semester or year abroad, often in a different location, as a junior or senior. Or you may want to do two or three short-term programs, especially if your calendar constraints as a student-athlete make longer periods of time abroad difficult.

     

    Student Experiences

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