Learning Abroad Center

Learning Abroad Resources for Students Exploring Majors

"As an exploring student, it is important to try out different experiences and reflect on what you enjoy doing. Studying abroad is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture and location. During this experience, you can study a variety of topics while also learning about yourself as you navigate using skills such as communication, problem-solving, and working with others."

— Lucy Reile, Senior Academic and Career Coach


The Learning Abroad Center in 230 Heller Hall (map) is the University of Minnesota’s comprehensive resource for study, community engagement, work, intern, volunteer, and travel experiences worldwide. A variety of program options—more than 180 programs in 50 countries—have been developed to address the diverse needs of students.

Students who are undecided and in the process of exploring majors can still go abroad with careful planning. As an exploring student, learning abroad programs can provide you with an opportunity to explore different areas of study, as well as learn more about your own interests and skills. Learning abroad can fit 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. 

Academic Planning

Best Time to Go Abroad

Discuss your learning abroad and potential major interests with your academic adviser to determine a term abroad that works with your schedule and any majors you are considering.

Short term programs over winter break, spring break, or May session can be a great way to explore a study abroad experience and fit it into your academic plan without interrupting course sequencing during the academic year.

Fulfill Intended Major Requirements 

Students of any major (including exploring students) can participate in our programs, but some programs are a better fit with certain majors. 

Academic departments and the Learning Abroad Center collaborated to create Major Advising Pages to identify appropriate international opportunities for your intended major. They help identify appropriate timing, course selection, and other considerations. If you are strongly leaning toward a particular major, check out the MAP for that program.

Fulfill Liberal Education Requirements

  • If you still have Liberal Education requirements remaining, consider completing them through a learning abroad experience.
  • Consult the Learning Abroad Center’s U Credit Abroad Search to find courses that have been approved for Liberal Education requirements.

Fulfill Language Requirements

If you are planning to transfer into a CLA major, consult with a current adviser about the second language requirement. Language intensive programs offer the opportunity to earn language credit abroad, often in a shorter amount of time than taking a language course on campus. 

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.