Overview of Study Abroad

The University of Iowa currently sends approximately 1,300 students abroad every year.

Undergraduates, comprising two-thirds of the total, often study for a summer, winter, semester, or academic year and take courses that transfer toward degree requirements, whether they be General Education Program requirements or credit toward their majors, minor, or certificates. It is also possible, of course, to earn elective credit abroad. Many semester & academic year programs entail direct enrollment at a partner university, where UI students study side-by-side with local degree-seeking students. Summer and short-term programs are often more specialized, are led by UI faculty or taught by local instructors overseas, and focus on a specific subject. Many students also study language intensively abroad, whether for a summer, a semester, or an academic year.

Graduate students often emphasize thesis or dissertation research when they go abroad, although occasionally they also enroll in course work at partner universities or take intensive language instruction. There are a limited number of graduate level exchanges with partner institutions. Some faculty-led short-term programs are designed specifically for graduate and professional students in targeted disciplines.

The University of Iowa's strategic plan for 2010-2016 calls for increasing the percentage of students who study abroad. This "high-impact" educational opportunity helps instill a sense of global citizenship among those who receive degrees from the University of Iowa, and enables our alumni to be competitive in an increasingly "flat" world.