You will have more choices and more flexibility if you integrate a study abroad experience into your academic planning and advising from the moment you arrive on campus. At a minimum, try to allow 6 – 9 months before you intend to go overseas to research and select your program.
The Study Abroad website contains descriptions of over 150 study abroad programs coordinated or sponsored by the UI. Our Resource Room contains printed information about these programs and about hundreds of others the world over, offered by other U.S. colleges and universities as well as foreign universities. Friendly peer advisors are ready to help you understand how to use the materials, and can give you some advice to get you started. Once you have spent a little time researching possibilities, you can schedule an appointment to meet with a member of the professional advising staff to go into specifics about study abroad options.
Visiting the Resource Room is one of the first steps you need to take in your search for a study abroad program. Here we have shelves of information on studying abroad, internships, work and volunteer programs abroad. We also have computers that are available to look up webpages and/or email other universities' programs.
The resource room is located at 1111 University Capitol Centre and is open Monday-Friday from 8 - 5. No appointments are necessary.
Tel. (319) 335-0353
In the Study Abroad office, friendly peer advisers (returned study abroad students) are ready to help you understand how to use the materials and to give you some advice to get you started. You can ask them questions about specific programs and travel, as well as any other general questions you might have about the study abroad experience. Peer advisers are in the office to help you from 9 - 5, Monday through Friday. No appointments are necessary. To contact the peer advisers, please feel free to e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Study Abroad Website
Be sure to search study abroad programs on our website, which includes both UI-sponsored programs and programs offered outside of the University. There are literally thousands of options available to you.
Major Advising Pages
Also check out our new Major Advising Pages (MAPs). The MAPs provide information about how best to earn credit toward your major while you study abroad. Not every major has a MAP yet, but several do. If your major is not yet listed, contact the Study Abroad office and visit the Resource Room for more information.
IIE Passport is an on-line database of study abroad programs offered by U.S. colleges and universities as well as foreign universities. You can use the search engine to find study abroad programs in your major field and in the location you would like to study. Printed directories of IIE Passport also are available for browsing in our Resource Room.
Review Your Degree Evaluation
The best place to start your planning is your degree evaluation, available on ISIS. You have to know where you stand in order to decide where to go next. Study Abroad produces an Academic Credits Worksheet that can help you with this process.
- What requirements for you major(s) have you already completed?
- Do you still have General Education Requirements to complete? What about elective credit?
- What requirements will be finished by the time you study abroad?
- Are there major courses that you must complete while you are overseas in order to graduate on time?
A good way to approach this exercise is to draw up academic plans for the next two semesters, listing the classes you would be taking here in Iowa City if you were not going to study abroad. Then, figure out how much “wiggle room” you have: are certain classes in your academic plan pre-requisites for classes you have to take later, or can you substitute some classes here and there?
Generally speaking, the longer you stay abroad, the more you will learn – about yourself, about the country where you are living, about your academic field – but for academic and financial reasons, not everyone is able to devote a semester or academic year to overseas study. If a semester or year isn’t possible for you, consider a summer program or internship.
Once you have determined which classes must be completed while abroad, you are ready to begin searching for a program that meets your academic and personal needs. There are three excellent resources to help you do that.
What Do I Do Next?
Now that you've done your preliminary research, you probably have a good idea about where you stand academically, where you would like to go, and what you would like to accomplish while abroad.
At this point you need to make an appointment with a study abroad adviser.