Fulfilling Academic Requirements - International Studies Major

Few opportunities can be as beneficial to International Studies as immersion in a different culture. Study abroad can give you a perspective and experience of people and places like nothing else can as you study the complex connections between culture, politics, art, economics, and society. And as an International Studies major, you can even spend an entire year abroad without delaying your graduation plans.


Ghana

Many study abroad options are available to you.  From short-term, faculty-led programs to full-year enrollment at an international university, there are plenty of opportunities to earn credit toward your International Studies “track,” (i.e., a content area that you choose), or to fulfill other International Studies requirements.

You can also take General Education classes, explore general electives in subjects that interest you, or immerse yourself in language study and internships.

Freshmen

Your initial year at the UI might be best spent taking IS introductory and foundation courses, beginning a language, or working on General Education Program requirements.  The IS introductory and foundation courses should help you choose your direction in International Studies and guide you toward your choice of an IS “track” (i.e. a content area which you choose).  Also, the transition from high school to college is a big one.  Study abroad might be best left for your later years as a UI student.

Sophomores

This is an excellent time to complete General Education Program requirements overseas, begin or continue your language requirement, and begin working on your IS track.

Juniors

What applies to sophomores applies to juniors as well.

Seniors

IS majors who are doing a senior project or an honors thesis should plan to spend at least one semester of their senior year on campus to complete the project/thesis. The other semester might be spent abroad doing research for the project/thesis or finishing up the IS track(s).  If you are doing a senior project or honors thesis, you must complete the international research proposal course on campus and should plan ahead appropriately if you are studying abroad during your senior year.

General Education and Electives

Most study abroad locations will offer coursework that will count towards the General Education requirements of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences requires that all majors acquire either fourth-semester competency or the departmental equivalent in a world language. If you need to complete your world language requirement, you could consider studying abroad to immerse yourself in a language and complete this requirement in as little as one semester. Study Abroad approves GEP courses, so please talk to an advisor in the Study Abroad Office.

General electives, a.k.a., hours toward graduation, can also be earned overseas.  Study abroad gives you the chance to study a topic you could never study in the U.S.

187:010 Designing Your International Studies Major

This course must be completed at The University of Iowa and no later than the semester after a student declares the International Studies major.

187:020 (IS: 2000) Introductions to International Studies

This course must be completed at The University of Iowa.

Foundation Courses

These courses should be completed at the University of Iowa. It is sometimes possible to take foundation courses abroad, but the overseas course must be a direct equivalent to the UI course offered by the relevant department. (Note: Most of the courses approved for the International Studies major foundation also fulfill general education requirements.) 

Track Courses

Study abroad is an excellent way to fulfill these elements of the IS major.  Classes offered by our partner universities will provide you with a perspective on your field that is unique to the country and culture where you are studying, and that will augment the perspectives you receive in the U.S. classroom.

World Language

The International Studies major requires two semesters of world language study beyond what is required for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences general education requirement.  Study abroad programs are a great place to begin (or continue) language immersion.

Program Option A

6 s.h. of upper-level coursework in a second track. Study abroad is a great way to complete Program Option A.

Program Option B

Students complete international research to inform a senior project or honors thesis.

187:095 (IS: 3010) Creating a Proposal for International Research

This course must be completed at The University of Iowa prior to enrollment in the International Studies senior project or honors thesis. Students generally enroll in this course the semester before they complete the senior project/honors thesis; students who plan to study abroad the semester before they enroll in their senior project/honors thesis should take the project prep course before going abroad.

187:199 (IS: 4990) Senior Project or 187:198 (IS: 4991) Honors Thesis

The senior project and honors thesis are independent research experiences designed to be completed on the University of Iowa campus under the direct supervision of your faculty mentor. If you are completing a senior project or honors thesis, you might consider studying abroad in the first semester of your senior year as a way to gather data for your research project. International Studies majors who complete senior projects or honors theses usually do so during their final semester on campus. 

Program Option C

International Studies majors who choose Program Option C must complete an approved experiential learning activity, and study abroad is an approved experiential learning activity.  In addition to completing a study abroad experience, IS majors in this option complete two writing courses, and submit an essay to the International Studies Program in which they reflect upon how studying abroad affected their academic, professional and personal goals.  

Consider the possibility of studying environmental policy in China, interning for a Member of Parliament in London, or taking courses in Islamic Studies at the University of Granada, Spain, or the University of Jordan in Amman. Studying overseas lets you take classes you would probably never be able to take here at home. You may gain perspectives unimagined in the U.S. classroom.

The programs listed below are administered primarily by the University of Iowa and are either based at comprehensive international universities, or are short-term faculty-led programs. This page is arranged by Geographic Tracks and by Thematic Tracks.

While we suggest you look at these highlighted programs first, feel free to browse the programs section of the Study Abroad website, explore an online directory of study abroad programs, and consult materials in the Study Abroad Resource Room.

Study Abroad programs which may contribute to the International Studies BA:

Geographic Tracks:

African Studies, East Asian Studies, South Asian Studies,
European Studies,Russian, Eastern European & Eurasian Studies,
Latin American Studies, Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies

Thematic Tracks:

Development, Global Artistic Tradition & Change,
Global Resources & the Environment, Global Health, Human Rights, International Business, International Communication & Information, Postcolonial & Diasporic Studies

Geographic Tracks

African Studies

University of KwaZulu-Natal Exchange
The University of Iowa's Semester in South Africa is offered both during the year and the summer. The Summer Session offers special classes that provide an introduction to South Africa from a variety of academic perspectives, including political science, history, literature, theatre, art history, and ethnomusicology.

ISEP Direct at the University of Ghana
The ISEP Exchange program allows University of Iowa students a semester or a year of study in regular coursework at the University of Ghana. One of the university's objectives for its own students is to ensure that they have an understanding of world affairs, in particular of the histories, institutions and cultures of African civilizations.

Internship Program
This program allows UI students to pursue internships in a wide array of areas related to their academic and career objectives. Students are limited only by their inability to think outside the box or their reluctance to wander off the beaten track.

Recommended non-Iowa program:
CIEE Senegal

East Asian Studies

Asia Study Tour

The Nanzan Exchange
This reciprocal exchange program between the University of Iowa and Nanzan University in Nagoya allows up to four UI students to undertake a year of study at Nanzan's Center for Japanese Studies. Nanzan University is a private university with over 5,000 students drawn primarily from Aichi prefecture and the surrounding area. It has a reputation as one of the leading universities in the Nagoya region, and is particularly strong in language education, international studies, and economics.

CIEE China

  • CIEE China Program at Peking University
    A semester or year program of intensive Mandarin language training in the capital of the world’s most populous nation, a city that was the home and showcase of succeeding dynasties throughout the centuries.
  • CIEE Nanjing Program
    A semester or year program offering intensive Chinese language and a Contemporary Chinese Studies seminar in a city of manageable size and great tradition that has been the country’s capital intermittently in ancient and in more recent times. Of particular appeal to students interested in oral history or in women’s studies. Graduate students accepted.
  • CIEE China Program at East China Normal University, Shanghai
    A semester program for students with little background in Chinese Studies that provides an introduction to modern China through a combination of language study and English-taught seminars.

Ewha University coed international division semester program

Seoul Women’s University summer program

ISEP Phillipines

Recommended non-Iowa programs:
CIEE Thailand, CIEE Viet Nam

South Asian Studies

Semester in South India
Located in Mysore, a lovely mid-sized city in the southern state of Karnataka, the University of Iowa’s Semester in South India program allows students to explore India’s rich classical heritage and the contemporary forces that are rapidly reshaping this powerful nation.

European Studies

Denmark

Aalborg Exchange
In addition to Communication Studies, this is an excellent option for majors in Political Science (European Union interest) and International Studies (internships with international NGOs).

Germany

Academic Year in Freiburg
This consortial program with the Universities of Wisconsin-Madison, Michigan and Michigan State offers students the opportunity to improve fluency in the German language while taking a blend of program classes and regular German university classes.

University of Dortmund Exchange
The University of Dortmund exchange offers UI students a unique blend of courses that combine language and culture courses with academic work in their major and minor subjects.

France

CIEE Paris Contemporary French Studies Program
The Contemporary French Studies Program at the Paris Center for Critical Studies combines an interdisciplinary academic program on contemporary French society and culture with the oportunity for students at intermediate level French to quickly develop language skills.

Iowa Regents Summer Program in Lyon
This is a seven-week program of intensive study in French. Along with the focus on reading, writing, listening, and speaking, major program objectives also include acquiring general knowledge of French history and contemporary culture as well as building practical skills for traveling and living overseas.

Greece

American College of Thessaloniki
This semester or academic year program offers students the opportunity to enroll in a courses in Greek language, Business and Technology (Computer Science, & CMIS) and Arts and Sciences (English, History & International Relations, Psychology, Philosophy and Social Sciences) while studying at the American College of Thessaloniki. The campus primarily hosts Greek students as well as international students from other European countries.

Ireland

Iowa Regents Semester in Cork
This semester or academic year program offers students the opportunity to enroll in a wide range of courses in a variety of disciplines at the University College Cork, one of the oldest universities in Ireland. Students are fully integrated academically and socially with their Irish peers.

Netherlands

ISEP Netherlands

Spain

CIEE Alicante Summer Program
This semester or academic year program helps solidify the informal and academic language skills of advanced students of Spanish and to develop an appreciation and understanding of issues relevant to contemporary Spain and its people.

CIEE Language in Context Program in Alicante
The goal of this program is to provide students with 0-1 semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent) with a solid foundation in the Spanish language. The program allows participants to improve language skills while pursuing studies focusing on Spain and Europe through topics such as history, art history, political science, and international business.

CIEE Language and Culture Program in Alicante
Designed for students with at least 2 and not more than 3 semesters of Spanish (or equivalent), this semester or academic year program helps students make rapid progress in the language as they take area studies courses related to Europe and Spain.

CIEE Language and Society Program in Seville
This one-semester program (fall or spring) is designed for intermediate-level students of Spanish interested in rapidly improving their language skills and in acquiring an understanding of the Spanish culture and its artistic, literary, historical or political traditions.

United Kingdom

University of Hull Exchange
Direct enrollment at Hull University is particularly suited to students prepared to take upper-level course work in both their major and/or a secondary field of interest.

Iowa Regents Semester in Wales
The Regents Semester in Wales offers undergraduate students an opportunity to study for a semester at a British university. Students are integrated academically and socially with their British peers at the University of Wales-Swansea. The program begins with a three-week course on British life and politics, after which students enroll in regular courses offered by the university.

Semester at Queen’s University Belfast
The University of Iowa's fall/spring semester program at The Queen's University of Belfast (QUB) provides a unique opportunity for students to experience firsthand Northern Ireland's rich historical and cultural traditions and spectacular coasts, mountains and countryside--as well as its tumultuous civil and political climate.

Iowa Regents Semester in Scotland
This semester or academic year program offers undergraduates the opportunity to enroll in a wide range of courses in a variety of disciplines at the University of Edinburgh, one of the finest universities in the United Kingdom in one of Europe's most exciting cultural centers. Students are fully integrated academically and socially with their Scottish peers.

The University of Edinburgh is a venerable institution -- founded in the 1850s -- and has forged a special position in academia. Its national and international reputation is excellent, and it has a large, diverse, and multinational student body. It is Scotland's leading research university and is ranked 5th overall out of 115 U.K. institutions.

Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

ACTR Language and Area Studies Program
This semester or academic year program, organized by the American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR), is designed especially for students with three or more years of college Russian who want to improve Russian language skills while experiencing the culture.

ISEP Finland

ISEP Hungary

Corvinus University exchange, Hungary

Recommended non-Iowa program:
USAC Eastern European Studies in the Czech Republic

Latin American Studies

ISEP Costa Rica

CIEE Chile, Argentina

Brazil Language & Culture Summer Program
This six-week-summer program provides undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to learn the language, culture and history of Brazil. It offers courses comprising beginning, intermediate, and advanced Portuguese language and Brazilian culture. It is designed to help the students immerse in the experience of learning Portuguese, or acquiring fluency in it, while experiencing the rich and varied historical and cultural landscape of Bahia.

Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies

Recommended non-Iowa programs:

Thematic Tracks

Development

University of KwaZulu-Natal Exchange
The University of Iowa's Semester in South Africa is offered both during the year and the summer. The Summer Session offers special classes that provide an introduction to South Africa from a variety of academic perspectives, including political science, history, literature, theatre, art history, and ethnomusicology.

ISEP Ghana
The ISEP Exchange program allows University of Iowa students a semester or a year of study in regular coursework at the University of Ghana. One of the university's objectives for its own students is to ensure that they have an understanding of world affairs, in particular of the histories, institutions and cultures of African civilizations.

Semester in South India
Located in Mysore, a lovely mid-sized city in the southern state of Karnataka, the University of Iowa’s Semester in South India program allows students to explore India’s rich classical heritage and the contemporary forces that are rapidly reshaping this powerful nation.

ISEP Costa Rica

Recommended non-Iowa program:
Minnesota Studies in International Development

Global Artistic Tradition & Change

ISEP Ghana
The ISEP Exchange program allows University of Iowa students a semester or a year of study in regular coursework at the University of Ghana. One of the university's objectives for its own students is to ensure that they have an understanding of world affairs, in particular of the histories, institutions and cultures of African civilizations.

Recommended non-Iowa program:
Drew University Ivory Coast

Global Resources and the Environment

Iowa Regents Semester in Cork
This semester or academic year program offers students the opportunity to enroll in a wide range of courses in a variety of disciplines at the University College Cork, one of the oldest universities in Ireland. Students are fully integrated academically and socially with their Irish peers.

Lancaster University Exchange
Direct enrollment at the University of Lancaster in Egland is particularly suited to students prepared to take upper-level course work in both their major and/or a secondary field of interest.

USAC Costa Rica
Three USAC programs in Heredia, Puntarenas and San Ramon allow students to experience the culture and physical beauty of Costa Rica through study in specially designed courses combined with family home stay and some program travel. Students will study the Spanish language and the complexities of Chilean and contemporary Latin American societies through a wide selection of academic courses, as well as through personal interaction with the host culture.

Environment, Development and Culture in Mexico

Recommended non-Iowa programs:
CIEE Monteverde Tropical Ecology and Conservation Program

SIT

Global Health

Latin American Health, Nutrition and Environmental Issues Program
The Dominican Republic is an excellent site for a study abroad program on Latin American health, nutrition, and related environmental and development issues. The country, a microcosm of Latin America and the Caribbean, faces health and nutrition problems common to the entire region. Program participants learn firsthand about these problems and their proposed solutions.

Regents Semester in Australia
Both The University of Newcastle and the University of Tasmania enjoy reputations nationally and internationally for teaching and research excellence. Both offer Iowa students a broad array of courses in the arts and humanities, sciences, social sciences, business, architecture and engineering.

Iowa Regents Semester in Wales
The Regents Semester in Wales offers undergraduate students an opportunity to study for a semester at a British university. Students are integrated academically and socially with their British peers at the University of Wales-Swansea. The program begins with a three-week course on British life and politics, after which students enroll in regular courses offered by the university.

Exploring Healthcare in the Land of Contrasts - Iceland
This cross-cultural education opportunity is designed but not limited to providing students with the opportunity to compare and contrast the disciplines and professional practices of the health sciences, support biological and social sciences, engineering, business, and law and the healthcare system and healthcare practices in Iceland and the United States, and to provide an opportunity for students to experience living in this uniquely Nordic culture.

Human Rights

Semester at Queen’s University Belfast
The University of Iowa's fall/spring semester program at The Queen's University of Belfast (QUB) provides a unique opportunity for students to experience firsthand Northern Ireland's rich historical and cultural traditions and spectacular coasts, mountains and countryside--as well as its tumultuous civil and political climate.

Recommended non-Iowa program:
University of Essex

International Business

Africa

University of KwaZulu-Natal Exchange
The University of Iowa's Semester in South Africa is offered both during the year and the summer. The Summer Session offers special classes that provide an introduction to South Africa from a variety of academic perspectives, including political science, history, literature, theatre, art history, and ethnomusicology.

Internship Program
This program allows UI students to pursue internships in a wide array of areas related to their academic and career objectives. Students are limited only by their inability to think outside the box or their reluctance to wander off the beaten track.

Australia

Regents Semester in Australia
Both The University of Newcastle and the University of Tasmania enjoy reputations nationally and internationally for teaching and research excellence. Both offer Iowa students a broad array of courses in the arts and humanities, sciences, social sciences, business, architecture and engineering.

Austria

Vienna University Business Exchange
UI students are able to take advantage of exceptional instruction in the field of business and commerce at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien - WU). The WU offers a wide range of Courses in English to students with little or no knowledge of German. Alternatively, for those with a command of the German language, WU offers more than 2000 courses.

France

The Amiens Sup de Co Business Exchange
A semester or year study in France’s network of prestigious Business schools is available through a reciprocal exchange program with the École Supérieure de Commerce in Amiens, in northern France. Ideal for students in Marketing or the International Business Certificate. Open to MBA students.

HEC Business Exchange
The University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business offers an exchange agreement with HEC School of Management that provides UI Business Honors (or Honors-eligible) juniors and seniors an excellent opportunity to spend one semester at one of France's top Business education institutions.

Germany

European Business School
The European Business School (ebs), founded in 1971, is the oldest private business school with university status in Germany. The study programs combine solid academic foundations with an international dimension.

Greece

American College of Thessaloniki
This semester or academic year program offers students the opportunity to enroll in a courses in Greek language, Business and Technology (Computer Science, & CMIS) and Arts and Sciences (English, History & International Relations, Psychology, Philosophy and Social Sciences) while studying at the American College of Thessaloniki. The campus primarily hosts Greek students as well as international students from other European countries.

Hungary

Corvinus University Exchange
Coursework in English through the International Studies Center of the Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration in Budapest, Hungary, with the opportunity for intensive study of the Hungarian language. The International Studies Center features concentrations in international economics and business administration. Corvinus University is one of the leading centers of business studies in central Europe.

Ireland

Iowa Regents Semester in Cork
This semester or academic year program offers students the opportunity to enroll in a wide range of courses in a variety of disciplines at the University College Cork, one of the oldest universities in Ireland. Students are fully integrated academically and socially with their Irish peers.

Italy

USAC Business, Architecture and Italian Studies in Turin
The program offers a high-quality educational experience in three diverse academic areas: business, architecture and Italian studies. A 3 sh internship is also available.

Mexico

Universidad de las Americas Puebla Exchange

Netherlands

Tilburg University Business Exchange
The exchange between the UI and Tilburg University in the Netherlands offers English-language courses in business administration (accounting, applied microeconomics, finance, production management, international marketing, and electronic commerce) as well as other subjects.

Spain

USAC International Business, Spanish, and Cultural Studies in Bilbao 
(coursework & internship)

CIEE Language in Context Program in Alicante
The goal of this program is to provide students with 0-1 semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent) with a solid foundation in the Spanish language. The program allows participants to improve language skills while pursuing studies focusing on Spain and Europe through topics such as history, art history, political science, and international business.

CIEE Language and Culture Program in Alicante
Designed for students with at least 2 and not more than 3 semesters of Spanish (or equivalent), this semester or academic year program helps students make rapid progress in the language as they take area studies courses related to Europe and Spain.

CIEE Language and Society Program in Seville
This one-semester program (fall or spring) is designed for intermediate-level students of Spanish interested in rapidly improving their language skills and in acquiring an understanding of the Spanish culture and its artistic, literary, historical or political traditions.

United Kingdom

Iowa Regents Semester in Wales
The Regents Semester in Wales offers undergraduate students an opportunity to study for a semester at a British university. Students are integrated academically and socially with their British peers at the University of Wales-Swansea. The program begins with a three-week course on British life and politics, after which students enroll in regular courses offered by the university.

International Communication & Information

Aalborg Exchange
Courses in all areas of communication - language, cross-cultural studies, media production, and international business concerns -are represented in Aalborg University programs. This is an excellent option for majors in International Studies (internships with international NGOs).

Journalism Exchange

Iowa Regents Semester in Wales
The Regents Semester in Wales offers undergraduate students an opportunity to study for a semester at a British university. Students are integrated academically and socially with their British peers at the University of Wales-Swansea. The program begins with a three-week course on British life and politics, after which students enroll in regular courses offered by the university.

Postcolonial and Diasporic Studies

Semester at Queen’s University Belfast
The University of Iowa's fall/spring semester program at The Queen's University of Belfast (QUB) provides a unique opportunity for students to experience firsthand Northern Ireland's rich historical and cultural traditions and spectacular coasts, mountains and countryside--as well as its tumultuous civil and political climate.

Iowa Regents Semester in Cork
This semester or academic year program offers students the opportunity to enroll in a wide range of courses in a variety of disciplines at the University College Cork, one of the oldest universities in Ireland. Students are fully integrated academically and socially with their Irish peers.

ISEP Ulster

Recommended non-Iowa program:
University for Peace