After ending international travel at the onset of the pandemic and bringing all university travelers safely home, 2021 was an especially rewarding year as Study Abroad sent student travelers out into the world again. During Fall 2021, over 60 students—including undergraduates—were were approved to study or participate in internships or research on carefully selected programs in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

International Programs worked tirelessly to safeguard the well-being of faculty, staff, and students abroad, following the guidance of the Board of Regents, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of State, and the state of Iowa. By increasing the number of staff dedicated to health and safety oversight and working collaboratively with our partners on and off campus, we found innovative ways for our students to safely engage in international education and navigate a complex, global patchwork of laws and entry requirements related to the pandemic.

Virtual faculty-led courses and virtual internships continue to attract students, making international engagement opportunities accessible to students who are not ready to travel just yet, or those who may not have considered pursuing a global learning experience previously. Twelve students participated in virtual global internships and 165 participated in virtual coursework during 2021.

$ 100,130

The amount awarded to students for study abroad experiences, travel or virtual, in 2020-21

26 %

The more likely the class of 2021 undergraduates who studied abroad were to graduate in 4 years than those who did not study abroad

Kristin Wirtz in New Zealand wearing hawkeye shirt
“During my last semester at Iowa, I was lucky enough to get to complete the final portion of my student teaching experience abroad, in New Zealand. I stayed for an extra week after my coursework was completed to explore my host country. This picture was snapped on what would have been my commencement day at the University. Instead of donning a cap and gown, I bundled up in a warm parka and crampons and took a hiking tour of Franz Josef glacier!”
UI alumna Kristin Wirtz, elementary education, BA