The University of Iowa



Visiting the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid

As the business environment becomes increasingly global, study abroad is an excellent way to add perspective to your business education. Currently, both customers and businesses are expanding into a global and international environment, and there is much to be gained from understanding how different cultural values, political and legal systems, and economic conditions shape a country’s economy and financial decisions, affect market entry strategies and marketing mix decisions, and generate a unique business culture and organizational structure. Study abroad is one very exciting way to begin to discover new approaches to the study of business while enhancing your professional and personal skills.

From short-term, winter break programs to full-year enrollment at a foreign university, there are plenty of opportunities to complete prerequisites, fulfill business core requirements, earn major credit, take General Education classes, or explore electives. Other possibilities include language study or undertaking an international internship in a foreign organization. Whatever you do, you will gain insight into the ways that different cultures and legal systems impact the way business is conducted around the world.



During your first year at the University of Iowa, you will begin taking general education classes and business pre-requisites. The transition from high school to college is a big one. Study abroad should be left for the future, but could come as early as the summer between your first and second year.


Sophomore year can be an excellent time for study abroad, as you have many course options available. You will continue to take general education classes, business pre-requisite and core classes, or possibly language classes. These course categories can all be found abroad.


Junior year can often be a good fit for study abroad. You can take general education classes, business core classes, major-level classes, or some non-business elective hours. With careful planning, a study abroad during junior year is possible. Some business majors have more coursework available abroad than others do. It is important to work with your academic advisor on your specific plan.


It is not too late to study abroad in your senior year. With careful planning, it is possible. It is important to work with your academic advisor to reserve classes that are available abroad. This may include business core classes, major-level classes, or electives.


Summer is an opportunity to take one or two classes in your major, business core, minor, or certificate program, or as electives. International internships are also available in the summer.

Hong Kong skyline


"Involvement in these types of trips and activities may spark an undergraduate’s interest in earning an International Business Certificate, which provides business and liberal arts students with the opportunity to add an international dimension to their degrees... Students will find that their global education does not end once they earn a degree. Many companies are developing in-house programming to further educate employees."

  • "A World of Possibilities"Business at Iowa Winter 2007-2008

Selecting Courses

General Education and Electives

Most study abroad locations offer course work that will count towards Natural Sciences, Historical Perspectives, International and Global Issues, Values and Culture/Diversity and Inclusion, and/or Social Sciences General Education Program requirements.  General Education courses taken overseas can be approved by Study Abroad.  

Prerequisites for Admission to the College of Business

Prerequisite courses may be taken on selected study abroad programs. The Undergraduate Program Office must review and approve the course you propose to take before the overseas class can substitute for the UI course. 

Taylor Donavan in Copenhagen

Business Core Requirements

Many business core courses can be taken through a study abroad program.  Again, the Undergraduate Program Office must examine and approve the overseas course you propose to substitute for the on-campus one before the requirement can be met.

A few things to keep in mind: MSCI:2800 Business Analytics, MSCI:3005 Information Systems, and BUS:3000 Business Communication and Protocol may be difficult to find and transfer from abroad. 

Business Major Requirements and Electives

For many business majors, required courses can be taken abroad. Departments will review study abroad coursework against the on-campus course criteria and determine whether it is approved as an equivalent. The College of Business requires that two-thirds of your required major courses be completed in residence at the University of Iowa or on study abroad programs offering resident credit. Discuss these policies and your plans with your academic advisor.

Many of the required non-business electives can be taken abroad with prior approval by Tippie College of Business. These courses in conjunction with the required courses are subject to the two-thirds residency requirement mentioned above.

Earning Credit

Study Abroad Course Approvals

It is important to determine what coursework you will be taking abroad, and how it is evaluated by the University of Iowa. The College of Business uses the Transfer Institution Search feature on MyUI as a database of coursework that has been approved, both domestically and internationally. Using this database, you can search by program and location to see what has previously been evaluated. Using this database will help you determine which locations/universities might be appropriate places for you to study, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

First, not every class offered at foreign universities has been evaluated yet, only those already taken by UI students who have studied abroad. If you spot a class offered at a foreign university that is not already included in the MyUI Transfer Institution Search Database, you can ask to have it evaluated for transfer credit. College of Business classes or International Business Certificate classes can be submitted here.

Secondly, if a class you are interested in taking is approved in the database, you must check the foreign university’s or program provider's website to determine whether or not the class will be offered during the time you propose to study abroad. If you need help with this, visit with an advisor in the Study Abroad office.

The Tippie College of Business has set up the UPO Study Abroad Equivalencies Database to help Business majors find transferable courses abroad. It lists classes at universities around the world that have already been evaluated for UI Tippie College credit. You can search by location or by UI course number. 

Stephen Estelle in Sydney, Australia 

Using this database will help you determine which locations/universities might be appropriate places for you to study, but two words of caution are in order:

First, not every class offered at foreign universities has been evaluated yet, only those already taken by UI students who have studied abroad. If you spot a class offered at a foreign university that is not already included in the UPO Study Abroad Equivalencies Database, you can ask to have it evaluated for transfer credit. 

Secondly, if a class you are interested in taking is pre-approved in the database, you must check the foreign university’s web site to determine whether or not the class will be offered during the time you propose to study abroad. 

If you need help with this, visit with an advisor in the Study Abroad office.

To succeed in an increasingly diverse and interdependent business environment, business and community leaders must possess cultural competency. Tippie College of Business students are encouraged to develop multicultural skills through study abroad and advanced foreign language study. Consider the possibility of studying marketing in Thailand, or economics and development issues in Ghana. Studying overseas lets you take classes you would probably never be able to take here at home, and you may gain perspectives that are unimaginable in the U.S. classroom.

“On any given day last year, Tippie College of Business students were managing accounts in a London advertising agency, meeting with corporate executives in Greece, or immersing themselves in the emerging markets of mainland China.”

  • "A World of Possibilities” Business at Iowa Winter

The University of Iowa administers a large number of study abroad programs, and programs offered by other U.S. colleges and universities are also available to University of Iowa students. The Tippie College of Business has worked closely with Study Abroad to suggest some programs that fit different Business majors/minors particularly well. These programs may include General Education options, prerequisites for admission to the Tippie College of Business, business core requirements, major requirements, non-business electives, and intensive foreign language study. Consider your academic needs and your academic goals at the time you wish to study abroad. Use this information sheet, talk with your academic advisor, and work with an advisor in the Study Abroad office. You’ll find a program that fits your goals.

The programs listed below were chosen because they offer an array of issues in different business areas, strong basic Business courses, unique cultural experiences, or specialized internship options. While we suggest you look at these highlighted programs first, feel free to browse the programs section of the Study Abroad website and consult materials in the Study Abroad Resource Room.

Tippie College Programs

Semester and Year-Long Programs

Vienna, Austria


Vienna Exchange Program
UI students are able to take advantage of exceptional instruction in the field of business and commerce at Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (also known as 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 2,000 courses.


American College of Thessaloniki
The American College of Thessaloniki (ACT) is an independent, not-for-profit, U.S. accredited liberal arts college offering a number of academic disciplines, including Business Administration, Greek Civilization, English Literature, History and International Relations, and Psychology.



Participants in this program (located in Paderno del Grappa, Italy) take courses emphasizing current international events in the fields of business, economics, journalism, communication studies, and/or engineering. Semester participants take 12-18 credits and Summer Session students receive 6 credits. All faculty and students are drawn from American universities, and all courses are taught in English. Information about current course offerings is available on the CIMBA website.


Olympus, Greece
Stephanie Yousef at the top of Mt. Olympus, Greece

Tilburg University 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. The exchange is suitable for upper-level Business majors and students pursuing an International Business Certificate.


CIEE Barcelona Business and Culture 
The Business and Culture program aims to help students develop competency in the Spanish language while studying Spanish culture and issues related to business in Spain and the European Union. Students begin or continue their Spanish language study while taking academic content courses in English or Spanish. 


CIEE Palma de Mallorca Business and Tourism
The Business and Tourism program in Palma de Mallorca is designed for students with academic interest in studying business, tourism, and/or hospitality alongside Spanish students in a direct enrollment environment. This program will give students a global perspective on issues related to business and tourism and help them develop management skills for future leadership. 

Summer and Short-Term Programs

Business and Culture in China 
May Session in China: Beijing and Shanghai
Students will explore the business and cultural environment of China during a two-week study program in China in May. Topics may include: Chinese business culture and relationships, local companies going global, business strategies of multinational companies in the Chinese market, US-China trade relations, entrepreneurship, and many others. Students will receive 3 s.h. worth of credit. 

International Business in Italy
Immerse yourself in Northern Italy over winter break and gain a unique firsthand perspective of the business decisions facing leaders in the Eurozone today. Dive deeper into the economics, finances, and geopolitics that impact not just the EU, but the U.K., the U.S., and the entire world through company visits, guest speakers, and cultural activities.

International Business in Sydney
This 11-day program provides students with a deeper understanding of international business by focusing on global business in the fast-growing, dynamic Asia Pacific region. The course includes company presentations, tours, cultural activities, and a course led by an instructor from the University of Technology, Sydney. The course will count for International Marketing or an International and Global Issues general education requirement for Tippie students.

London Winter Program
During this two-week program, students have the choice to study international business in one of two courses offered. The courses are taught by Tippie College of Business faculty and each course is three semester hours. Activities related to the courses, as well as company visits, are a central component of the program.

General Study Abroad Programs Offering Business Courses


TEAN Australia: University of New South Wales (UNSW)
Designed for all students, this semester, academic-year or calendar-year program allows students to take courses in a variety of areas related to their field of study at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. Potential course offerings include classes in business, communications, health science, humanities, engineering and much more. The University of New South Wales is one of the only Australian universities that offers a similar academic year to our own, allowing students to enroll in a study abroad program in January or September. Fall, Spring, Academic Year, and Calendar Year options.


USAC Business, Architecture and Italian Studies in Torino
Italian Studies Program, Turin, Italy: Offered during the fall or spring semester or for an academic year, as well as an intensive summer session at the University of Turin's Scuola di Amministrazione Aziendale, this program's curriculum is designed to address core degree requirements while providing a complement of courses with an international dimension.


CIEE Business and Society Program in Seville
This fall or spring semester program offers juniors and seniors an opportunity to examine Spanish business management and economics in their political and socio-cultural context. The academic program combines business, economics, and language coursework with visits to local businesses and industries. Informal internships are an option for participants with the requisite language proficiency and relevant skills.

USAC International Business, Spanish, and Cultural Studies in Bilbao
The USAC program in Bilbao offers courses at every level of Spanish language study. Alternatively, students can take less language and choose from several business courses taught in English to fill out their semester. Business electives have included: Business Strategy, Corporate Finance, Economic and Political Institutions of the European Union, Global Economics, International Management, and Marketing Principles. Internship placements at libraries, small businesses, schools, or service organizations can be arranged for students with an advanced language level in Bilbao. These practices are unpaid, but convey elective academic credit.

United Kingdom

Hawkeye pride in Edinburgh, Scotland

Iowa Regents Semester in Wales
Direct enrollment at University Wales-Swansea. The European Business Management School offers a wide variety of courses with direct applicability toward UI Business majors and the International Business Certificate.

University of Strathclyde Exchange 
Direct enrollment at the University of Strathclyde. Strathclyde's Business School offers students a wide variety of courses that can apply to UI Business majors.