Majoring in English facilitates an understanding of the complex connections between language and society, culture, history, and art. As for studying abroad, few educational experiences are more powerful than a first-hand encounter with a different culture and the exploration of the artistic, historical, and social elements within that culture.

Study abroad is an exciting way to discover unique approaches to the study of literature while enhancing your professional and personal skills. Through study abroad, you can experience first-hand the cultures that create certain literature and gain a new perspective on the world’s use of language.

As an English major, many study abroad options are available for you. From short-term, faculty-led programs to full-year enrollment at a foreign university, there are plenty of opportunities to earn credit toward emphasis areas and historical period requirements.

You can also fulfill English elective requirements, take General Education classes, or explore general electives in subjects that interest you. Other exciting opportunities include language study and internships.


Your initial year at the University of Iowa might be best spent taking the English Department foundation course, beginning a language, or working on General Education Program requirements. Also, the transition from high school to college is a big one. Study abroad might be best left for a little later, but can be done as early as the summer between your first and second year.

Sophomores & Juniors

This is an excellent time to complete General Education Program requirements overseas, begin or continue your language requirement, or begin working on your area/period English requirements—not to mention your English electives.


This is a good time to finish up any outstanding area or period requirements and to complete English electives.

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 foreign language. If you need to complete your foreign language requirement, you could consider studying abroad to immerse yourself in a language and complete this requirement in as little as one semester.

Taking elective courses abroad is exciting because you have the chance to explore a topic you could never study in the U.S. Study Abroad is responsible for approving GEP courses, so please talk to your study abroad advisor to learn more.

English Major Requirements and Electives

Study abroad is an excellent way to fulfill these elements of the English major. Classes offered by our partner universities will provide you with a perspective 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. Take a look at the requirements for the major and consider classes you would find interesting to take abroad

The foundation course, ENGL:2010 Foundations of the English Major, should be met at the University of Iowa, generally during your first year as an English major. It is not possible to take this class abroad, so it should be completed as early as possible.

According to Robyn Schiff, director of undergraduate creative writing, there is no downside to a study abroad experience. Whether you are studying poetry, fiction, essays, playwriting, or translation, students in the Creative Writing Track will find an abroad experience enriching to both their personal and academic life. Study abroad provides students with the opportunity to write and study writing in a setting that inspires them to engage with language in a whole new way. Study abroad combines the development of one’s own creativity with an expanded critical awareness of literature’s inherently global context and the chance to participate in one of the many thriving communities of writers that exist all over the world.

You can start your search with the recommended programs below, but feel free to browse our program database for other possibilities. The specific programs recommended below may change, so check with your major advisor and Study Abroad for the latest updates.

All students who study abroad must be in good academic and disciplinary standing. Each program listed has coursework taught in English unless otherwise stated. In addition, each program has specific eligibility requirements that may include GPA, prerequisites, and/or class standing. For more information about the program, click on the button below the program description.



Irish Writing Program

Through the Irish Writing Program, students spend the summer in the heart of Dublin studying creative writing and English literature in courses led by a UI faculty member in partnership with Irish faculty. It is a rigorous creative writing program requiring some talent but, most importantly, commitment and discipline. Its goal is to help aspiring writers become better at their craft. Courses can be applied to English and Creative Writing major requirements. Courses include Dublin Writing Workshop and Literature and Culture of the 20th Century.

IES Dublin: Dublin Writers Program
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

When participating in the IES Dublin: Dublin Writers program, UI students live and study in Dublin. English and creative writing majors can complete major and general education requirements through intensive coursework and workshops, and participate in a credit-bearing internship, to gain real-world experience in their field of study. The program includes excursions around Ireland, strong student support services, and classes taught in a familiar setting with other study abroad students. Courses include Internship in English Literature or Creative Writing; Irish Playwriting: A Creative Introduction; The Shadows We Cast: Writing the Irish Short Story; and Write Here, Write Now: An Introduction to Immersion Writing.

United Kingdom

Iowa at Oxford: Mansfield College
Academic Year

The Iowa at Oxford: Mansfield College program gives UI students the opportunity to enroll at Mansfield College at the University of Oxford, which is among the top five universities in the world. Students live in student housing while studying with their local peers through Oxford’s unique tutorial system. Oxford’s tutorials in English literature allow students to explore all aspects of English literature from its origins in Middle English to modern day through intensive independent study guided by Oxford’s world-class faculty. Courses include various tutorials spanning English literature from 650 to present day; courses about specific authors including Beowulf Poet, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Spenser, Milton, Jane Austen, Byron, Tennyson, Dickens, Wilde, and many others; and special topics including Writing Feminisms/Feminist Writing, The Ode from Wordsworth to Hopkins, Children's Literature, Comparative Literature, Fantasy and Myth, Hit & Myth: Reinventing the Medieval for the Modern Age, The Literary Essay, and Writing War.

University of Kent Exchange
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

The University of Kent Exchange program allows UI students to enroll at the University of Kent, living and studying on campus with local students. Kent’s English, American, and Post-Colonial Literatures department is rated among the top 20% in the United Kingdom. English majors can choose from a wide variety of courses at all levels. The University of Kent’s selection of upper-level courses is particularly strong. Courses include Changing Literatures: From Chaucer to the Contemporary, Creative Writing Foundations, ‘Black Girl Magic’: Contemporary Feminisms, Narrative Theory and Practice, Postcolonial Writing, Novelty, Enlightenment and Emancipation: 18th-Century Literature, and Literature and Life c. 1500 – 1700.


University of Iceland Exchange
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

The University of Iceland is situated in the heart of Reykjavik, a city of striking contrasts where international influences mingle with Icelandic national traditions. Iceland has a long literary history starting in the ninth century with the Sagas of Icelanders. The tradition continues today at the university level, which offers a wide variety of courses about world literature. Courses include British Literature 1789-1954; Literature and Essay Writing; Literary Theory; British Literature from Early Middle Ages to 1603; Children’s Literature; and Fantasy Literature: Genre, Collaboration, and Interaction.


Writing Greece
Winter, Summer

Led by a UI Faculty member, this Creative Writing course in Greece provides inspiration and cultural exploration and is open to undergraduates in all majors. UI students visit ancient ruins, museums, and other sites, as well as learn about contemporary Greek life and the complicated relationship between past and present. Students then draw upon their experiences in Athens and surrounding cities to generate original fiction and nonfiction.

American College of Thessaloniki
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Summer

Students are direct enrolled in American College of Thessaloniki, a US-accredited university in northern Greece. Thessaloniki is the "road less taken," a culturally intact, small, diverse, youthful city and the gateway to Southeastern Europe. Students can enroll in classes related to their major, classes for general education credit, and electives. Sample courses include Short Fiction, Topics in Contemporary World Literature, English Literatures, Introduction to 20th-Century Poetry & Drama, and Women and Literature. Course offerings vary by semester.


CEA Florence: Santa Reparata International School of Art
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Summer

This program is designed for both art and non-art majors. Students will take classes at CEA’s partner institution, Santa Reparata International School of Art (SRISA). Students can take language courses, studio art courses, and electives that cover various disciplines. Sample courses relevant to the English and creative writing major include Contemporary Italian Literature, Creative Writing, Travel Writing Workshop, English Literature: Florence and the Grand Tour, and 14th-Century Italian Literature: Dante, Bocaccio, Petrarca. Courses offerings vary by semester.

Wells College Florence: Lorenzo de Medici
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Wells College facilitates enrollment for students at Lorenzo de Medici. With their School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Lorenzo de Medici has a Literature Department and a Writing Department. Sample courses include Shakespeare’s Italy; Female Characters in 20th-Century Fiction; The Age of Heroes: The Iliad, the Odyssey, the Aeneid, and the Origins of Western Literature; Creative Writing; and Travel Writing. Course offerings vary by semester.


South Korea

TEAN South Korea: Korea University
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Calendar Year, Summer

TEAN facilitates direct enrollment for students at Korea University. Students can enroll in classes related to their major, classes for general education credit, electives, and Korean language classes. Students can take classes offered by the Department of English Language and Literature. Sample courses include 19th-Century British Poetry, Introduction to British and American Poetry, British and American Literature and Popular Culture, Critical Thinking and Writing, and Korean Literature and Culture. Course offerings vary by semester.



TEAN Australia: University of New South Wales (UNSW)
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Calendar Year

TEAN facilitates direct enrollment for students to the University of New South Wales (UNSW). In UNSW’s English Literary Studies, teachers and researchers are deeply passionate about their work and believe that English is more than an academic discipline. They encourage students to see it as an opening onto the world, an electric current binding people together, a passport to alternate realities, and a stick of dynamite to blast through prejudice and narrow-mindedness. Courses include Creative Writing; Academic Writing for the Humanities; The Life of Words; Inventing the Self: Creative Writing in a Digital Age; and Forms of Writing: Literature, Genre, Culture.

Iowa Regents Semester in Australia: University of Tasmania
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Calendar Year

The English & Creative Writing program at the University of Tasmania introduces students to the world of writing in English. It explores what it means to be human by reading some of the best and most loved books and stories of the ages. The program fosters the skills that will help students become the best critic and writer they can. From fiction and poetry to theatre and film, television, and the internet, students discover the many ways to read texts and genres in their cultural and historical contexts. Courses include Utopian & Dystopian Visions, Writing the Family Saga, Creative Writing Workshop, Literary Theory, and Telling Tales: Literature & Narrative.

New Zealand

TEAN New Zealand: University of Otago
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Calendar Year

This program is coordinated by award-winning authors in the beautiful City of Dunedin, a UNESCO City of Literature. Students focus on how to make communication more engaging through crafting stories, critiquing, and developing writing techniques. Students learn about the process of digital publishing and how to create multimedia publications and ebooks. Courses include The Craft of Storytelling, Science & Creative Non-Fiction Writing, Essay & Feature Writing, Digital Literature: Technologies of Storytelling, and Engaging Literary Stories.

TEAN New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Calendar Year

The Victoria University of Wellington’s teaching staff are all practicing writers with strong publishing profiles. Here students discover their individual voices and develop imaginative capacity within a lively community of writers. Students hone their craft in small-group writing workshops led by high-caliber teaching staff at the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML). Courses include Writing for the Young, Short Fiction, Long-Form Fiction, Maori & Pasifika Creative Writing, Science Writing, and Creative Non-Fiction.