The University of Iowa

History

Studying abroad allows you to deepen your understanding of the past and the present and to view historical processes from within the context of culture. You can focus your studies by living in a location where pivotal events have occurred or among cultures that have shaped world history. 

street scene in Cape Town, South Africa

A wide variety of history courses taken abroad are transferrable for the History major, so get creative about what you would like to achieve and learn. Maybe you want to research postwar Soviet life in Moscow, study the Roman Colosseum up close, or discuss daily life with the locals in Latin America while living there yourself! Chances are there’s a study abroad program for whatever your interests might be.

If American history is your interest, why not go abroad to take an American history course taught from a completely different perspective or study one of the hundreds of cultures and histories that come together to form the United States? Studying historical places, periods, and people overseas can supplement your studies and understanding like no other experience can.

After reading through this MAP, make sure to head over to our Steps to Studying Abroad page to learn about our Discover Study Abroad sessions and how to start planning your time abroad. Ideally, you should begin to plan your study abroad experience at least two semesters in advance of your departure date. Be in touch with a Study Abroad advisor and your advisor in the History Department early in the planning process.

For more information about studying abroad as a History major, look over the History Department’s study abroad webpage or contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies

As a History major, it is relatively easy to go abroad at any point during your time at the UI. While studying abroad during your first year is not recommended, the summer after your first or second year is a great time to study abroad—especially if you are interested in fulfilling your World Languages requirement or other general education requirements. Consider your historical interest and perhaps organize your study abroad experience around a particular location or language as you shape your History studies. 

Chengdu, China

Despite the flexibility of the major’s requirements, you should still think carefully about when a semester or year abroad will best benefit your academic and professional careers. If you come into the major later in your time at the UI, you will need to do some careful planning, but studying abroad is still possible, and encouraged! Just be sure that you are on track to graduate on time when you return. Your academic advisor can help you see how study abroad can fit into your academic timeline by customizing a Sample Plan on MyUI.

Summer and winter programs are highly recommended, especially for double majors who do not have time to study abroad during the school year. While you might not be completing course work that applies to your major, you can take World Languages or other general education requirements. More information about fulfilling academic requirements abroad as a History major is available on the Academics tab of this MAP.

 

Before you enroll in courses abroad, be sure to consult with an academic advisor in the History Department and a Study Abroad advisor to discuss which of your academic requirements can be taken abroad for credit.

Double majors should be sure to check out the Major Advising Page (MAP) corresponding with their second major, as there are likely study abroad options relevant to both majors. 

General Education Courses

History majors are encouraged to fulfill general education requirements abroad, especially those who are in their first or second year at the UI. The World Languages requirement, in particular, lends itself to study abroad. Most study abroad locations offer coursework that will count as part of your general education requirements. For more information, check out our General Education Program MAP.

Major Requirements

Whatever your area of study, there are plenty of opportunities for you to fulfill your major requirements while abroad. Just be sure to consult with an academic advisor before your departure to discuss which overseas courses can apply towards your degree.

Almost all the history courses you take abroad will count towards the History major, but you should confirm with your academic advisor in History that specific courses you plan are approved. 

A minimum of 18 semester hours of the History major must be taken at the University of Iowa or earned as resident credit, while a maximum of 18 semester hours may be transfer credit. Some study abroad programs award resident credit, and your Study Abroad advisor can assist you with identifying those that do.  

Honors Courses

You may be able to receive History Honors credit for courses taken abroad. For more information, consult with the History Honors director. If you are pursuing University Honors, it is possible to earn an Honors Commendation for 12 hours of Honors coursework taken abroad. For more information, please refer to the History Honors page.

If you are writing an Honors thesis, it is typical for you to take the Honors thesis seminar during the spring semester of your junior year, which allows you to research your thesis during the following summer and write your thesis during the fall of your senior year. This is, however, flexible; you can do your research abroad during your junior year and take the seminar during your senior year. 

The History department has additional funding for Honors research abroad, allowing you to combine study abroad and research for the Honors thesis if you choose this route.

Minor Courses

History minors may be able to receive minor credit abroad. Be sure to get the approval of the instructor who teaches the UI equivalent of the course you want to enroll in overseas. Consult the Minor in History webpage for more information. 

The History Department allows up to 3 s.h. of transfer credit towards a minor; be sure to check with your academic advisor to confirm transfer credit limits prior to your departure. This limitation does not apply to study abroad programs that grant resident credit.

Internships

Consider taking advantage of an internship for credit while abroad; it is a wonderful way to help ease the transition into post-academic life. More information can be found on our internships page and the History Department’s internship page.
 

Courses

History majors planning to study abroad should take the Introduction to the History Major course before they leave to receive the most benefit from the course and to avoid being unable to enroll in it (seats are limited) when they return to campus. This course must be completed at the University of Iowa. 

Funding your trip abroad

Various scholarships are available for UI students planning to study abroad. Information about study abroad scholarships is available on the Study Abroad scholarships webpage. Additionally, the William L.M. & William E. Burke Scholarship offered through the department offers funding to cover travel expenses for students traveling to Europe to further their history studies. More information can be found at the History scholarships webpage. All students are strongly encouraged to consult with an academic advisor and a Study Abroad Advisor about financing their study abroad experience.

Iowa Regents Semester in Scotland program in Edinburgh, Scotland

You can start your search with the recommended programs below, but feel free to browse our program database and consult materials in the Study Abroad Resource Room 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.

Europe

United Kingdom

Iowa at Oxford: Mansfield College
Academic Year

Iowa at Oxford: Mansfield College enrolls Iowa students 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 history allow students to explore all periods of European and world history through intensive independent study guided by Oxford’s world-class faculty. Courses include The Black Death and Social Change, 1348–1450; European and World History: 1000–1989 (five separate tutorials based on student’s interests); History of the British Isles I–VI: 1042–1924 (six separate tutorials based on student’s interests); Medieval Popular Politics; Modern British Feminism; and Women, Gender, and Historical Change: Britain in the Long 19th Century.

Iowa at Oxford

IES London: University College London
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Through the IES London: University College London program, students enroll at University College London (UCL) with their local peers while taking advantage of a variety of cultural excursions and specialized student support services only available to study abroad students. UCL’s History department is among the top in the world, offering dozens of courses exploring history across the world. Courses include Ancient Greek Religion of the Archaic and Classical Period; Asia, the Aegean, Europe: Dividing the World in Ancient Greece Affiliate; The Political City: London in the Seventeenth Century; Race, Ethnicity, and the "Other" in Africa; Slavery in the Classical World; and Sin in the Middle Ages: c. 400–c. 1550.

IES Univ College London

Lancaster Exchange Program
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Through the Lancaster Exchange Program, Iowa students enroll at Lancaster University, living and studying on campus with their British peers while fully immersed in the local culture. Lancaster’s History department is ranked fifth in the UK, offering courses examining historical themes from a variety of periods and locations around the world. Courses include Byzantine and Muslim Sicily (535-1072); Making Modern Britain, c. 1660 – 1720; On the Edge of Empire: Being Roman in Britain; The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, 1500-1865; and Virginia, (1585-1685): Adventure, War, and Tobacco in the First American Colony.

Lancaster Exchange

IES London: Study London
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Through the IES London: Study London program, UI students live and study in London. The program includes excursions around the UK, strong student support services, courses taught in a familiar setting with other study abroad students. History majors can complete major and general education requirements and participate in a credit-bearing internship in London to gain real-world experience in their field of study. Courses include From Aphra Behn to the ‘Blitz’: 300 Years of London Women’s Social History, The History of London, and an Internship Seminar.

IES Study London

Ireland

Iowa Regents Semester in Ireland
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

The Iowa Regents Semester in Ireland program allows UI students to live and study with their Irish peers on campus at the University College Cork (UCC). UCC offers an extensive array of history courses, many focusing on Ireland’s unique cultural history. Courses include The Great Famine: Its Making, Meaning, and History; The Making of Modern Ireland; Ritual and Space in the Late Middle Ages; US History Since 1865; and Women in Europe Since 1800.

Regents Ireland

Spain

IES Barcelona
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

IES Barcelona offers several history courses that allow students to explore historical events and themes relating to Barcelona, Spain, and Europe. Students take a required Spanish language course and choose from a wide array of courses taught in English. Sample courses include Mediterranean History and Heritage, Barcelona: The Cosmopolitan City, War and Dictatorship in Spain, and History of Europe: Building Contemporary Europe.

IES Barcelona

Czech Republic

CEA Prague Full Curriculum
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Students study alongside local Czech and other international students at Anglo American University (AAU) in Prague, which has a robust catalog of history courses that delve into world, American, and European history. All classes are conducted in the 17th-century Thurn-Taxis Palace within walking distance of the Charles Bridge and other historical sites.  Courses include The Holocaust and Its Representation; Contemporary Europe: History of European Integration; Race, Progress, and Civilization in Anglo-American Thought From the 17th to the 20th centuries; and History of the Cold War.

CEA Prague

Italy

IES Rome
Fall, Spring

Students take an Italian language course and select from a variety of area studies courses. IES Rome offers an array of history courses. You can also add international work experience to your resume while earning credit by participating in an internship or service learning/social action placement and accompanying academic seminar. Courses include Empire Building: History and Myth of Ancient Rome, Post-War Italy: The Making of a Difficult Democracy, Italian Fascism: The First Totalitarian Political Religion, The Last Days of Pompeii, and Italy and the United States: History of a Long-Standing Interaction.

IES Rome

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

Wells College facilitates enrollment for students at Lorenzo di Medici. Students enroll in courses related to their major, courses for general education credit, electives, and Italian language courses. The History department offers several course options. Courses include Ancient Rome, The Holocaust: Jewish and Christian Response, The 1960s: A Global Counter-Cultural Movement, Italian Renaissance Civilization and Culture, and Florentia: The Ancient Roots of Florence.

Lorenzo de Medici

Asia

South Korea

Ewha Womans University Exchange
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Calendar Year

This exchange program allows for students to enroll as international students at Ewha Womans University. Students can enroll in courses related to their major, courses for general education credit, electives, and Korean language courses. Courses include Introduction to Korean History, International History of East Asia, Premodern History of Korea, Modern History of Korea, and East Asian History and Civilization. Course offerings vary by semester.

Ewha Univ Exchange

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

TEAN facilitates direct enrollment for students at Korea University. Students enroll in courses related to their major, courses for general education credit, electives, and Korean language classes. History courses include Seminar on East Asian History, Introduction to Korean and East Asian History, History of Chinese Culture, Introduction to Korean History and Culture, World History Since 1945, and Russian History. Course offerings vary by semester.

TEAN Korea Univ

Africa

South Africa

IES Cape Town: University of Cape Town
Fall, Spring

Students discover the rich history of Africa while enrolled at the University of Cape Town (UCT). In the Historical Studies department at UCT, history is not about events and dates but rather what men and women have done and the motivations for their actions. From early beginnings, to colonialism, to the Apartheid, South Africa has a wide lens through which to view the scope of history in Africa. Courses include Africa Since 1800: From Colonial Rule to Independence, Conflict and Conquest: South Africa to 1900, Genocide: African Experiences, and Empires and Modernities.

IES Cape Town

Oceania

Australia

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

The UNSW History department is uniquely global. Their expert knowledge covers Australia, the Pacific, the United States, Europe, and most of Asia, as well as histories of sex, film, and empire. The community of academics at UNSW is known for its strengths in world history, histories of war, histories of gender and sexuality, and histories of our region. Their teaching is informed by exciting new research and debates and delivered by academics who are internationally recognized experts in their field. Courses include History of the Present: The World Since 1900, Australia 1788–1900: Invasion to White Australia, The Fatal Shore, Indigenous Histories, The History Matrix, Global History, and Winners and Losers.

TEAN Univ New South Wales

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

The University of Tasmania (UTAS) had some of the country’s most significant library holdings on Australian colonial history, Tasmaniana, and medieval and early modern England. Students learn from internationally recognized staff whose research in history has elevated the University of Tasmania’s research ranking above world standards. Courses include The Historian’s Craft, Families at War, Convict Ancestors, Saints and Sinners in the Middle Ages, and Australia in the Pacific War.

Regents Tasmania

New Zealand

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

The teaching of history at Victoria University of Wellington is anchored in areas of specialization including histories of India, Europe, America and Canada, Australia and the Pacific, the UK, and New Zealand. History staff at the University research and write internationally recognized books and articles on a wide range of topics, as diverse as the history of science and magic, representation of history in film, the slave trade, clothing and nationalism, and demographic change. Courses include Colonial Encounters: Pacific Experiences; Islands and Peoples: Aotearoa New Zealand in World History; Māori Historical Methods: Whakapapa, Mōteatea, Manuscripts, and Treaty Settlements; and Mobilizing the Masses: Propaganda in Europe in the Age of Catastrophe, 1914–1945.

Tean Victoria Univ

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

The University of Otago History department teaches over forty courses at the undergraduate level, covering diverse geographical regions and historical themes. They specialize in the histories of New Zealand, the Pacific, Asia, Europe, Britain and Ireland, and North America. You can explore subjects such as Pacific history, medical history, migration and movement of peoples, imperial and colonial history, and more. Students at all levels are welcome to study history at Otago. All you need is curiosity about the past. Courses include Creating Kiwi Families: Historical and Legal Perspectives from 1830; New Zealand Society and Religion; Rethinking History; Global Migrations: From Slavery to Refugees; Peopling New Zealand Since 1840: Migration, Race, and Ethnicity; and Heretics, Witches, and Inquisitors.

TEAN Univ Otago