The University of Iowa


Focus your studies by living in the location where pivotal events have occurred. Live and work within the cultures that have shaped world 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.

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!

Cape Town, South Africa

If American history is your interest, why not take a course or two abroad about American history 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.

As a History major, many study abroad options are available to you. From short-term, faculty-led programs to full-year enrollment at a foreign university, there are plenty of opportunities to earn credit toward your major requirements, take General Education classes, or explore general electives in subjects that interest you. Other exciting opportunities include language study and internships.

As a History major, it is relatively easy to go abroad at any point during your time at the UI. Spending an academic year overseas is highly encouraged.

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 future 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!

Chengdu, China


Your first year is best spent fulfilling General Education requirements (it is suggested that prospective History majors take Department of History courses to satisfy their “Historical Perspectives” requirement) and a foreign languages course or two. Consider your historical interest and perhaps organize your study abroad experience around a particular location or language as you shape your History studies.


Sophomore year is a good time to study abroad. If you have not taken HIST:2151 Introduction to the History Major before you go abroad, you should try to take it as soon as you return to campus.


This is also a great year to study abroad.


Your senior year is also a good time to study abroad– just double-check that all of your requirements will be met upon your return for graduation.


Remember there are many options for you to go abroad during the summer if you can't seem to fit study abroad in during the school year. Consider a short-term program if a semester or academic year doesn't fit your schedule!

History Major Courses

Almost all of the history courses you take abroad will count towards your history major. You just have to get it approved first by the Undergraduate Advisor in History.

A minimum of 18 semester hours must be taken at the University of Iowa or earned as resident credit, while a maximum of 18 semester hours may be transfer or study abroad credit.

HIST:2151 Introduction to the History Major may be taken at any point in your studies, but it is recommended that you take the course as soon as you declare a History major to benefit from the skills training the course provides. A limited number of seats are available each semester, so plan to enroll promptly in this course to have the widest selection of topics. Students are not permitted to take HIST:2151 Introduction to the History Major while abroad; they must complete it at the University of Iowa.



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 Undergraduate Advisor can tell you more about this opportunity and put you in touch with the Director of History’s Honors Program. Typically, students begin thinking about the honors thesis during the spring of their junior year.

Be aware that 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.

General Education Program

Most study abroad locations offer coursework that will count towards General Education Program requirements of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). Please see our General Education Program page for more information.

Introduction to the History Major

History majors planning to study abroad should try taking HIST:2151 Introduction to the History Major 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.

Iowa Regents Semester in Scotland program in Edinburgh, Scotland

While we suggest looking at these programs that offer History courses first, feel free to browse the programs section of the Study Abroad website and consult materials in the Study Abroad Resource Room.

Africa and the Middle East

Archaeology in Israel

SIT Jordan Geopolitics, International Relations, and the Future of the Middle East

SIT Rwanda Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding

SIT South Africa Social & Political Transformation

SIT Uganda & Rwanda Peace & Conflict Studies



CIEE Taipei Communications, Business, & Political Economy, Taiwan

East China Normal University Exchange, Shanghai, China

Ewha Womans University Exchange, Seoul, South Korea

Meiji University Exchange, Tokyo, Japan

* Meiji’s School of Political Science and Economics offers history courses.

SIT India Sustainable Development and Social Change

USAC Chengdu, China



American College of Thessaloniki, Greece

Archaeological Field Work Abroad, Italy

CIEE Language & Culture, Toulouse, France

CIEE Seville International Business & Culture Program, Spain

CIEE Seville Liberal Arts Program, Spain

* Some previous study of the Spanish language required.

IES Rome Language & Area Studies, Italy

IES Vienna European Society & Culture, Austria

Iowa Regents Semester in Ireland
Iowa Regents Semester in Scotland

Iowa Regents Semester in Wales

ISEP France

* Some previous study of the French language required. ISEP offers placement at Université des Antilles et de la Guyanne, which has a strong History department.

ISEP Switzerland

* Some previous study of the French language required. ISEP offers placements at Université de Fribourg and Université de Lausanne, both of which have strong History departments.

Lancaster University Exchange, United Kingdom

University of Strathclyde Exchange, United Kingdom

USAC Krakow, Poland

USAC Maastricht, the Netherlands

USAC Oslo, Norway

USAC Studies in the Czech Republic

USAC Vaxjo/Kalmar, Sweden

USAC Viterbo Program, Italy


Latin America & Caribbean

CIEE Valparaiso Language in Context, Chile

SIT Bolivia Multiculturalism, Globalization & Social Change

* Some previous study of the Spanish language required.

USAC Florianópolis Program, Brazil

USAC Havana Program, Cuba



Iowa Regents Semester in Australia: University of Newcastle

Iowa Regents Semester in Australia: University of Tasmania

TEAN New Zealand: University of Otago

USAC Auckland / Palmerston North / Wellington, New Zealand



The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) offers credit-bearing internships relevant to History students in multiple locations. More information for each of these programs is available on our IES Internships website. All IES interns enroll in an internship seminar for advising about professionalism and cultural awareness in the workplace.