As a Journalism and Mass Communications major, you are probably aware that opinions vary as to what defines “good journalism.” As a media professional, it will be important for you to appreciate the relationship between your own culturally informed communication methods and those of your increasingly global (and globally aware) audience. There are many ways of presenting the news and many ways of consuming it, and study abroad provides a great opportunity to experience that diversity firsthand.

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 School of Journalism & Mass Communication early in the planning process.

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

The best time for JMC majors to study abroad is during junior year, either for a semester or during the summer before or after junior year. Winter programs are also viable options, especially for double majors who do not have time to study abroad during the academic year. Your academic advisor can help design a Sample Plan on MyUI to determine when study abroad works best for you. More information about fulfilling academic requirements abroad as a JMC major is available on the Academics tab of this MAP.

If you are interested in taking General Education courses or fulfilling the World Languages requirement, you could study abroad as early as the summer following your first year on campus. Most study abroad locations offer coursework that will count as part of your general education requirements.

There are many opportunities for SJMC students to fulfill academic requirements abroad. Before you enroll in courses abroad, be sure to consult with a departmental advisor in SJMC 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

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

It’s important to consult with your academic advisor to make sure that you can remain on track for completing your degree in a timely fashion. Ideally, you should plan to complete both Reporting & Writing, Multimedia Storytelling, and Visual Communication & Design prior to going abroad.

SJMC advisors recommend that the required Level 1 Introduction and Level 2 Foundation courses be taken at the University of Iowa. In particular, the foundational course "Freedom of Expression" and any other courses relating to U.S. media law must be taken at the UI.

Keep in mind you can only apply 9 s.h. of transfer credit toward the JMC major. However, some study abroad programs offer UI resident credit that will not count toward the 9 s.h. limit.

Honors Courses

You may be able to receive Journalism Honors credit for courses taken abroad. Keep in mind that 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 Honors in Journalism page.

Minor Courses

Students who plan to pursue either the Media Management or the News & Media Literacy minors may be able to receive minor credit abroad. Just be sure to get the approval of the instructor who teaches the UI equivalent of the course you want to enroll in overseas and consult with your departmental advisor for guidance on what courses abroad could be applied to the minor.

SJMC allows you to use up to 3 s.h. towards either minor. This limitation does not apply to study abroad programs that grant resident credit.


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.

Journalism students interested in completing an internship abroad should consult with the Internship Coordinator in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

General Electives

Study abroad can be a great opportunity to explore new disciplines. While you will not receive credit toward your major for general electives taken abroad, it’s possible to receive credit toward graduation. Talk to an advisor in the Study Abroad office for information about earning credit for general electives completed overseas.

Funding your trip abroad

Various scholarships are available for UI students planning to study abroad. Information about these scholarships is available on the scholarships webpage. Additionally, SJMC students may be eligible for funding offered through the school. More information can be found at the SJMC scholarships webpage. All students are strongly encouraged to consult with a departmental advisor and a Study Abroad Advisor about financing their study abroad experience.

Faculty in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication believe the most important thing for SJMC majors to do abroad is observe how journalism is practiced in different cultures. Many of the study abroad programs listed below are in locations where journalism is practiced differently than in the United States. (You are especially encouraged to consider programs located in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East; your study abroad advisor can help you identify appropriate programs in these regions that may not be listed below.)  

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 program title.


South Korea

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

TEAN facilitates direct enrollment for students at Korea University (KU). Students enroll in classes offered by KU’s School of Media & Communication. Courses include Mass Media and Popular Culture in Korea, Media & Gender, Media Business and Management, Introduction to Media Criticism, Writing in Journalism, Multimedia Reporting, and New Media & Communication. Course offerings vary by semester.



Wells College Florence: Lorenzo De Medici
Fall, Spring

Wells College facilitates enrollment for students at Lorenzo di Medici. As a part of the School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, students take courses offered by the Communications department. Courses include New Media Communication in the Digital Age, Media Ethics, War and Media, and Global Media Strategies. 

USAC Reggio Emilia Program
Fall, Spring, Summer

Students take an intensive six-week Italian language course at the start of the semester which allows for rapid language and cultural acquisition. After the intensive period, students have the option to continue their Italian language learning along with elective courses in communication. Courses include Gender and Communication, Intercultural Communication, Italian Cinema and Film Criticism, and Social Media and Intercultural Media Topics.  


CIEE Seville Communications, New Media & Journalism
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Designed for students with at least four semesters for college-level Spanish (or equivalent), the CIEE Seville Communications, New Media & Journalism program allows participants to deepen their knowledge of communications and reporting while increasing their proficiency in Spanish. Courses include a required Spanish language course, Magazine Reporting and Writing, Digital Video Reporting in Context, Spanish Skills in Context: Podcast Reporting, and Digital and Visual Culture in Contemporary Spain. All courses are taught in Spanish.


ISEP Linnaeus University, Sweden
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Linnaeus University has two campuses in Southern Sweden, but it is at the Kalmar campus where UI students can study journalism and mass communication. Classes are taught in English. Courses include Collecting, Analyzing and Moderating User-Generated Social Media Material; Media in Sweden; Mojo – mobile journalism; Media and News Literacy; and Visual Communication and Change.


ISEP Tampere University, Finland
Fall, Spring

Tampere University is one of the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. ISEP students can build their own program by choosing courses from a variety of fields. Classes are taught in English. Relevant courses include Digital Media Discourse; Games, Play and Public Space in Mediated City; Media and Globalization; Women and the Media in China; Political Communication; and Intercultural Communication. 

United Kingdom

University of Strathclyde Exchange
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Through this program, UI students enroll directly in the University of Strathclyde. Strathclyde’s Journalism, Media, and Communication program is rated first in the United Kingdom. Students on this program live and study with their Scottish peers and are fully immersed in the local culture. Courses include Media and Health, News Reporting and Writing, Working for and with the Scottish Media, and Gender Issues and the Media.

University of Kent Exchange
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Through this exchange program, UI students enroll directly at the University of Kent, living and studying with their British peers. The University of Kent’s strong Journalism, Media, and Communication departments and their robust selection of course offerings make studying at Kent a great option for making progress toward a journalism degree. Courses include British Public Affairs, Sports Journalism, Propaganda-Media, Manipulation and Persuasion, and Reporting Conflict.

Iowa Regents Semester in Wales
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

This program allows Iowa students to enroll at Swansea University. On arrival, Iowa students enroll in a three-week orientation course that familiarizes them with the history and culture of the UK through a dedicated program specifically designed for study abroad students. From there, journalism students take courses with their local peers in Swansea’s highly rated Media and Communication department or pursue other degree requirements through Swansea’s diverse selection of course options. Courses include Introduction to Media Communication; Social Media Cultures; Media, Gender and Sexuality; and Online Journalism.

Czech Republic

CEA Prague Full Curriculum
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Through this program students take classes in English at Anglo American University (AAU), located in the heart of Prague across the river from the historic Old Town district. Students take one core International Communication course and then choose three or four electives. Courses include Media in a Democracy, Travel Writing, Video Journalism, Cultural Journalism, and Digital Tools for New Media.


CIEE Paris Open Campus
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Summer

The Paris Open Campus program features a Communications, Journalism, and New Media Track, in which courses are offered on a block schedule. Two courses are taken during each six-week block, and UI students participate in all three blocks for 18 semester hours. Courses include Intercultural Communication and Leadership; International Journalism; Media, Gender and Identity; and Writing Workshop.



TEAN Australia: Bond University
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Calendar Year

Bond University is Australia’s first private university and has a similar calendar to the University of Iowa. Students have a wide selection of courses in Bond’s Communications and Creative Media program. Courses include Digital Media and Society; Mass and Popular Media; Gender Communication; Mobile and Digital Journalism; and Screen Style and Storytelling.

CIEE Sydney Open Campus
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Calendar Year, Summer

Students take courses at the CIEE center in the cosmopolitan city of Sydney. Two courses are taken during each six-week block, and UI students participate in all three blocks for 18 semester hours. Students choose one of six coursework “tracks,” although all courses are open to all students. Courses in the Communications, New Media and Journalism Track include Intercultural Communication and Leadership; Music, Media, and Public Spheres; and Gamification of Work and Play. Students also have the option to do directed Independent Research, an Internship, or a Service-Learning Project.  

New Zealand

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

The city of Wellington is an artsy college town that doubles as the capital of New Zealand. Students studying at Victoria University can choose courses from both the Communications program and the Communication Design program. Courses include Literature and Journalism, Forms of Creative Communication: The Essay at Large, Literature in a Digital Age, Visual Narratives, and Narrative Design.