Of all the disciplines involving the study of humans, nursing is perhaps one of the most comprehensive. In addition to the human body, nursing majors must understand human development, psychology, and sociology, as well as human communities and the way different health systems are defined in them. As a nursing major, study abroad will provide you with firsthand experience of another culture that will broaden your understanding of humans and healthcare in the U.S. and abroad.

Nursing students are encouraged to choose from a wide range of study abroad experiences. Under the "Programs" tab of this advising page, you’ll find recommendations for nursing-related study abroad programs as well as advice about searching for programs relevant to other disciplines. Whatever your academic interest or need, there are plenty of study abroad options available to you.

As you know, nursing is a rigorous major. You’ll need to plan your study abroad experience well in advance of your departure, and with your academic requirements in mind. To help you out, this page offers advice about when to study abroad (see "Timing") and how to coordinate study abroad with your major requirements (see "Academics").

If you have a second major or are completing a minor, be sure to consider the Major Advising Page corresponding with your other area of study.

Various financial aid and scholarships are available to UI undergraduates pursuing study abroad. Information about funding your study abroad experience is available on the scholarship web page.

The best time for early admission students to study abroad is during the summer. Additionally, you may be able to study abroad either the fall or spring semester of your sophomore year. Standard Admission students can also study abroad during the first semester of their junior year. Once you enter the nursing major, you can only study abroad in the summer or over winter break. (Direct Admission students begin their nursing major courses in the fall of their junior year, and Standard Admission students begin the nursing major in the spring of their junior year.)

As you plan your study abroad experience, keep in mind that all of your nursing prerequisite courses and general education requirements need to be completed before you begin nursing courses in your junior year. More information about coordinating study abroad with your major requirements is available under the "Academics" tab.

Be sure to discuss your study abroad plans early on with an academic advisor. They will help you come up with the best timeframe for planning your study abroad experience.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the nursing major requirements as you plan for study abroad. In general, whether you are on the Direct Admission or Standard Admission track, you must complete 128 semester hours while maintaining a 3.00 GPA.

While most of your major requirements must be fulfilled at UI, it’s possible that some can be substituted with courses taken abroad. Below is a breakdown of your major requirements in terms of which requirements you may be able to fulfill abroad. In general, keep in mind that a maximum of 64 s.h. hours of transfer credit can be applied toward your major. (Note that programs that offer resident credit, like the USAC San Ramon Program, will not count toward your maximum transfer hours.)

If you are a Direct Admission student, contact your academic advisor in the Felton Student Success Center for more information about coordinating your study abroad experience with your academic requirements.

You will want to check with your academic advisor in the Academic Advising Center if you are a nursing interest student on campus. 

Nursing Courses

All nursing major courses must be completed at the University of Iowa.

Nursing Prerequisites & General Education Courses

Some of your nursing prerequisites and general education requirements can be substituted with equivalent courses taken abroad. Just be sure to get the substitutions approved by the appropriate department before your departure.

The general education requirements you could likely find substitutions for are: International and Global Issues; Literary, Visual and Performing Arts; and Values and Culture.


Keep in mind that you can earn elective credit abroad.

Language Study Abroad

Nursing students are encouraged to participate in language study abroad. In an increasingly multilingual country (and an increasingly global-minded world), knowledge of a multiple languages is becoming more and more beneficial in the Health professions. If you are interested in completing language study abroad (for elective credit or as part of a minor), use the programs database with the "language" filter.

Nursing students should use common sense when participating in hands-on medical experiences abroad. While you are encouraged to participate in certain activities—like taking vitals, bathing, and feeding—you must not perform invasive medical procedures (e.g. immunizations) while abroad. Also keep in mind that licensure requirements are different in different countries, and you might not be provided with adequate supervision to legally perform many procedures.

You can start your search with the recommended programs below, but feel free to browse our program database for other possibilities. After reading through this MAP, check out 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 College of Nursing early in the planning process.

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.



SIT India Public Health, Gender, and Community Action
Fall, Spring

Key topics of the program include exploring public health challenges like water, sanitation, and the environment; investigating the management of diseases and mental health; and witnessing regional and grassroots approaches to healthcare access. Courses include Public Health: Key Determinants, Gender, and Equity; Health Rights Advocacy in South Asia; Hindi language; Field Methods and Ethics in Social Science and Health, and an Independent Study Project (ISP). The ISP provides an opportunity to study in greater depth an aspect of academic interest relating to the program.

SIT India Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Practices

Students gain a deep understanding of how India nurtures its vibrant, ancient traditional medicine systems while experiencing economic growth and modernization. This program examines many of the social, economic, cultural, and legal paradigms that provide a context for healthcare service delivery in India. Courses include Traditional Indian Medicine: Theory and Context; and Field Study of Traditional Indian Healthcare Practices.


South Africa

IES Cape Town Health Studies

This program offers a wide range of health-related topics, including kinesiology, endemic diseases, and nutrition, as well as courses that focus on the business and social impacts of healthcare in Southern Africa. Opportunities are available to volunteer on rotation at a selection of organizations, such as hospitals, clinics, retirement homes, and health-related NGOs. Courses include Developmental Kinesiology, Endemic Diseases and Their Socioeconomic Context, Nutrition and HIV, and Health and Community.

Child Life Experiential Learning Program

This program is a three-week course led by Bri Swope, a lecturer in Therapeutic Recreation. The goal of this course is to prepare students to work with children and their families in a variety of healthcare settings. Students will understand the impact of illness, injury, trauma, and healthcare environments on patients and families in South Africa. Students will have the opportunity to volunteer in a variety of hospital and clinical settings.



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

The Paris Open Campus program features a STEM and Society track and a Global and Community Health track, both of which offer courses 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 Global Health and Emerging Diseases; Family, Schools, and Child Development; Psychology of Health and Illness; and an optional Service-Learning Project or Internship.


USAC Reggio Emilia
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Summer

The city was founded by the Romans and is the birthplace of the Italian tricolor flag. USAC Reggio Emilia semester students take an intensive Italian language class which allows for rapid acquisition of language and culture. The program also offers English-taught health-related courses including Comparative Global Health Issues and Systems, Health and Wellness Communication, Nutrition Across the Lifespan, and Aging: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Course offerings vary by semester.

United Kingdom

University of Kent Exchange
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Through this program UI students directly enroll at the University of Kent, living and studying with their British peers. The University of Kent’s strong science departments, and their robust selection of offerings in a wide variety of other departments, make studying at Kent a great option for nursing majors. Courses include Human Physiology and Disease; Molecules, Matter, and Energy; Animal Form and Function; and Sociology in Everyday Life.

Regents Semester in Scotland
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

The Regents Semester in Scotland program allows Iowa students to spend a semester or academic year at the University of Edinburgh. Students experience campus life fully enrolled in classes with their Scottish and international peers. Edinburgh’s Chemistry and Psychology departments offer many courses that may appeal to nursing majors. Courses include Animal Biology, Chemistry 1A and 2A, Psychological Perspectives on Health and Care, What is Health?: Society, Culture and Health 1; Psychology 1A and 2A, and Sociology 1B: The Sociological Imagination: Individuals and Society.

Lancaster Exchange Program
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Through this program, Iowa students enroll at Lancaster University, becoming fully integrated into campus life with their British peers. Lancaster’s strong Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology departments offer courses that may interest nursing majors. Courses include Atoms and Molecules, Chemistry of the Elements, Human Physiology, and Introduction to Neuroscience.


ISEP University of Eastern Finland
Fall, Spring

The Department of Nursing Science in the Faculty of Health Sciences offers courses designed to provide a firm grounding in different aspects of nursing science, health promotion, public health, and health management. Courses include Community-Based Health Promotion, Principles of Nutrition, Global and Local Public Health Issues, Health Care Systems, and Values and Knowledge Basis in Nursing Science.


ISEP Linnaeus University
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Linnaeus University has two campuses in southern Sweden, but it is at the Växjö (pronounced Vex-sure) where UI students can study nursing science and nursing. Courses include Global Health from an Intercultural Perspective, Perspectives on Contemporary Illnesses, Older People in Modern Society, Culture and Interpersonal Interaction, and Welfare State and Social Policy in Sweden.



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

With the University of Iowa’s affiliation with TEAN, UI students can direct enroll at the University of New South Wales, which offers undergraduate courses in many health-related disciplines. The University of New South Wales offers courses in anatomy, biological sciences, chemistry, physiology, and psychology. Courses include Measuring Mind and Behavior, Human Physiology, Health Promotion, Communicable Disease, Evolutionary and Functional Biology, and Fundamentals of Anatomy.

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

Through this program UI students directly enroll in Bond University and can take courses in their academic division of Health Sciences and Medicine. Courses include Principles of Human Structure and Function; Cell Biology; Microbiology; Exploring Human Disease; Global Health Issues; Australia’s Health Issues and Priorities; Food, Nutrition and Health; and Human Nutrition.

Iowa Regents Semester in Tasmania
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Calendar Year

The University of Tasmania’s programs of study in Dementia Care, Nursing, Health Science, and Medicine offer many courses for UI students. Courses include Health Services for an Ageing Population, Principles of Palliative Care, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Human Nutrition, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing, and Health and Psychological Wellbeing.

New Zealand

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

The University of Otago is a top-ranked STEM university with state-of-the-art labs and a wide range of science and health courses in which nursing majors may be interested. Courses include Cell and Molecular Biology, Chemistry: Molecular Architecture, The Chemical Basis of Biology and Human Health, Fundamentals of Nutrients and Health, Biological Physics, Human Thought and Behavior, and Social Inequality.

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

Victoria University of Wellington is home to the Wellington Faculty of Health. The Wellington Faculty of Health provides innovation in health teaching and research, with the aim of improving the wellbeing of individuals and communities. Courses include Introductory Chemistry, Introduction to Health Psychology, Contemporary Issues in Health and Social Services, Pacific Health Within the Aotearoa New Zealand Context, Contemporary Issues in Nursing, Brain and Behavior, and Nutrition Literacy for the 21st Century.