There are many exciting study abroad options available for sociology majors. Imagine learning about African societies in sub-tropical Ghana, studying the sociology of conflict in the politically turbulent city of Belfast, researching Aboriginal communities in Australia, or learning about culture and communication in South Africa.

By its very nature, sociology takes place in a cultural context. There is much to be gained from understanding the history, traditions, and values of societies outside your own. Study abroad is one very exciting way to begin to discover new approaches to sociology and build professional skills.


The transition from high school to college is a big one, so we do not usually recommend that students attempt to fit study abroad into their first year at the UI. However, the summer between freshman and sophomore year can be a good time to participate in a short-term program.


Sophomore year is the perfect time to plan your overseas experience. Explore this site and talk with both your academic and study abroad advisor to learn more and determine what programs best fit your needs.


Junior year is the most appropriate time for sociology majors to spend a semester or year abroad. Do some research on this site and schedule meetings with your academic and study abroad advisors to learn more.


Senior year is a busy time for sociology majors, so it is not the ideal time to study abroad. However, if you are already a junior or senior and would still like to go overseas, contact a study abroad advisor. Internships and work abroad are possible options. Also, consider summer programs for in between your junior and senior year.


Summers can be a very good time to study abroad. You can complete elective and foreign language requirements, or take a class or two that will count toward your major, all of which will lighten your course load when you return to the UI in the fall. Another option might be looking for a summer internship overseas, which looks great on a resume.

General Education

Most study abroad locations will offer coursework that will count towards the Historical Perspectives, Fine Arts, Foreign Civilization & Culture, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and/or Social Sciences General Education Program requirements. And, of course, if you need to complete the General Education Program foreign language requirement, intensive study abroad language programs allow you to do so in as little time as a semester. GEP courses taken overseas are approved by the Study Abroad office.

Major Requirements

The BA degree in sociology requires a minimum of 33-34 semester hours and the BS degree in sociology requires 45 semester hours.

Students may satisfy no more than 15 semester hours of their total hour requirement in the major with sociology courses transferred from other schools. However, some study abroad programs allow students to earn resident credit, so speak with a study abroad advisor for more information.

The sociology major requires the completion of a portfolio during your last semester, so you will need to be at the UI at this time. Know what classes you must take at the UI to graduate, keeping in mind your general education requirements, too. Please see the UI Sociology website for a breakdown of major requirements. Consult both your academic advisor and a study abroad advisor as soon as possible in this process.

In general, students should plan on completing SOC:2130, SOC:2170, and SOC:4910 at the UI. You may be able to find an overseas equivalent for your statistics requirement (STAT:1020 or higher), but keep in mind this course typically doubles as a General Education Requirement, so you will need to get the course approved as a GER as well. Talk to an advisor in Study Abroad for advice about GER course approvals. It will also be relatively easy to find overseas equivalents for your sociology electives. Just be sure to get the approval from an academic advisor in the Department of Sociology prior to your departure.

Also, if you are a double major, be sure that your requirements for that major are also being met.

If you are planning on entering the workforce directly after graduation, consider an overseas internship. This will look great on a resume, give you valuable work experience, and provide you with a great way to experience a foreign country.

Language study is also highly marketable. If you haven't already completed your language requirements, consider taking them overseas. Or, if you have already finished these courses, think about taking more advanced language classes while abroad. Good foreign language skills are becoming increasingly important in the job market, and advanced language study is a great way to really get to know a country or culture.

The programs on this page were chosen because they offer unique cultural experiences and a diverse representation of the issues that are currently at the heart of the study of sociology. As the Department of Sociology works with Study Abroad, the specific program recommendations on this sheet may change, so check with your advisors 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.


United Kingdom

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 in Edinburgh, fully enrolled in classes with their Scottish peers and living with students from Scotland and around the world in local student accommodations. Edinburgh’s Sociology department is considered among the top 10 in the UK and allows Iowa students to choose from a variety of sociology courses.  Relevant courses include Designing and Doing Social Research, Nations and Nationalism, Social Theory, Sociology 1a:The Sociological Imagination: Individuals and Society, and Sociology 2a: Thinking Sociologically.

Lancaster Exchange Program
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

The Lancaster University Exchange program offers UI students an opportunity to become fully immersed in the student experience at Lancaster. Through this program, students enroll at Lancaster University, living and learning with their British peers. Lancaster’s Sociology department is ranked among the top 15 in the UK and offers Iowa students a variety of sociology courses, which include Consumer Culture and Advertising; Gender and Women's Studies: Identities, Inequalities and Politics; Racisms and Racial Formation; The Sociological Imagination; and Terror.


IES Dublin: Trinity College Dublin
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Through the IES Dublin: Trinity College Dublin program, students enroll at Trinity College Dublin with their Irish peers while taking advantage of a variety of cultural excursions and specialized student support services only available to study abroad students. Trinity offers numerous courses in the field of sociology including Labor Markets, Gender, and Institutions; Poverty and Policy in a Global Context; Social Networks and Digital Lives; Race, Ethnicity, and Identity; and Researching Society.


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 Ethics and Social Philosophy, Finish Society and Culture, Social Institution Histories, Seminar in Theoretical Social Research, Sociolinguistics, and Social Theory: Central Concepts and Contemporary Debates.

ISEP University of Turku, Finland
Fall, Spring

ISEP facilitates the direct enrollment of UI students to the University of Turku. The city of Turku is located on southwestern coast of Finland. All courses are in English, but the city and campus are officially bilingual, speaking Finnish and Swedish. Through the Faculty of Social Sciences, students can study Finnish and Nordic society and culture. Courses include Introduction to Finnish Culture and Society; Nordic Gendered Norms and Practices; Sea, Nature and Finish Culture; Social Inequality; and Contemporary Economic Sociology.

Czech Republic

CEA Prague Full Curriculum
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Students looking to study in historic Prague will have many course options in sociology. Students take classes directly at Anglo-American University with local and other international students on the newly restored Thurn-Taxis Palace campus and may choose one or two courses taught by CEA-affiliated faculty. Courses include Introduction to Social Theory, Jewish Experience in Central Europe, Sociology and the Family, and Social Anthropology.


IES Rome
Fall, Spring

UI students participating in IES Rome will take an Italian language class and select from a variety of area studies courses. IES Rome offers several Sociology courses. Students may also do an internship or service learning/social action placement with an accompanying academic seminar. Relevant courses include Social Issues in Southern Italy; Culture and Urban Change in Contemporary Italy; Organized Crime in Italy: Mafias, Murders, and Business; The Wall: Borders, Violence and Separation in the Contemporary World; Valuing Diversity? Italian Contemporary Immigration and Integration Policies; and Rome as a Living Museum.


South Korea

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

TEAN facilitates direct enrollment for students at Korea University (KU). Established in 1905, Korea University is a member of the prestigious group of Korean SKY universities, similar to the Ivy League in the U.S. Courses include Social Problems, Data Science and Sociology, Korean Society and Culture, Cultural Sociology, Social Statistics, Organizations and Environments, and Visual Sociology. Course offerings vary by semester.


South Africa

IES Cape Town, University of Cape Town
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Through this program UI students have the opportunity to take classes at the University of Cape Town, one of the best universities in Africa. Since it was founded in 1829, the University has undergone incredible change and is recognized for its strength in the field of sociology. Courses include Introduction to Sociology; Race, Class, Gender & Sexuality; Social Theory; Poverty, Development & Globalization; and Power and Society.



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

TEAN facilitates direct enrollment for UI students to The University of New South Wales (UNSW). Renowned as the first Sociology program in Australia, UNSW has a strong international reputation for theoretical innovation, teaching excellence, and training students. Courses include Cultural and Social Theory; Indigenous Australia and Identity; Media Sociology; Visual Sociology; Place, Ethnicity, Citizenship and Globalization; and Applied Cultural Anthropology and Sociology. Students can also pursue related courses such as Statistics and Research Methods.

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

This program offers UI students the opportunity to be fully integrated academically and socially with their Australian peers. UTAS offers a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a host of course options within the major. Courses include Understanding the Social World, Experiencing Social Life, Sociology of Youth, Sociology of Health & Illness, and Social Problems & Social Policy.

New Zealand

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

UI students can study at the University of Otago through TEAN. University of Otago sociology courses will prepare students to dissect the multiple layers of social reality – with all its pitfalls and promises – and apply that knowledge to guide society to a better future. Relevant courses include Qualitative Research Ethics, Advanced Sociological Theory, Micro-Sociology, Public Sociology, Family Demography, and Environmental Sociology.

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

Victoria University has much to offer UI sociology students. The School of Social and Cultural Studies brings together the teaching, research, and scholarship strengths of the Criminology, Cultural Anthropology, Religious Studies, Social Policy, and Sociology departments. Courses include Complicating Resistance: Power, Emancipation, and Sociology; Sociology of Health & Illness; Investigations in the Social World; Social Movement & State; and Social Policy.