The more you explore the world outside of your immediate, native experience, the more you can be in conversation with the world as an artist. While abroad, Theatre Arts majors are encouraged to immerse themselves in the culture of their host cities and to become familiar with the art, literature, and history of the area. Go to the museums and theatres; attend local plays, music performances, and poetry readings; meet new people; and discover how your own cultural practices and world views inform your experiences abroad.

Theatre Arts majors are also encouraged to fulfill academic requirements while abroad. Whether you are an actor, director, designer, stage manager, or playwright, there are plenty opportunities for you to earn credit abroad. For more information about how to coordinate study abroad with your academic requirements, see the Academics tab of this MAP.

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 Theatre Arts Department early in the planning process.

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

Because Theatre Arts students usually declare their major at the beginning of the sophomore year, 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 abroad. In general, Theatre Arts majors are encouraged to study abroad during their junior or senior year. Just be sure that you are on track to graduate on time when you return! Your faculty 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 general education and world languages requirements. More information about fulfilling academic requirements abroad as a Theatre Arts major is available on the Academics tab of this MAP.

Before you enroll in courses abroad, be sure to consult with a faculty advisor in the Theatre Arts 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

Theatre Arts 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 will offer coursework that will count as part of your General Education Program requirements. For more information, check out our General Education Program MAP.

Major Requirements

Theatre Arts students are given the opportunity to choose an emphasis area for their major: acting directing, design, dramaturgy, etc. 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 a faculty advisor before your departure to discuss which overseas courses can apply towards your degree.

With the exception of Acting I and 1 s.h. of Production Lab, all acting and production courses need to be taken at The University of Iowa. Students who take the equivalent of Acting I overseas will need to audition before enrolling in Acting II at the UI.

Your senior seminar must be taken at the UI.

Honors Courses

You may be able to receive Theatre Arts Honors credit for courses taken abroad. For more information, consult with the Theatre Arts Honors advisor. 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 Theatre Arts Honors page.

Minor Courses

At least 12 s.h. of credit toward the minor must be taken in the Theatre Arts department on campus. Of the remaining 3 s.h. needed for a minor, students can look for courses that can be approved as an equivalent for Basic Acting II, or other theater-related courses with approval from an academic advisor. Students interested in taking Acting I abroad as part of the minor must obtain departmental permission before they leave to be sure it meets the requirements. Consult the Minor in Theatre Arts webpage for more information.

Theatre Arts allows up to 3 s.h. of transfer credit towards a minor; be sure to check with your faculty advisor to confirm transfer credit limits. This limitation does not apply to study abroad programs that grant resident credit.

While London and Ireland are popular destinations for Theatre Arts majors who study abroad, opportunities for study abroad are not geographically or linguistically limited! Remember, the more you explore the world outside of your immediate, native experience, the more you can be in conversation with the world as an artist. Theatre Arts majors are encouraged to consider countries outside of the United Kingdom (as well as non-English speaking countries) for study abroad.


Remember that certain Theatre Arts major courses cannot be taken abroad. Consult with your faculty advisor to be sure that the courses you are planning to take overseas will transfer upon your return.


Theatre Arts students are encourage to consider participating in relevant internships. Ask your study abroad advisor for more information about finding and applying for internships.

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, advanced undergraduate and graduate design students may apply for the Erik Ulfers/Margaret Hall Study Abroad Scholarship, offered through the Theatre Arts Department. More information can be found at the Theatre Arts scholarships webpage. All students are strongly encouraged to consult with a faculty advisor and a Study Abroad Advisor about financing their study abroad experience.

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 the button below the program description.



IES Dublin: Gaiety School of Acting
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

This program enrolls students at the Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin’s premier acting school. Course topics focus on voice, improvisation, manifesto, and movement, as well as the history of theatre, text analysis, and stage craft. Theatre visits and attendance at performances around Dublin play a key role in the program.

United Kingdom

Lancaster University Exchange
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Lancaster University’s Theatre Studies department is among the top 10 in the United Kingdom. Students can enroll in a variety of theatre courses exploring theatre studies, sound design, modern dance, and writing for performance. Lancaster’s film studies department is also excellent, offering courses in introductory and advanced film theory, gender and film, documentaries, and cinema around the world.

University of Kent Exchange
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

The University of Kent offers a robust selection of courses in theatre arts and film studies. Introductory and advanced course topics include Greek Theatre, physical performance, ensemble acting, stand-up comedy, and dance for musical theatre. Film studies course topics include film theory, history of film, television adaptions, editing, documentaries, and genre filmmaking.


ISEP Estonia
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

The University of Tartu was founded in 1632 and is one of the oldest in Northern and Eastern Europe. While known for their research, the University of Tartu’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities offers a wide variety of courses. Courses include Digital Photography, Looking at Art, Classical Animation, Painting NOW with Renaissance Techniques, Sketch, Drawing, Sculpture, Painting, Knitting, and Performing Arts Practice.


South Africa

IES Cape Town University of Cape Town
Fall, Spring

Students will enroll in the top-ranked university in South Africa - the University of Cape Town (UCT) - and take a service-learning course, in either health or sociology, with IES. UCT offers a wide variety of courses in art history, dance, drama, and film. Courses include Acting, Dance Performance, World Cinema, Media in South Africa, Approaches to Art History, Critical Studies in Art History and Visual Culture, and Introduction to African Art.



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

The University of Tasmania’s (Utas) School of Creative Arts and Media brings together programs in art, cinema, media, music, and theatre. Example courses include Acting for Screen, Stage Management, Japanese Anime and Film, The Golden Age of German Cinema, and Stage Studio Art.

TEAN: University of New South Wales
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Calendar Year

The University of New South Wales’s (UNSW) School of Art and Design is highly ranked. The school offers courses in the areas of fine art, design, media arts, and art history and theory. Examples of courses are Painting, Studio in Context, Drawing: Studio Practice, and Creative Exploration. Within their School of Arts and Media, UNSW offers courses such as Screen and Sound Production, Intro to Film Studies, and Screen Production.

New Zealand

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

The University of Otago’s School of Performing Arts is the creative heart of Otago. The School of Performing Arts features coursework in dance, music, performance, performing arts, studio production, and theatre studies. The university also has a robust art history and visual culture program and film and media studies. Examples of courses include Medieval Art, Art in Japan, Understanding Contemporary Media, Voice and Movement, Drama on Stage and Screen, and Theatre: Ancient to Contemporary.

Latin America & Caribbean


Brazilian Carnival: Music and Dance

Rio is home to Brazil’s world-famous Carnival celebrations, where samba music and dance are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Led by UI Professor Armando Duarte, students are invited to interact, explore, critique, practice, and share their experiences in one of the most breath-taking and lively cities in the world. Through literature, videos, presentations and practice of the Brazilian samba, students will be exposed to the many aspects present in carnival parades: dance, music, theatre, religion, production, historical and social contexts, and critical theories of performance.