The University of Dubuque offers over 110 programs in over 25 countries... and one is perfect for you!
We understand that applying for study abroad can seem like a complicated process. Whether you know exactly where, when, and what you want to study or you have no idea where to start – our office is here to help you through the process. You can go abroad for just a couple weeks or a full semester, and spend your time taking classes, interning, volunteering, and exploring the world through all sorts of new experiences.
Opportunities for UD students to study abroad
The majority of semester-long programs that UD students go on are through program providers (American companies that help students study in other countries through partnerships with universities in dozens of locations around the world). The opportunities are practically endless! Check out the programs we offer through ISA and CIS.
UD also has a partnership with the University of Wisconsin Platteville allowing UD students to participate in their Education Abroad programs in Rome, Italy; Nagasaki, Japan; Seville, Spain; London, England; Newcastle, Australia; and Suva, Fiji. For more information check out their website.
UD Exchange & Partner Programs:
Irish American Scholars: This is a competitive scholarship program that allows students to study in Northern Ireland during their Junior year, either for a semester or a full academic year – Tuition Free. Yes, you read that right! You won’t pay for tuition in Ireland or at UD. Classes in many subjects are available. Apply during the Fall semester of your Sophomore year. Check out their website here.
Alcala, Spain: The University of Dubuque is a member of the Consortium for Transatlantic Studies and Scholarship. As a UD student, you can join students and faculty from other U.S. universities and study at the University of Alcala (near Madrid). This unique program allows you to study one course at a time in three 4-week blocks alongside a 12-week Introduction to Spain. This program is offered every spring semester and course subjects usually include Sociology, Criminal Justice, History, and Literature. Check out their website here.
Semester at Sea:
Semester at Sea voyages offer a truly global experience each fall and spring. All voyages on the MV World Odyssey are 100+ days, explore at least 10 countries, and 4 continents, and allow students to earn 12-15 academic credits from Colorado State University. The only program of its kind, with the world as its classroom and more than 50 years of experience, Semester at Sea integrates multiple-country study, interdisciplinary coursework, and hands-on field experience for meaningful engagement in the global community. Check out their website here.
Short-Term (Summer, Spring Break, or May-Term)
Short term study abroad programs offer a variety of international study, travel, and service opportunities. UD offers short term study programs every semester, including, May-term and summer semesters. Short-term study opportunities change every term. To participate in short-term study you must register for the course(s) during Fall, Spring, May-term, or Summer registration.
For more information regarding summer abroad courses please visit the UD Course Lists or visit the Study Abroad Office.
Faculty Led Travel Courses (Programs offered every Summer and May-Term. Some during Fall and Spring Semesters with travel components during breaks):
The course number "368" denotes a travel course (Example: ART 368). Many 368 courses are cross-listed and will fulfill the WVS Three Core Requirement. For most of these courses, the travel portion will be during the fall or spring breaks. Recent "368" courses have offered academic credit in art, business, education, environmental science, literature, music, philosophy, sociology, and wellness. Students have traveled with UD faculty to Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, and Turkey. More courses are being planned all the time!
Other Programs in Summer and May-Term:
There are also options for short term programs through our program providers, ISA and CIS. Check out their websites to get an idea of what opportunities are most exciting to you! These programs range in length from 1 week to 11 weeks, but average about 4 weeks. You could combine an internship or service learning with your classroom study.
Mission and Service Trips:
The Seminary, the Wendt Center, Campus Ministry, and other campus organizations often sponsor student mission and service trips. Teams have traveled to Abaco (Bahamas), Ghana, Guatemala, India, Italy, Kenya, Mexico and South Africa. These service travel programs often carry academic credit. For more information about upcoming mission trips, contact the Study Abroad Office.
Fulfill your academic internship requirement abroad. Our affiliate programs offer organized internship opportunities in many locations and will work with you to find a placement that works well with your career goals.
Other Opportunities – Athletic travel:
The Department of Athletics organizes international sports experiences which often carry academic credit. Recent team trips have included: Men's Soccer Team to Ireland; Women's Soccer Team to Costa Rica; Men's Football Team to Germany, Ireland and Italy. These are limited to members of each sports team; for more information contact your coach!
A note on finances: For May-term programs, the Faculty Led options are often much more affordable than non-UD May-term programs. If you’re looking for financial aid for a summer program, remember that you need to be taking at least 6 credits to be eligible for federal loans. Don’t worry too much about the finances right away though – the Office of Financial Planning is great at helping study abroad students figure it all out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Study Abroad?
1. See the World: Most semester programs allow for long weekends because they know that much of your learning will take place outside the classroom as you travel to new places and explore your new home.
2. Education: Choosing to study abroad allows you to experience different styles of education. Enrolling in a study abroad program lets you see your chosen major from different perspectives.
3. Explore a New Culture: Many study abroad students are fascinated by the cultural atmosphere of a new place. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres.
4. Hone your Language Skills: Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in. Be brave! Even if your courses are taught in English, you should try to learn the basics of the local language.
5. Career Opportunities: Many students return with enhanced cultural competency, language skills, adaptability, and a spirit of enthusiasm and curiosity. All of these are very attractive to future employers.
6. Find New Interests: Studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you’d stayed at home. Irish dancing? Italian cuisine? Yes please!!
7. Because You Can: When else in your life will you be able to take weeks or months away from your career to spend time in another country? Don’t skip this experience and regret it later.
How do I pick a Study Abroad Program?
Finding the right program can be tricky because there are so many options and every student has unique goals. To help you narrow down what you’re looking for, ask yourself these questions:
What’s next? (The application process and a step by step checklist)
There are a lot of steps to getting abroad, but that doesn’t mean it has to be confusing. First things first, let the Study Abroad Advisor know that you’re interested in going abroad by emailing StudyAbroad@dbq.edu. From there the two of you can talk more about program options and next steps.
If you already have a program in mind, you can fill out the UD Study Abroad Application here. If you change your mind down the road, that’s OK, we just want to know a little bit about you, how to contact you, and what you’re looking for in a program.
If you’d rather have a detailed step-by-step guide of the process right from the start, check out our Study Abroad Checklist.
How soon should I apply?
The sooner you start planning the better! Even if you want to go abroad two years from now, let the Study Abroad office know now. Here are general application deadlines…remember that applications for scholarships are often earlier.
- Fall Semester program -- Mid March/ Mid April
- Spring Semester program -- Mid September/ Mid October
- Summer program -- Early April
- May-term program -- Early April
What courses can I take abroad? How do credits transfer?
Programs are designed to accommodate electives, many major or minor plans of study, and any major elective course options that will satisfy degree requirements. In your host country, you’ll take courses taught in English (unless you’re fluent in another language and choose to take classes in that language) along with other international students and students from your host country.
During the application process, you will work with your Academic Advisor to fill out a Course Equivalency Form. This allows you to get pre-approval from UD that all the classes you’re planning to take will transfer back to UD once you pass them and come back to campus. You’ll also know ahead of time how they will transfer (ex: if they will count towards your major, fulfill a general education requirement, or simply count towards the 120 credits needed for graduation).
Do I have to take classes while abroad? What else can I do?
Traditional Study abroad (taking classes) is not the only option! You can also engage in service learning or do an internship. An international internship looks AMAZING on a resume. You can even teach English abroad; our providers offer programs that can get you certified for Teaching English as a Foreign Language while you’re in another country getting hands on teaching experience. You do not need to know the host country’s language to do this.
If you’re looking for something to do during a gap year or summer after graduation, you can work abroad. UD has connections with an organization that will help you through the process of getting short-term employment visas in another country. (Generally, we advise that students do not work while they are taking classes abroad, because it requires a special kind of Visa and it takes time away from succeeding in your classes and exploring your new surroundings.)
What about billing, finances, and scholarships?
When you’re looking through programs, the program price can come with a little bit of sticker shock – they seem really expensive! Take a moment though to remember three things:
1) That cost is not all coming out of your pocket. If you are getting any financial aid here at UD, some of that can probably travel with you and help cover costs. How much financial aid can travel depends on the program you choose. For example, programs must be at least 6 credits to be eligible for Federal loans, and there are usually more opportunities for other types of aid to travel for semester programs. Visit the Office of Student Financial Planning in the Charles and Romona Myers Center, 3rd floor, to figure out your individual financial plan.
2) Education can be expensive no matter where you are. Compare that semester or summer program cost to what you would pay for that many credits of tuition at UD. Programs that UD offers are billed through the University, meaning that the program cost for a semester is folded into the amount you are normally charged for UD tuition. You do NOT pay that program fee on top of your UD tuition.
3) There are scholarships, too! People and organizations love to support study abroad students – with money! Some great ones to apply for include the Gilman Scholarship and the Boren Scholarship. You can find hundreds more with a simple Google search, and the Study Abroad office can help you with that search, too.
If you are studying abroad, absolutely apply for UD’s Butler Travel Scholarship! UD is committed to making study abroad more affordable for as many students as possible; this endowed scholarship was introduced in fall 2018 and helped over 20 students study abroad in the first year! Request an application in the Office of Financial Planning on the 3rd floor of the Charles and Romona Meyers Center. The requirements are simple: be in good academic standing, have a study abroad program picked out, fill out the 3-page application, and ask a faculty member to write you a letter of recommendation. Students awarded the scholarship receive between $500 and $3,500.
For more information about current programs, travel arrangements, useful websites, passports and visas, student stories, pre-departure orientation, and advice for packing, visit our Moodle page: “Study Abroad 101”
Director of International Student Services and Study Abroad
Heritage Center, Suite 306
Miranda B. Onofre
Graduate Assistant, International Students Services and Study Abroad
Heritage Center, Suite 306