Love to travel? Interested in learning about other cultures? Maybe you see yourself studying in a cafe by the Seine in Paris--or traversing the Great Wall of China! Most SPEA students find that, with careful planning, they can fit a study abroad experience into their time as an undergraduate.
Before getting your passport or packing your bags, you have lots of planning to do! Your first step is to talk to a SPEA advisor about working study abroad into your academic plan. An advisor can help you tailor your plans to fit your academics, but will usually give the following advice to any student:
Start Early. It's never too early to start planning for study abroad. The longer you wait, the more likely that a study abroad experience could tack time on to your degree. By starting early, you can eliminate this risk.
Spend Electives and General Education Requirements Wisely. Students often use electives for overseas study, or aim to find transferable coursework for general education. Be warned--finding SPEA coursework overseas can be difficult. And even if you do find SPEA-equivalent courses overseas, only two courses can transfer back as SPEA major coursework.
Download a Planning Sheet. Use our Overseas Study Advising Guidelines sheet to guide your planning.
Once you have a general idea of how study abroad can work into your plans, head to the IU Office of Overseas Study. This is where you can find the program that best suits your interests. SPEA advisors love to help, but we're not as well versed in all 250 overseas options as this office is. Consider them the experts for assisting you in determining a program, application help, and questions about cost.
Now that you have a program selected, you will need to get your coursework together. For the second time in your study abroad planning, you will want to visit a SPEA advisor--this time for help in selecting coursework.
What if you want a course to transfer as a SPEA course? You'll need to do some legwork and submit the course for approval. Use this form to submit courses for pre-approval. Remember--only two courses can transfer back from overseas as major coursework, though you may submit more than two courses during the approval process in case one or more is denied.
You can browse a list of courses that have been approved; note that you will still need to submit the approval form for your planning purposes.
SPEA has special opportunities available for study abroad, as well. Our students can take part in summer programs uniquely tailored to SPEA courses of study in locations like London, Beijing, Spain, and Vietnam. Visit SPEA Abroad for more information!
Now that you have the basics, refer to our Overseas Study Advising Guidelines sheet to continue planning. When you're ready, schedule an appointment with an academic advisor.