UI students explore live abroad


The University of Iowa provides students with opportunities to study abroad in any part of the world. Well, except for Antarctica.

During the 2012-13 academic year, 1,348 UI students studied in 70 countries. 

“Studying abroad opens up new perspectives, allows students to develop key competencies such as problem solving and adapting to new circumstances, and contrary to what one might think, it does not delay graduation,” said Downing Thomas, a UI associate provost and the dean of International Programs.

Approximately 22 percent of UI undergraduates study abroad at some point during their time in college.

Among the UI undergraduates who studied abroad during the 2012-13 academic year, 1 percent were first-year students, 13 were sophomores, 44 were juniors, and 42 were seniors.

Thomas said the ideal time most students study abroad is usually between the summer after freshman year and through the first semester of their senior year. 

Students can study abroad for an entire academic year, a semester, or during the winter and summer breaks.

Study abroad is not just for language majors. Students from any major — from physics and engineering to the social sciences and humanities — have the opportunity to explore study-abroad options.

“For many, it is literally a life-changing experience,” Thomas said. “Our tagline is ‘You’re going somewhere’; one meaning of that phrase is that study abroad helps you to get where you want to go in life.”

For students who are worried about cost, financial aid is offered.

Additional funding in International Programs and in the colleges is offered to students to reduce the financial expenses that might come with studying abroad. 

The university also offers an additional $500,000 in merit and need-based awards specifically to encourage study abroad.

To explore the vast options offered for study abroad, visit the Study Abroad office, 1111 University Capitol Center.

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