Studying abroad is one of the best ways to become more of a “global citizen.” It allows you to learn and understand issues from new viewpoints while you are immersed in a different culture and society. Skills that many students develop while abroad include independence and self-confidence, adaptability, teamwork, problem solving, and creativity.
There is no single destination for political science majors, so when considering study abroad think broadly about possible locations, experiences you would like to have, the amount of time you can spend, and cost. Go to the UW Study Abroad Office website or meet with one of their advisers to get the best information about approved, available programs. The Study Abroad Office also has information about funding for study abroad through scholarships and adjustments to your financial aid.
Types of study abroad opportunities include:
1. UW Study Abroad Programs
UW programs are pre-structured with locations, coursework and credits. When you apply you will know what courses you will be taking. Many UW department programs also do not require you to know the language of the country you are visiting. This category also includes Exploration Seminars, which can usually be completed between the end of Summer quarter and the start of Autumn quarter, and programs run through individual departments.
2. Affiliated Programs
The UW Study Abroad Office has approved study abroad programs offered by other schools or by study abroad program providers. Some of these programs are very specific, but others allow students to choose from a list of possible courses available at the host institution. After completing this type of study abroad you will need to complete paperwork to convert the study abroad programs to UW course numbers.
In an exchange a student from another university attends UW and you attend their home university. Some of these programs require a high degree of language skill, but they can also be the most immersive type of program you can find. Since you will essentially be attending another institution just like any other student, you will need to transfer these credits back to UW and then complete the required paperwork before the classes are converted to UW course numbers.
4. Internships Abroad
Students can find internships in other countries through IE3 Global and then receive credit at UW after completing the internship. This type of study abroad program requires independence, self-assurance, and a significant amount of paperwork both before and after the program. You will set up supervision of the coursework related to your internship with a member of the UW faculty. For more information, visit the UW Study Abroad office to speak with an adviser.
5. Independent Learning
This type of study abroad requires students to be self-motivated and prepared. It is used for opportunities that do not align with other study abroad program models and may include independent research, practicums, or fellowship programs (like FLAS or Fulbright). Due to the amount of planning and academic preparation required, these (and the internships abroad) are best considered only by advanced undergraduates.
If you have already found a study abroad program that interests you, start the planning to go abroad by working your way through the UW Study Abroad Student Handbook.