Undergraduate Studies

Study Abroad

the German parliament buildingWhy Study Abroad?

In an increasingly interdependent world, promoting knowledge about diverse regions of the globe is a central part of the department’s mission. The Department of Political Science therefore encourages all students majoring in our department to broaden their understanding of global politics by participating in one or more of our faculty-led study abroad programs.

Students who study abroad find that learning to negotiate cultural boundaries and living as a foreigner in a country that has a different history, culture, and language from that of the United States is one of the most valuable learning experiences of their lives. In addition to expansive opportunities for intellectual and personal growth, an academic program abroad provides new intellectual perspectives, international experience, and language skills, all of which are increasingly valuable in today’s job market, especially for students pursuing a career in international affairs.

Programs Offered

The Department of Political Science offers three faculty-led study abroad programs. These programs take place during the summer semesters, and usually require 3-4 weeks abroad. In addition to allowing you to experience life in a different country, you will earn up to six hours of upper division course credit in political science courses that count toward the political science and international studies degrees.

Although there are many opportunities to study abroad through other institutions, participating in our faculty-led programs has several advantages. First, you register for UA courses through the regular registration process, thus avoiding the potential complications of dealing with transfer credit. Second, all of our programs are designed and led by our own faculty, who travel with you and serve as the instructors for the courses you will take. And finally, our programs are very affordable, compared to programs offered by other institutions.

Currently, our department offers programs in Belgium, Germany, Jamaica, and Sweden. All of our study abroad programs require a brief application.

Summer Program in Belgium

Director: Dr. Douglas Gibler (dmgibler@ua.edu)

Courses: Students are required to be enrolled in six hours of course work for this program.

  • PSC 413: American Foreign Policy (3 hours)
  • PSC 442: International Conflict (3 hours)

Summer Program in Germany

Director: Dr. Dana Patton (dana.patton@ua.edu)

Courses: Students are required to be enrolled in six hours of course work for this program. No prerequisites are required.

  • PSC 321: Politics and Culture of Germany (6 hours)
  • PSC 321: Public Policy: Germany and the US. (6 hours)

Summer Program in Sweden

Director: Dr. Utz McKnight (mcknight.utz@gmail.com)

Courses: Students are required to be enrolled in six hours of course work for this program.

  • WS: 310/AAST 395/PSC 321: Swedish Popular Culture and Politics (3 hours)
  • WS 310/ AAST 395/PSC 321: Travel Writing, Writing Culture (3 hours)

Future Programs

The political science department and the University launch new study abroad programs every few years. Check this website regularly, or talk to your advisor.

More Information

Please contact the program directors for more information. You can find out more about these and other UA study abroad programs by visiting the Capstone International Center’s website, http://international.ua.edu/educationabroad/.