E4-Learning Abroad & Away

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The purpose of this Action Guide is to encourage you to explore the possibility of leaving campus to study in an area of the city/country/world that is different from what you're used to. Students who have taken advantage of these programs repeatedly say this was one of the best experiences of their life.


There are a variety of ways for you to explore off-campus study opportunities, but first it is important to consider why. What about off-campus study appeals to you? How might an off-campus study program help you in your exploration journey? And finally, which off-campus study program best fits your needs?

The Learning Abroad Center  is the University of Minnesota's comprehensive resource for study, service-learning, work, intern, volunteer, and travel experiences worldwide. A variety of program options – 300 programs in over 70 countries – have been developed to address the diverse needs of students. Programs vary in length, level, academic focus, teaching format, language requirements, cost, and degree of independence demanded of the participant.

National Student Exchange (NSE) is a consortium of U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities, including the University of Minnesota. Students who attend a school that participates in NSE can go on exchange to any other member school. That means you can choose to go on exchange for a semester or a year to schools all over the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and Canada!

HECUA offers local off-campus programs that address some of the most important issues of our time. Semester-long HECUA programs incorporate classroom studies, an internship, and field work. HECUA strives to build knowledge and community while enabling students to create social change.


Read through the above program descriptions and determine which option you would like to explore. Then, follow the instructions below for that program to learn more.

  1. Go to the Learning Abroad Center website
    1. Complete a First Step Session online
    2. Investigate programs
  • Check out these tips for students who are exploring majors
  • If you have a major in mind, use the Major Advising Pages to explore
  • Or, browse through all programs by region, country, program type, and more!
  • Go to the National Student Exchange website
    1. If interested, register for an Information Session
    2. Make yourself aware of the eligibility requirements and the application deadlines
    3. Learn what institutions are part of the consortium, and research school options
  • Go to the HECUA program website
    1. If interested, register for an Information Session
    2. Review the different HECUA programs, and note which semester it is offered in
    3. Read through the FAQs to learn more

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    E4: Learning Abroad and Away