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Planning ahead to accommodate study abroad

If you are majoring in one of the sciences, integrate study abroad into your Northwestern science program early in your academic career. Students typically complete required introductory sequences in their freshman and sophomore years and complete upper level core courses during junior year. However, it is possible to plan your courses to accommodate study abroad. For example, meeting major requirements through AP exams or summer study or completing junior year sequences during sophomore year abroad can often facilitate study.

Go through your academic plan with your college adviser and discuss the relationship between study abroad and your major with your major adviser as early as possible in your academic career. This will allow the study abroad experience to accentuate the Northwestern curriculum without interfering with important courses or sequences.

Program options for sciences students

From conducting biology field research in a tropical rainforest to fulfilling pre-med requirements in England, Northwestern students have many options for studying the sciences abroad.

  1. University-centered programs with a classroom focus
    Many universities abroad offer advanced coursework in the sciences that may accentuate your major. This choice may be appealing in cases where the university has demonstrated expertise in a particular area of specialization that is of interest. If you are planning to have coursework count towards your major, you should plan out a slate of courses that could be used for major credit at Northwestern. Northwestern's exchange programs send students to leading engineering and science schools. Northwestern is also affiliated with leading universities, where students can select from a full range of science courses.
  2. Field study and research focused programs
    Field study and research programs abroad can strengthen and expand your science background and help build skills in independent study and research, which can provide powerful support to future applications to graduate or professional school. In addition, field study and research programs can provide challenging and vision expanding experiences not available through classroom instruction and lead to a thorough understanding of another culture. Northestern offers field studies and internship programs in the Americas, Europe and China.

Pursuing a study abroad program that doesn't focus on science

Many students focus their study abroad program on an academic area outside their major. After all, one of the main motivating factors behind studying abroad is the opportunity to broaden your education and view of the world.

With careful planning, it may be possible for you not to take any science courses abroad, or alternatively, to take just one science course along with courses in other subjects. Once again, the possible paths and arrangements are best made early through conversations with your major adviser and college adviser.

Northwestern contact for studying sciences abroad

Andy Rivers, Academic Adviser
Phone: 847-497-7100, Location: Tech F225