Study abroad offers Gender and Women’s Studies students with a platform from which you can participate in gender studies in a different cultural context and from a new national perspective. While abroad, you will build a more complex understanding of the arenas in which gender plays a vital role, such as: the arts, education, feminism, history, human rights, language, literature, media, medicine and public health, policy and politics.
When you visit International Academic Programs in the Red Gym, speak with a Peer Advisor who has already studied abroad to learn more about the variety of experiences you can pursue and how modes of instruction differ across national educational settings. Many university communities abroad offer students important opportunities to get involved in local activism. UW-Madison also provides students with opportunities to pursue research, field work, and internships in gender studies and/or feminist work overseas.
Planning Your GWS Courses Abroad
As a study abroad participant, courses taken abroad often allow you to earn UW-Madison intermediate or advanced electives in the GWS major and in the GWS or LGBTQ+ Studies certificate programs. It is unlikely, though not impossible, that study abroad coursework will meet the Approaches or Issue Areas for the GWS major.
In many cases, your study abroad courses will already have an established UW-Madison equivalent. Occasionally, a course that you take abroad will need to be evaluated by the Gender and Women’s Studies Undergraduate Advisor. The GWS advisor welcomes questions from students about how their study abroad courses will count for GWS and/or LGBTQ+ programs.
Keep in mind that even if a course does not have a direct GWS equivalent, it can still count as an elective for the GWS major or certificate programs
The Gender & Women’s Studies department has course numbers assigned for study abroad courses:
- GWS 319: Study Abroad Special Topics in the Humanities
- GWS 329: Study Abroad Special Topics in the Social Sciences.
Note: Gender & Women’s Studies major students must take the GWS 640 capstone at UW-Madison; GWS 640 is offered every fall and spring. Likewise, LGBTQ+ Studies certificate students must take the GWS 642 capstone on campus; GWS 642 is offered in spring only.
If you have questions while you are abroad, you can contact the Gender & Women’s Studies advisor via email, Skype, or Google Hangout. The department is happy to answer your questions about courses and how they might count for your GWS program requirements.
You will find more information about the Gender & Women’s Studies degree requirements on the department website.
Considerations for Students Interested in Internship or Service Programs Abroad
Many study abroad programs offer students the opportunity for community engagement. If you are particularly interested in an internship or field experience abroad, consider UW-Madison’s International Internships Program and the Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health. Some of the study abroad programs listed below as great choices for GWS students also count for the Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health’s field experience requirement.
There are many options to consider as you plan when to study abroad. Students frequently study abroad during the fall or spring semesters of the sophomore or junior year. IAP offers great opportunities for first year students, and summer presents lots of possibilities. You can also study abroad as a senior, but make sure that you are able enroll in the courses you need for graduation and watch your Senior Residency Requirement. Courses taken on an IAP study abroad program do count as residence credit.
Your undergraduate advisor in GWS and your advisors with International Academic Programs can help you with questions about study abroad timing and graduation.
Questions to Ask Your GWS/LGBTQ+ Studies Advisor
- What courses do I need to take to complete my major, certificate, and degree requirements?
- What elective courses would be appropriate to take abroad?
- Are there GWS or LGBTQ+ Studies courses that I must take on the UW-Madison campus?
- What programs have GWS students pursued during previous semesters?
Questions to Ask International Academic Programs Staff
- What classes can I take abroad?
- How can I prepare for different classroom expectations abroad?
- How and when do I enroll in courses for my study abroad program?
- When will I know the course equivalents for my study abroad program?
Finding the Right Program
Go to the Study Abroad Fair and use the Program Search on the IAP website to determine which programs are a good fit for your academic interests and geographic preferences.
The Department of Gender & Women’s Studies has reviewed current IAP programs and identified the following options where we know GWS or LGBTQ+ Studies students will find coursework that fulfills major or certificate requirements. However, this is not an exhaustive list and course offerings change frequently. Investigate programs that best fit your goals for where you want to travel and what you want to study while you are there.
IFSA Argentina Study Abroad Programs: With this consortium program in Buenos Aires, GWS students can pursue a concentration in Human Rights: Diversity, Minority and Gender Studies; courses taught in Spanish.
University of Sydney Exchange: Study with Australian students at the University of Sydney. Take courses like Gender, Security, and Human Rights, Gender and Politics in the Arab World, and Representing Race and Gender.
CIEE Liberal Arts in Santiago: Students choose courses from 3 different universities in Santiago and take courses alongside Chilean students. Consider options like Gender and Sexuality in Latin American Revolutions and Dictatorships or History and Gender: Representations of Women in the West; courses taught in Spanish.
Chinese University of Hong Kong Exchange: CUHK brings together an international community of faculty and students. The Gender Studies department offers a robust course list, such as Sexuality and Culture, Understanding Masculinities and Social Change, and Gendered Migration in Transnational Asia. CUHK is a bilingual university; many courses are taught in English.
University of Copenhagen Exchange: Take gender studies courses alongside Danish students; courses taught in English, but a course in Danish language is recommended to help you more easily immerse yourself in all that Copenhagen has to offer.
University of Bristol Exchange: Study gender in the context of literature, sociology, and policy on England’s Atlantic coast as part of a large, international academic community.
University of Westminster: With four campuses in and around London, the University of Westminster offers GWS students the opportunity to take courses in gender and politics, literature, and journalism, as well as offering introductory gender studies courses.
UW in Paris: Study in Paris and take courses like Gender and Difference or Sexuality and Difference: the Unveiled Gender; courses taught in French.
UW Ghanaian Health & Food Systems: Explore the relationship between gender, health, and well-being in environmental context.
*Also counts as a field experience for the Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health.
CIEE at the University of Ghana: Study cultural conceptions of gender in the context of African Studies; consider the gendered consequences of development work on the African continent.
IFSA National University Ireland: Many GWS students have studied abroad in Galway. Choose from an array of options in the Women’s Studies department.
UW Design Studies in Kenya: This faculty-led course focuses on design. Students work with community women on various projects. This program is building a local community center which will serve to promote an alternative rite of passage for female genital mutilation.
University of Amsterdam Exchange: Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) offers a number of courses in gender, sexuality & society within the Social Sciences faculty. UvA courses are taught in English.
Utrecht University Exchange: Utrecht University is a large research campus with many international students taking courses in English. In the Faculty of Humanities, students find courses like: Introduction to Gender Studies, Historiography of Feminist Ideas, Gender, Ethnicity and Religion, and Gender, Visuality and Technology; courses offered in English or Dutch.
University of Oslo International Summer School (ISS): Experience a summer of international education with 500 students from all over the world. This 6-week program includes courses such as Gender Equality in the Nordic Countries; courses taught in English.
National University of Singapore Exchange: NUS offers a broad array of gender studies courses including courses that focus on gender in the south Asian context, feminist theory, and sexuality studies.
UW Circle of Care for Global Health and Human Rights in Spain & Morocco: Learn about the efforts of governments and NGOs to prevent human/sex-trafficking at Spain’s border with Morocco.
*Also counts as a field experience for the Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health.
WIP Universidad Complutense de Madrid: On the Complutense campus, take courses in the history of women and gender or women in Spanish literature; courses taught in Spanish.
CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts & Sciences in Seville: Choose from courses like Anthropology of Sexuality, Women in Art: Visions of Difference & Equality, Women Writers in 20th Century Spain, and Women in American History; courses taught in Spanish.
University of Cape Town Exchange: Study at South Africa’s oldest university in beautiful Cape Town. Check out numerous course offerings in the Gender Studies department.
Ewha University Exchange: Ewha is a women’s college and proud of their long history of women’s education. Every semester, Ewha offers a few GWS courses.
DIS – Study Abroad in Scandinavia: DIS is a great platform for exploring Scandinavia. Semester students take a core group of courses that includes a faculty-led study tour. There are numerous gender studies courses offered. Students take courses in English with Americans from a variety of US colleges and universities.
Again, keep in mind that this is just a sampling of programs and not an exhaustive list. Search all of International Academic Programs so that you can find the program that best matches your academic and experiential goals for a semester, summer, or a year abroad.