Students majoring in Life Sciences Communication are encouraged to complement their coursework with out-of-classroom experiences such as study abroad. Studying abroad exposes you to a wide array of opportunities that will strengthen your understanding of science communication issues throughout the world. In addition, the international experience gained from studying abroad is highly attractive to potential graduate programs and employers.
Fortunately, the flexibility and ability to customize your curriculum in the Life Sciences Communication major makes study abroad a feasible and appealing option. Life Sciences Communication students can take advantage of this opportunity during nearly any semester if they plan well and early.
Prospective Life Sciences Communication Students
Life Sciences Communication (LSC) at UW-Madison is a global leader the field of science communication and is one of the only bachelor’s degree granting programs in science communication worldwide. Due to the unique focus of our program, most study abroad locations will unlikely offer courses that are equivalent to those offered in LSC. Therefore, you are encouraged to plan to take all LSC requirements on campus at UW-Madison and focus study abroad credits on general education requirements, electives, or courses for other majors or certificates.
To study abroad, ensure you are familiar with Life Sciences Communication requirements and work with your advisor on developing a 4-year plan. Your 4-year plan will provide a sense of how and when study abroad will best complement your major and degree. Although the LSC curriculum does not have a lot of sequencing requirements, it is important to take into consideration that the foundation and core courses are required to be completed prior to taking the LSC capstone course in your final semester. Additionally, some courses are only offered once per year. This is why you are strongly encouraged to talk with the advisor about your interest in studying abroad as early as possible.
Many LSC students also choose to pursue and additional major and/or certificate(s) during their time on campus. If you are a student pursuing additional majors/certificates, you should consult with all of your academic advisors to confirm program requirements and options for receiving study abroad credit for each academic program.
Life Sciences Communication Course Considerations Abroad
As noted above, students in LSC are most likely to earn elective or general education requirements credits from study abroad. You should also work with advisors for your other major and certificate(s) to determine if courses from study abroad programs could count towards those academic programs.
Mapping Your Study Abroad Experience as a Life Sciences Communication Major
During freshman year, many students take general education requirements including introductory communications, math and science courses. Freshman students in LSC often enroll in LSC 100: Science and Storytelling to complete the Communication A requirement and may begin enrolling in LSC core courses. For students considering the Life Sciences Communication major early, freshman year may be a good time to earn CALS general education and breadth credits abroad, especially through programs offered during winter intersession, spring break, or summer.
During sophomore year, LSC majors continue to satisfy their general education requirements as well as some of the introductory coursework for the major. For students who have started completing some LSC requirements and campus general education requirements, sophomore year could be a great time to study abroad.
Junior year is the most popular time for LSC students go abroad because they have likely completed foundational coursework in the major and the foundational courses in math and science. Courses that fulfill LSC core elective and concentration requirements are offered at least once per year which adds flexibility for moving those to one semester in junior year or taking them senior year. You can study abroad at any point junior year with appropriate planning.
Seniors in LSC will likely be taking upper-level LSC courses as well as completing additional majors or certificates and their LSC capstone in their final semester. However, there is still time for LSC students to study abroad senior year! If you choose to study abroad senior year, you are encouraged to select a fall, winter intersession, or spring break program to ensure that you are on campus to take the capstone course in the spring of your senior year.
Example Four Year Plan for Life Science Communication Major Studying Abroad for a Semester
Many LSC students choose to use elective spaces like those indicated in the four-year plan below to complete an additional major or certificate(s). Other students choose to take more LSC courses than the minimum required and others will fill those electives with pre-requisite coursework for graduate and professional school.
LSC 100 (Comm A)
First Year Seminar
|LSC 111 or 212 (Comm B)
Social Sciences Elective
LSC Core Elective
|LSC Core Elective
||LSC Concentration Course
Biological Sci Elective
||LSC Concentration Course
CALS Intl Studies
|LSC 515 or 640
Biological Science Elective
Questions to Ask
- What am I looking for in a study abroad program? Specific location or length of time? Internship or research opportunities? Ability to live with a host family or live in a dorm or apartment?
- How does study abroad align with my academic and career goals?
- What are my personal goals for a study abroad experience?
Your Academic Advisor
- What classes must I complete for my degree (breadth/depth, major requirements, etc.)?
- Do I need to be on UW-Madison’s campus for any courses in my major?
- How many electives do/can I have outside of my major?
Your Study Abroad Advisor
- What classes can I take abroad?
- How and when do I select courses for my program?
- When will I know course equivalents for my program?
- What is the class structure like abroad?
Identifying Programs That are Right for You
There are many different study abroad programs available to students in LSC. Programs vary in their course offerings, language of instruction, duration, and cost. The list below provides a small sample of programs that may be of interest to LSC students.
This list is not exhaustive and we encourage you to research all UW-Madison study abroad programs as well as talk with your academic advisor(s) and study abroad staff to find the best program for your individual goals and interests.
Examples of programs focused on social sciences, communication, or journalism include:
Australia: University of Sydney Exchange
France: UW in Paris
Ireland: IFSA National University Ireland, Galway
Italy: UW in Florence
Spain: IES Barcelona
United Kingdom: University of Leeds Exchange
Examples of programs focused on STEM fields include:
Denmark: DIS-Study Abroad in Scandinavia
Mexico: UW Wildlife Ecology in Mexico
New Zealand: Massey University Exchange
Tanzania: UW Health, Education, & Tanzanian Culture
Uganda: UW Mobile Clinics & Health Care in Uganda