INTS students are strongly encouraged to participate in a study abroad (generally, one or more semesters) or travel study program (generally, two weeks or more) in the region they choose as their specialization. These programs can be life-changing, and students should try to incorporate international travel and study into their degrees. Study abroad opportunities include (but are not limited to):
Semester in Beijing
With CU Denver's Semester in Beijing, students have the opportunity to study and live in Beijing, China. Unique among university programs, Chinese, American, and other international students study together in English at China Agricultural University’s International College at Beijing by University of Colorado Denver appointed faculty. Courses taken at ICB count as CU Denver credits.
Sustainability in Berlin
As a global leader in sustainability, the world looks to Germany to learn from its successful efforts in the face of many environmental challenges. Both undergraduate and graduate students now have an amazing opportunity to be a part of this work through the Sustainability in Berlin semester program.
Travel Study opportunities may include (but are not limited to):
- Field School Tanzania (Summer)
- International Development in East Africa: Uganda & Rwanda (Maymester)
- Narratives of the New China: Engagement & Exploration (Maymester)
- Window on China (Maymester)
- Korea Goes Global (Summer)
- Sustainable Development & Health in Bhutan (Summer)
- Food Fight in Spain (Winterim)
- Italy - Managing Across Cultures (Maymester)
- The Victorian Metropolis: London (Maymester)
- Foundation & Innovation: Culture & Science in France (Maymester)
- Leadership Through a Third Eye: Costa Rica (Maymester)
- The Costa Rican Experience (Maymester)
- Nobel Cause: Peace and Justice in Guatemala (Maymester)
Although CU Denver's short-term travel study programs and semester-long programs serve the needs of the vast majority of our students who go abroad, students are also able to study abroad through approved third-party providers (see Office of Global Education).
Please note that an INTS advisor must approve the study program in advance and no more than eighteen credit hours from a study abroad program can apply to the major. Study abroad programs or travel study courses that are CU courses (rather than third-party programs and courses) will count toward the residency requirement for the major. Students should contact the Office of Global Education for more information concerning study abroad and travel study opportunities (located on the 9th floor of the Lawrence Street Center, 303.315.2230).
What Students Say
"As an undergraduate, I studied abroad twice. I completed a semester in Aix en Provence, France, and I participated in an intensive Winterim program in Morocco. These were both incredible, transformative, mind-opening experiences that I will never forget. And these experiences added profoundly to my education. Being completely immersed in another culture, being forced to speak a foreign language, and being exposed firsthand to the real differences that exist between cultures in this world – all of this taught me more than any textbook ever could. This is why, personally, I think that every International Studies major should study abroad at least once. But beyond this, the value of these experiences was more than just academic – it was personal and professional as well. Studying abroad led me to find direction in my career path, and actually, to the job I have today. After I got back from France, I went to the Study Abroad office and asked if there was anything I could do to stay involved with the international sphere. I didn’t want to loose touch with the amazing experience I had just had: I wanted to make something of it. I was hired as a student worker, and in this role, stumbled upon the field of International Education. I realized almost instantly that I wanted to pursue a career in this path. And now, today, I’m working my first real job in the field and loving every day. I can’t overstate the value of that. Studying abroad led me down a path of self-discovery, to find a field I am passionate about, and a sense of direction now that I have graduated.”
-- Emma Sletteland, BA, 2015
Kelsey Evans - Study Abroad Student (INTS)
Semester in Beijing 2012
“Clothes, check. Toiletries, check. I’ll pack my iPod, phone, laptop and their
chargers in the carry on when I get up…”, I checked my cell: 1:40 a.m, “…in an
hour and a half.”
This has become a ritual for
me. On the evening before an international flight, I can’t eat or sleep. It
doesn’t matter that I have traveled many times or that I have carefully planned
this trip for months; the night before I travel I am always a bundle of stress
and excitement. This time, in the fall
of 2011, my concerns were much larger. I was going to study abroad in Beijing
for an entire semester. Until then, my
longest study abroad program had been for two weeks.
The stress—and 40 hours
without sleep by the time my plane landed—led to serious jet-lag. As a reaction
to this nervous excitement, I mentally focus on packing and repacking during the
night prior to departure. This does not
really relax me, but it focuses my mind on something within my control. If I did not do it, I would start worrying
more about all the things that are outside of my control. It would occur to me that I was going to
China, but my Mandarin-Chinese is very weak.
Or that I was leaving home for the first time, and going to a country
where I didn’t have a single friend.
This would lead to worries about making new friends. I am a farily shy person, and I’m not
interested in many popular things such as going to sports events or night
clubs. As far as Chinese pop culture goes,
I am completely out of touch. What if my
classmates don’t find me interesting?
What if we don’t have anything in common? What if they hate my pink hair? What if I am
too shy or too nervous to go out and just experience things? Will I be able to get all my classwork done
and still have time to explore the city?
The unanswered questions pile up in my head, threatening to bury
If I find traveling so
stressful, why do I do it? I have found
that the stress at the beginning of a trip is well worth the adventure. There is absolutely nothing like visiting a
new country and experiencing a culture, language, food and the city (or
countryside) firsthand. I have been
fortunate enough to be able to travel to Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan and
China. Every time, even if the program
lasted for only two weeks, I was amazed at the culture differences. I loved meeting new people, and understanding
new points of view. It was also fun to
visit places that I had read about, such as Abbey Road, Tokyo Tower, and the
Great Wall. Reading about them, or watching
television specials, cannot beat actually seeing them firsthand. For those two weeks, every day was an
action-packed educational adventure.
This trip was immensely
important, an integral part of my major in International Studies. I wondered
about a future career that required travel, and needed to prove to myself that
I could move to a foreign country and adapt to the changes. I chose to go to China for many reasons.
China not only has a rich long history, it has also become a global economic
powerhouse. IA semester of studying in
China would look good on my resume, and in this weak job market it would give
me a competitive advantage. Also, I had
run out of Chinese courses at the University of Colorado Denver. I had a choice: commute to a nearby city for
more classes or study abroad. So I decided
to study in Beijing to immerse myself in the language, improve my Mandarin-Chinese
skills, and learn more about China and the views of the Chinese people. More importantly, I wanted to make
friends. If I didn’t have friends I
couldn’t practice Chinese, I couldn’t ask important questions on serious
topics, and the trip as a whole would be boring.
Plans had been underway for
this trip for over a year and a half. I
was so worried that I was going to make a mistake and mess it up.
I hoped that I would make
friends, that my classes would go well, would not become horribly terribly lost,
and would not forget to bring anything important. I went through my lists again-- how many shirts did I pack?
What I didn’t realize was
that after returning from the trip, I would still be staying up until 1:40 in
the morning. This time, I was Skyping my
best friend Anqi, whom I met in Bejing, to discuss all the great times we spent
singing karaoke, eating Chinese hot pot foods and hanging out with
classmates. What mattered most wasn’t
what I packed—it was the memories and friendships I brought back.