International Studies Major Background

The Department of Art and Design; Communication and Media Studies; Economics; English; Languages; Geography, Earth Science, Conservation and Planning; History; College of Business; Philosophy; Political Science, and Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology cooperatively sponsor the major in international studies. This broad major provides students with a basic understanding of modern world history, international relations, world cultures, and world religions. Part of this learning, as well as intensive language instruction, is to be undertaken abroad.

All full-time Northern Michigan University students in good standing have the opportunity to enrich their academic experience by studying in a country other than the United States. Such studies may apply toward the student's academic program at NMU, provided that the student's academic adviser and the Office of International Programs have granted prior approval. All students contemplating study abroad, whether or not under NMU sponsorship, must register with the Office of International Programs, to assure credit transfer, whether the credit is for general electives, liberal studies courses, or major/minor requirements.

Students have four options for studying in foreign countries:

  • NMU-sponsored programs. NMU is currently a member of two consortia: The Japan Center for Michigan Universities and the Midwest Consortium for Study Abroad. The Japan Center offers a one-year immersion in Japanese language and culture. Japanese language skill is not required. The Midwest Consortium for Study Abroad has programs in three sites. One program is located in Vienna, Austria and another in Macerata, Italy, and a third in Segovia, Spain.
  • NMU-affiliated programs. NMU currently has affiliations with institutes or universities in four other countries: The Institut de Touraine in Tours, France; Laval University in Quebec, Canada; The University of Natal in Durban, South Africa; and the University of Wolverhampton in Walsall, England. The programs in France and Canada are designed to facilitate the intermediate and advanced study of French; the program in England is a field teaching experience for those majoring in elementary and secondary education. There are other opportunities available for study in Athens, Greece; Sienna, Italy; Oviedo, Spain; and Angers, France.
  • Non-NMU affiliated program. Over 3,000 study abroad programs are currently accessible to American students. Only students registering through NMU are eligible to receive financial aid from NMU.
  • Directed Studies. Students who choose to undertake independent travel, work, or study abroad may receive academic credit for such experience by arranging a directed study with an NMU professor prior to departure. Such directed studies typically involve field experiences that are evaluated through written reports submitted upon the student's return to campus.