Other Opportunities Abroad

In addition to Study Abroad, there are many ways to internationalize your Notre Dame experience, including independent research, language programs, internships, and service learning. Below is a brief overview of the different opportunities available to Notre Dame students.  

Independent Research

Independent research is a great way to study abroad. Notre Dame faculty members may be available to direct a course of independent Study (for credit), which can be done independently or within a Study Abroad program; consult your professors. Research can be carried out during the academic year or during the summer.

An independent research project is an excellent starting point for students aspiring to write a senior thesis. It is also ideal preparation for future graduate work.

What You Need to Know

  • Have a clear purpose for the research: Are you a sophomore and want to explore a topic that is new to you? Are you a junior and want to conduct fieldwork for your senior thesis?
  • Plan, plan, plan: Serious research requires a clear research question and a research plan. International research requires even more thoughtful planning and will likely require more time to arrange and, once on the field, may take more time to conduct.
  • Faculty Guidance: Most research grant programs will require a faculty advisor for independent research. Faculty advisors can help you make the connections in other countries that can greatly help achieve your goals.  Human subject research requires IRB approval.

Funding Resources

Also check individual departments in the Colleges of Science, Engineering, and Business.

For more information about funding for research at Notre Dame during undergraduate study or for work after graduation, consult the Office of Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Fellowships. Notre Dame Research provides guidance on compliance of research activities.

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Language Opportunities

To understand another culture or be proficient in another language, there is no substitute for living and studying in the country where that language is spoken. Also keep in mind that learning or perfecting your skills in a language (even if not an overseas experience) can be the first step to exciting international experiences in the future. Listed below are opportunities for students to improve their language skills through Notre Dame summer programs:

  • The Critical Language Scholarship Program: a fully funded summer overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students
  • The Center for the Study of Languages & Cultures offers the Summer Language Abroad (SLA) Grant Program to support and promote foreign language study abroad.
  • ISLA, UROP, Arts & Letters summer fellowships: Up to three grants to combine language study and research. For more information, visit ISLA
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures: EALC students are strongly encouraged to supplement their coursework at Notre Dame with language and culture programs during the summer or academic year. 
  • German Studies: Grants for the summer study of the German language. 
  • Classics:  Up to two awards, for the study of Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin and Syriac. 
  • Romance Languages: Italian Ravarino Scholarship - Five to six awards (both graduate and undergraduate). Deadline is mid-February.
  • Kellogg Institute: Quechua Summer Language Fellowship

What You Need to Know

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Internship Opportunities

International internships are ideal for students wanting to gain professional experience while building their international credentials. Opportunities for internships exist at many locations worldwide:

What You Need to Know

  • Living and working in a new country can be challenging. Stay flexible and be prepared to adjust your expectations regarding common professional practices.
  • Some internships may require knowledge of the local language
  • There may be visa (work permit) considerations for U.S. and non-U.S. citizens, so planning ahead—up to 6-8 months in advance—is critical

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Service Learning Opportunities

The Center for Social Concerns operates service learning opportunities all over the globe for Notre Dame students. They are both highly competitive and highly rewarding experiences with excellent preparation and reintegration programs.

Other options for service learning are available through Student Activities Clubs.  With more than 300 clubs on campus, there are a great number of engagement opportunities, many of which require independent funding.  

Opportunities for volunteer work exist in virtually every Study Abroad location. Students typically volunteer as English teachers, work in non-profit organizations such as the Red Cross, or international affiliates of Catholic Charities.

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Other Useful Links

College of Engineering Research Experience for UndergraduatesIncorporating Resiliency and Energy into Infrastructure Research and Life-Cycle Assessments is a proposed undergraduate student research opportunity over 8-10 weeks wherein students will be supervised by world-class researchers at a university or government institute in New Zealand.

Fulbright Scholarships: The Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills. This notable program offers fellowships for graduating seniors and graduate students through a competitive proposal process.

Rotary International: A global network of community volunteers

Peace Corps: Founded in 1961, the Peace Corps mission is to "promote world peace and friendship." The Peace Corps has three goals: to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women; to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served; to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

CIEE Work Abroad: Leave your inner tourist at home and decide where you want to take your inner traveler. You can work in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Ireland and Germany with CIEE.

U.S. Dept. of State Foreign Service: Paid and unpaid employment opportunities for the summer

GoAbroad: A resource with over 14,000 programs listed by the organizations themselves, this is one of the most comprehensive resources for international education opportunities and meaningful travel. 

Notre Dame International offers the above resources as a service to our students, but we do not endorse any particular international or volunteer organization and generally do not advise on these topics. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact the appropriate programs/organizations directly.

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