Study Abroad

Many students in the IR program are interested in the study abroad program.  You will find information on the study abroad program here:

Once you have been accepted for an Exchange, please go to the following website for information about what you need to do to make all arrangements for your year abroad.

Course selection and approval:  If you decide to take part in this program, then you will need to make sure that some of the courses that you take will count towards your IR module.  Students in the IR program usually go on exchange in their third year of study

To progress in the module, you will need to take courses in History and Political Science at the senior level (3000 and 4000).  Not all courses available on exchange will be equivalent to UWO senior level courses.  For example, Political Science courses at Sciences Po in Paris are equivalent to 2000 level courses. 

Most IR students who have gone on exchange have attended universities in Europe; some have also gone to Australia and Hong Kong.  We have considerable experience with students on exchange in St. Andrew’s in Scotland, Leeds in the UK, as well as the Erasmus Program in Rotterdam, although you can take attend any of the universities with which UWO has made arrangements for exchange students.

You won’t always have access to complete or accurate information about the courses available to you.  But given the information available, choose courses that are compatible with the IR module.  This does not mean you must select courses that are similar to the ones offered at Western.  For example, if there is a course on the history of the European Union, roughly comparable to HIS3422F/G, you can take it if it interests you, but your choice is not limited to courses with comparable offerings at Western.  In fact, taking similar courses might defeat some of the benefits of study abroad, such as learning about a discipline according to different intellectual traditions and pedagogical approaches.  But you must choose courses that are suitable to the module, meaning Political Science courses that belong to the international relations sub-field or History courses that belong to the international history group.

You will want to get preliminary course approvals long before you arrive at your study abroad destination.   Once you have a preliminary selection of courses as well as course descriptions, assignment information, teaching hours, etc, please contact Lorrie Lefebvre ( the undergraduate program advisor in Political Science for course approval for all Political Science courses and Rebecca Hicks(, the undergraduate program coordinator in the History Department for course approval for all History courses. 

Once you get to your destination, you might decide to change your course selection, perhaps because a course isn’t being offered, it is full, or it isn’t what you had expected.  Students regularly make changes to their courses.  We want to make sure that you take classes that interest you and are suitable to the IR program.  Be sure to contact the relevant department to get approval for any new course selections.  We are always available by email. If you complete courses that have not been approved, there is no guarantee that they will count toward your module requirements.