Study Abroad

Studying abroad offers the English major a wide range of opportunities to learn about the cultural contexts in which literary texts have been produced and to study a range of literary traditions. To see the entire range of programs consult the Office of International Studies.

Where to study abroad

English Language Programs. For most English majors studying in England or Ireland—nations that have produced some of the greatest literature written in English—is the logical choice. Not surprisingly, the London Program and the program at University College Dublin are the two most popular study abroad programs among English majors. New this year is the opportunity to study at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England. For students with special interests there are also programs at Oxford, Cambridge, Trinity (Dublin), and, in medieval studies at St. Andrews in Scotland. Because of its limited resources for the study of English, we recommend that our majors do not apply to the Freemantle, Australia program. 

Foreign Language Programs. Students who have a second major, or a minor, in a foreign language, may prefer to study abroad in a country where that language is spoken. Other English majors simply wish to immerse themselves in another culture, regardless of their major. Studying abroad in a non-English speaking country has many advantages and is perfectly compatible if study is limited to one semester (it may be possible to undertake a longer program but the student must plan very carefully). Note that most programs in non-English speaking countries do not offer courses in literatures written in English and only such courses count towards the English major.


Study abroad approval. Students applying to study abroad programs must obtain approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies in their major department(s) as well as from an advisor in the College Office of Undergraduate Studies (for study abroad the Director of Undergraduate Studies is the advisor for all English majors). To obtain English major approval make an appointment with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. You must bring to your appointment a study abroad planning chart. In fulfilling out this chart you do not need to list specific courses. Instead plan out when you will satisfy each of your requirements for your major(s), minors or concentrations, and college/university requirements. Note that we cannot put the approval into the computer system until you have started an online application for the applicable program.

Course pre-approval. In the spring, OIS will inform students who have been accepted to study abroad programs that they must obtain the signature of their advisor on the Study Abroad Pre-Approval form. You should bring this form to the Department of English, 233 Decio Hall, for review by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The Director is happy to meet with you, but it is not necessary. You may simply leave your form with the department staff; we should have it ready for you to pick up within twenty-four hours. Below are some general guidelines for selecting courses, in particular courses that you wish to fulfill English major requirements.

  • In all cases courses need to be offered at a level similar to Notre Dame English major courses.
  • The London program uses the Notre Dame course numbering system; this means that only 3xxxx- and 4xxxx-level courses count for the major.
  • The Dublin programs employ the Irish system of course numbering, which means that courses at the 2xxx or 3xxx levels will count toward the major.
  • Other programs vary, but generally courses should be at the 3xx or 4xx level.