Colleges for Studying Abroad as a Nursing/IR Major

I’m currently a junior in high school who is creating a list of colleges that are good for studying abroad. I hope to major in either nursing, international relations, or public health. (I will be doing internships over the summer to help me decide which).
If given the option, Spain/France/South Korea/Japan are my preferred countries but I would be happy with any abroad program.
The last time I posted on here, I got a lot of helpful advice so I am appreciative of any recommendations/advice you may have.

-gpa uw: 3.8, gpa w: 4.56
-no sats or acts yet but projected scores are 1500+ and a 32+
-past aps: world history (5), us history (4)
-current aps: stat, comp gov
-future aps/ibs: ib lang & lit, ib philosophy, ap french, ap spanish
-have taken college chemistry for credit and will take future college classes over the summer

-honors societies: nhs, nehs, shf, and shh
-member of executive school council
-leadership: student director of the school play, president of art history club, treasurer/cofounder of amnesty international at my school
-volunteer work: tutoring, animal shelter, local hospital, various ad hoc projects

-English (fluent)
-Spanish (college level)
-French (college level)
-Japanese (basic level/still learning)
-Korean (just starting to learn)

If you end up majoring in nursing, my concern would be whether or not you have the ability to practice in your home country (which I assuming is probably the US) after getting your degree in a foreign country. You should check very carefully about this before you go abroad. I would have similar concerns but not as strongly with public health.

I would almost feel the opposite about international relations, on the basis that you almost need some experience outside the US to have much understanding of how other parts of the world think.

Canada and the US have some sort of agreement where you can study medicine in one country and do your residency and practice in the other country. The same applied to Veterinary Medicine (which I know only because one daughter is currently studying towards a DVM). I do not know whether this applies to nursing, but it would be worth checking out. Canada also has the advantage of being relatively close to the US, having many very good universities (which goes well beyond the three or four famous ones), and having universities that are in many cases relatively reasonably priced. If you are interested in getting a lot of exposure to improve your French, then the three English language universities in Quebec would be the obvious choices (McGill and Concordia in Montreal, and Bishop’s which is much smaller and which is in Lennoxville right next to Sherbrooke). I do not know which majors these have however (McGill does have a bachelor’s in nursing – relatively good French would probably be needed for a summer internship in Montreal).


Lots of options to study abroad
Do you want to study at a foreign school or do you want to study at a satellite campus or study Center of a US University in another Country.

Saint Louis University Madrid - a 4 year satellite campus or your first 2 years in Madrid then to Saint Louis main Campus for last 2 depending on major

Florida State University- First Semester/Year Abroad - Valencia Spain Study Center ( FSU study centers in London, Florence, and Panama City Panama as well)

Tample University has a separate campus in Tokyo ( Rome as well)

Italy not on your list but many US colleges have options in Florence and Rome
If you want to go to a Foreign College with an exchange program many more options check out schools you want to attend web sites for study abroad. They should tell you what schools they relationships with.

S21 ( Poly Sci\IR ) was accepted at SLU Madrid and FSU. He chose FSU for their First Year abroad program ( better Fit for him) and is currently studying in Florence ( Fall and Spring semester) and then will move to Valencia for the Summer Semester. Then to main campus in August


I have done most of my research on US colleges that have campuses abroad (such as St. Louis and Temple) but I want to expand my search to foreign schools as well. For foreign schools, I would like there to be at least some classes in English since I would likely study there for 4 years rather than <2. Thank you for the suggestion about exchange programs, I will definitely use that to find more schools!

If you’re okay with me asking, was there something in particular that made FSU a better choice than SLU? Since I am considering SLU, I am curious about the potential downsides of their program.

That is a very good point that I have not yet considered! I have only done research on US colleges with study abroad programs but I will make sure to research the nursing licenses in the countries I am interested in. I did not know of English language universities such as McGill, so that is a great suggestion! My preference would be a university that offers at least a few English-speaking classes while still being in a foreign language city, so that definitely piqued my interest. Thank you!

My S21 chose FSU because in the end he wanted what he called a “traditional” college experience that included Football and thought the year abroad program, 2 semesters in Italy and 2 six week summer semesters in Spain gave him the international experience he wanted. along with the big traditional college experience. Best of both worlds he called it. Also, he is planning on a foreign internship after sophomore year.

He really liked the SLU Madrid program, nothing negative about it. He received a nice merit scholarship as well. In the end for him FSU was just a better fit.
From what i remember about half students there are 4 years students and the other half are doing a semester or year from main campus.

He was considering Temple Japan but ultimately decided not to apply

McGill as mentioned is a very good choice, was one of the few he didn’t get into along with Tulane

S21 considered Ireland as well.
University College Dublin, UCD was one he liked was offered good merit and has a large international enrollment

Trinity college Dublin is a great school


Not to be unkind, but I don’t see a lot of advance in your thinking from your November thread. Your first step is to decide whether you want to do nursing or IR/PH for undergrad. That will shape the whole rest of the conversation.

Nursing will be the harder one to organize in most countries, including the four countries you are considering. Yes, you will need to be fully bilingual, as classes and practical work will be in the local language*. In countries with a centralized health service there are typically limits on both the number of students (so admissions may be competitive), and on where they are from (so you may not be eligible). The courses do tend to be relatively inexpensive- because they are heavily tax-subsidized (hence limits on international students). There is enough of a shortage of nurses in many countries that getting licensed to practice (once you are trained) is relatively easy- but you will want to be clear about what the rules are for international graduates to get permission to stay in country; what the terms & conditions are in country (you may not love the salaries and working conditions); and what the rules are for coming back to the US (qualification / licensing exams). US-based programs are your best bet.

If you are heading an IR/PH route the choices open up, though I think that you are still being unrealistic about getting classes in English unless you sign up for a program that is explicitly taught in English (aside from the obvious Ireland & UK, Sweden and the Netherlands have some specific course that are relevant for your interests). If you can push IR to International Business, Korea has a number of UG business majors that are taught in English. I am not aware of any UG programs in Japan that teach through English- but I am not an expert & other CC-ers might. There are plenty of options in both France and Spain- but a caveat: the private ones will not be cheap and the public ones will be a truly serious cultural shock, and there is a heavy weighting of business-oriented courses).

*think this through: nursing programs are highly structured, and even electives are teaching important material. Most nurses will spend their working lives in the local language(s). Any class taught in English would require the students to have good enough English to be able for the class, which is almost certainly a teeny minority of students, so why would a nursing program have “a few” classes in English? Turn it around: UTx doesn’t offer any classes in the nursing school in Spanish- despite the high likelihood that many/most of it’s graduates will be treating native Spanish speakers, and the also high likelihood that many of it’s nursing students already speak Spanish (it does offer a course in “Spanish for Health Care Professionals”) (not getting into the pros/cons of this btw- just pointing it out).


Agreed for Nursing, Programs like SLU Madrid doing the first 2 years in Madrid and then finishing in ST Louis or FSU First Year Abroad are good fits
Both of these you are taking Gen ED and Liberal Arts classes and not falling behind.
Loyola Chicago also has a Rome Campus where you do your freshman year and won’t fall behind in Nursing


If you decide being a nurse is for you then do yourself a favor and only go to an accredited nursing school in the USA if you’re American. There’s plenty of opportunities at nearly all 4 year schools to study abroad as a student. Once you’ve graduated and passed your boards and got some real working experience you can throw a dart at a spinning globe and work anywhere it lands as an RN. I know tons of nurses who’ve worked all over the world for both short term and long term assignments like in Russia, Australia, Antarctica, Denmark, Peru and so many more. It’s one of the most in demand professions world wide so please don’t fixate on what you can only do during your college years.


If you want to be a nurse in the US, go to a US college. Very, very difficult to jump through all the hoops required to try to practice as a nurse in the US if trained elsewhere.
Don’t assume that going to college in a different country means you will be allowed to stay and work in that country.


I appreciate any feedback, criticism or not. I have very few role models who have gone to college so I am relying on forums such as these to educate myself on the entire process. I am working towards making a decision on my major but I unfortunately won’t be able to work on that (through internships, shadowing, talking to people in those fields) until the summer. I want to have a plan for any of my paths in order to avoid rushing my college research at the end of the year. I do not think my family could accommodate me taking a gap year, so I feel a bit more pressure to figure out my college plans early.

To clarify a few things: My plan is dependent on a long of things so it makes it difficult to explain or receive feedback on (my apologies). After talking with some other people in the thread, though, I have figured out that the only true course of action if I were to pursue Nursing is to go to an American school. If I head down the IR/PH route, that is when I would consider foreign schools. In these last couple of days, I have created a list of foreign schools with English courses (most are known to have a high international student population). Each of the four countries I listed handles such courses differently but it is, for the most part, still an option in the schools I have found.

If you are frustrated at my lack of decision-making at this stage of my high school career, just imagine the pressure I am feeling lol. I frankly do not know if all this preparation is necessary or if I should just wait until September, but I am enjoying the new insight I gain on these forums. Thank you for your patience and your input on this entire situation, and I cannot wait until the day when I have my plans figure out!

That is very understandable. I only considered foreign colleges recently, and I’m happy that someone brought up the issue with studying nursing abroad. I’ll definitely consider American colleges with study abroad programs more than foreign colleges at this point (since I would only do foreign colleges if I end up deciding on IR/PH).

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Great point, thank you! I have briefly looked into travel nursing (either domestically or internationally), especially because of its relevance nowadays, but I haven’t focused on anything post undergrad school yet. Although it is likely that I will work abroad regardless of the field I go into, I would still like to study abroad in college at some point. Balancing an accredited nursing school with the quality of its study abroad program has been a struggle. Most of my familiarity with schools that have good study abroad programs are known for their political science or global studies rather than nursing, so I am also thinking about which aspect is more important to me.

Glad to hear the additional information! I’m not frustrated with you- I completely get that these are some big decisions that you are making! But I think you won’t really be ready for more information on specific programs until you are a little clearer on what you want - at least for the next step, not necessarily your entire working life! I don’t know what your resources are, but some time with a guidance counselor or a career advisor might be more helpful than chasing down the details of studying in Korea.

In your other thread you mentioned that your goal is international humanitarian work. Take a look at programs like these:

They are all undergraduate degrees designed to prepare students to do global humanitarian work. Reading through the courses, and what sorts of careers their graduates have will give you something to evaluate: do any of them sound interesting to you? if so, which ones and why? if not, why not? Can you see yourself doing any of the jobs that the graduates of these programs do? if so, which ones? if not, why not? All of these questions help you to tease out where your truest interests are, which in turn will help you narrow your focus enough for the next step.

Remember that you only have to plan the next step, not your whole career: you will have options as you grow and evolve along the way. For example, you could stay in the US, get a nursing degree, and then join any of the many, many NGOs and non-profits (such as MSF) that need nursing staff. You might find that a satisfying and meaningful career- but if you decided that developing new health programs was what you wanted to do next, and need more credentials then you could go back for an MPH. Or maybe you want to work in a policy unit- so you go get an MPP or MPA. Maybe your experience on the ground makes you want to go more towards human rights, and you go get a JD. The point is that there is only so much that you can know now- but most of the relevant grad programs prefer candidates who have some experience, so doing it sequentially is a normal thing to do.

But it all starts with figuring out more about where you want to head first.