Independent Study Abroad

HONORS 499, GEN ST 350

Independent Study Abroad

Getting Started

There are important steps that you must take to obtain Honors credit for independent study abroad. This information guides you in the process and provides you with resources to receive approval for your study or research and to help you plan your own safe and exciting study abroad experience.

In planning your independent study abroad, there are several options to consider:

  1. You may choose an independent research option and design your own research project and data collection in conjunction with a UW faculty adviser. This option will usually involve independent study/research credits in a chosen department, or HONORS 499 credit.
  2. Another possibility is to add an international service project to your independent work. This can be done in addition to independent research credits and would usually involve signing up for General Studies 350 F: Independent Fieldwork – International. Such service projects would also require that you have an on-site supervisor in addition to your UW faculty sponsor.
  3. You may also want to consider an internship through the UW’s partner program IE3 Global Internship Program. You may be able to receive Honors credit for participation in an IE3 Internship.

Credits and Grading


A student can obtain Independent Research credits (typically designated as “499”) through a number of departments, including Honors. You’ll need to determine which department best suites your research plan and will provide you with the credits you require for your degree(s). These credits can be graded, or taken as credit/no credit. The credits must be graded to count towards the Honors Core requirements.

General Studies 350 F

This course designation allows students to participate in service learning or internships as independent fieldwork credits. It is offered only as credit/no credit.

This option allows students who are studying abroad to build on their academic experiences and enhance learning and international engagement by participating in a service project or internship. Students will need both a faculty sponsor and an on-site supervisor for this fieldwork component. Arrangements must be made prior to leaving for your independent study. See the Carlson Center webpage and their course forms for more information.

In order to embark on your independent research or study experience abroad, you need to have a faculty adviser to oversee your research, and if you intend to also participate in service as part of your study, you will need both a UW faculty sponsor and an on-site supervisor for that separate project.

Before you begin looking into the details and required forms, spend some time thinking of your ideal independent study abroad project. Think about where you want to study, what research you’d like to conduct, the purpose of the travel and study, and how this might contribute to your degree or area of academic interest. Then consult an Honors adviser regarding your plan. After receiving approval from Honors, cement the details:

  • Determine which course designations and numbers of credits you want to pursue and consult with the relevant departments. To do research, you’ll need to find out your chosen department’s specific requirements for independent research and plan accordingly;
  • Find a faculty adviser for your independent research;
  • If you want to do service learning or an internship in addition to your academic work, pursue General Studies 350 F: Independent Fieldwork – International. You will need to contact an appropriate organization in your destination country and find someone there to act as an on-site supervisor for your service work or internship;
  • Obtain and complete a UW Study Abroad credit verification form and the UW Study Abroad concurrent enrollment forms;
  • Turn in the on-line credit verification form and concurrent enrollment forms to the UW Study Abroad office;
  • Provide a copy of the credit verification form for Honors;
  • If you have financial aid from UW, arrange to apply your aid during your study abroad, and potentially apply for extra assistance during this period;
  • Apply for scholarships(s);
  • Make an appointment with a medical clinic for immunizations or other travel-related medical services;
  • Sign up for the UW’s travel insurance;
  • Arrange for your travel and stay abroad: airline ticket, hostel/hotel/apartment for stay during your time abroad;
  • Consider applying to have this experience by one of your Honors Experiential Learning Projects;
  • If you would like to use an Honors laptop or digital camera for your research or study, contact