Overseas courses

The International Policy Center administers the Ford School's three study abroad programs:

  • BA Global Engagement Seminar (PubPol 480)
  • International Economic Development Program (PubPol 674)
  • Introduction to Chinese Policy (PubPol 716)
Ford students at the Great Wall of China

Featured story

Learning by doing—on a global scale

In 20 years of global experiences, roughly 600 Ford School students have traveled to 18 countries, not including internships or study abroad. The lessons they bring back with them—through the BA Global Engagement Seminar, International Economic Development Program (IEDP), China Policy course, and more—have helped shape careers of impact.
Read the full article in State & Hill
  • PubPol 480 is an advanced undergraduate seminar designed to challenge public policy majors to consider how policy issues are framed and addressed in a non-U.S. context. It includes traditional coursework and a one-week policy study tour in a country beyond the United States. In 2021 - 22, the course will focus on international politics in Europe and culminate in a trip to Brussels, health conditions permitting. (Costa Rica has been the focus and location of the study tour in past years, and topics and destinations may vary in future iterations of the program.) Students will study a small number of contemporary policy problems, considering relevant comparative or international political, economic, historical and cultural contexts. The winter break study tour will provide students an opportunity to discuss the policy issues with local stakeholders. Upon their return to Ann Arbor, students will work in groups to produce short, formal policy reports.


    • Ford School undergraduate students.

    How to apply


    • If you have any questions regarding this travel course, please contact Dan Ellis (Global Engagement Program Manager | [email protected]).

    IEDP was established in 1999 by the International Policy Student Association (IPSA), with support and strategic guidance from the late Professor Katherine Terrell. It is a three-credit academic program that serves as an opportunity for graduate students to learn about a different country’s policy contexts through both classroom and in-person experiences. Students learn directly from policy professionals working on today’s critical challenges in a chosen country.

    IEDP students are competitively selected to enroll in a seven-week course and a week-long trip to the selected country. During the seven-week course, students explore the country’s history, current social and economic policies, and future policy goals and priorities. While abroad, students learn about the practical realities and impacts associated with a given policy’s design and/or implementation from groups and individuals with relevant knowledge, lived experience and expertise. Ultimately, IEDP fosters participants' abilities to engage in both international and domestic policy work in the future.

    Students are responsible for processes critical to a successful IEDP experience, including financial and logistical planning for the in-country visit. A faculty advisor guides the direction and pedagogical focus of the IEDP course. The faculty advisor also works with students to devise and uphold ethical best practices for engagement within the context of the course. IPC staff help steer the entire IEDP life cycle.

    IEDP students have traveled to the following destinations:

    2000: Costa Rica

    2001: Czech Republic

    2002: Venezuela

    2003: Morocco

    2004: Cuba

    2005: Ethiopia

    2006: China

    2007: Peru

    2008: Jordan

    2009: Senegal

    2010: Philippines

    2011: Grenada

    2012 Colombia

    2013: Cape Verde

    2014: Myanmar

    2015: Brazil

    2016: Cuba

    2017: Greece

    2018: Senegal

    2019: Morocco

    2020: Colombia

    2021: Kenya (virtual)

    2022: Puerto Rico, USA

    2023: Chile


    • Ford School graduate students.

    How to apply

    • During Fall term, IPC and IEDP student leadership circulate application requirements and deadlines.


    • If you have any questions regarding this travel course, please contact Dan Ellis (Assistant Director, IPC | [email protected]).

    Introduction to Chinese Policy, developed in partnership with Renmin University, aims to improve Ford School students' understanding of China and Chinese students' understanding of the United States. The course has two components: a classroom portion at the Ford School during winter term, which provides a general introduction to China and its policy and economic environments, and a trip to China in May. While in Beijing, Ford School graduate students interact with Renmin students and faculty, meet with business and government leaders, and explore Chinese cultural opportunities. 


    • Ford School graduate students.

    How to apply

    • For more information about this travel course, including application requirements and deadlines, please visit this program's M-Compass brochure: Ford: IPC China Policy Course.


    • If you have any questions regarding this travel course, please contact Dan Ellis (Global Engagement Program Manager | [email protected]).