Study Abroad Program Details

D-Lab Study Abroad is a collaboration between D-Lab and the Global Education & Career Development office that gives students the chance to spend a semester living, working, and learning in a developing country while earning MIT credit. 


Ways to earn credit through D-Lab Study Abroad

  • A collaborative research project developed with the community partner and an MIT faculty advisor. In the field, the student will work closely with the partner organization and be supervised by someone from the organization.

  • An independent research project developed with D-Lab staff. The student will work on this project independently, without requiring too much of the partner organization’s resources. 

  • Being a remote member of a D-Lab class such as D-Lab Design, D-Lab: Energy, D-Lab: Health or other spring offerings. Students will watch lectures and communicate with a team back at MIT throughout the semester via video conferencing, Skype, Stellar and OCW, and participate on a team while being a local link between on-campus students and the community partners. The collaborative research project could be through a D-Lab class in this way.

  • Being a remote member of a class outside of D-Lab, such as Global Freshwater Crisis or others.

  • Undergraduate thesis work or a UROP/IROP.

  • An intensive language course taught by a local instructor.

  • 21F.099J, Independent International Research Project: planned with a HASS advisor, with agreed-upon deliverables, focusing on a topic specific to the region where the student will be working.

Sample Schedule

Fall 2014 

  • 2 Classes in major
  • D-Lab Study Abroad fieldwork preparation seminar (3-6 units)
  • D-Lab class relevant to semester abroad location: D-Lab Waste/Cycle Ventures/D-Lab Schools/D-Lab Development
  • SHASS class relevant to semester abroad location: D-Lab Dialogue/
  • Foreign language class (MIT or Harvard)

Spring 2015

  • D-Lab classremotely
  • Additional class remotely
  • SHASS independent research project (21F.099J)                             
  • UROP/Thesis           
  • Local language instruction

Minor in Applied International Studies

The D-Lab Study Abroad program is a great pairing with the Minor in Applied International Studies (MAIS). The requirements for the minor are six academic subjects arranged into three areas (Language & Culture; International Politics, Economics & History; and International Experience) coupled with an experience abroad, and proficiency in at least one foreign language. 

Preparation for the Study Abroad program as well as the semester abroad itself will allow students to fulfill many of the requirements of the minor. Minor Director Serenella Sferza may be contacted with any questions about MAIS.


Participation Prerequisite
As a prerequisite for the D-Lab Study Abroad program, students are required to have taken D-Lab: DevelopmentAlternatives to this pre-requisite will be considered, but previous field work in a developing country is required. Ideally, at least one of your recommendations will come from someone who can speak to your experience in the field.

Costs of Participation
As students will be earning MIT credit through the D-Lab Study Abroad program and taking some classes remotely, they will contrinue to pay MIT tuition during the semester abroad. However, students will not pay for room and board at MIT for the semester. We will ask students to pay for their travel and room and board expenses for their semester abroad, which will be significantly less than what they would be paying on-campus. This amount will vary depending on the country and living situation. MIT financial aid will continue, if applicable.