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Iowa Regents Semester in Wales

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic year


Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom




• Clear interest and commitment

• Demonstrated preparedness and maturity

• Minimum 3.0 GPA

• Good academic and disciplinary standing

• Sophomore, junior, or senior standing at the time the program begins

• Approval by UI Study Abroad

• Acceptance by host institution

• Attendance at orientation sessions

Application Due:

• September 23 for Spring

• February 24 for Fall and Academic Year

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.

Students on Campus

This semester or academic year program offers undergraduates the opportunity to enroll in a wide range of courses in a variety of disciplines at Swansea University in Swansea, Wales. Students are fully integrated academically and socially with their Welsh peers.

Before you get started, take a looks at the Visiting and Exchange Student page on the Swansea University website, take a tour of Swansea, and learn more about the study abroad experience at Swansea University.

Academic Program

This program begins with an optional, two week pre-sessional course designed to orient study abroad students to the history and culture of the UK. Then, students enroll in regular classes at Swansea University, fully integrated into the local university with their Welsh peers.

Students will earn 3 s.h. for the optional pre-sessional course, and around 12-15 s.h. during the rest of the semester for a total of approximately 15-18 s.h. for each semester at Swansea.

Campus Building

Optional Pre-sessional Course

Students have the option to enroll in a two week pre-sessional course taking place before the regular semester begins. The pre-sessional course is a great way to get settled in Swansea, while learning about the history and culture of the UK and getting to know other program participants before regular classes begin. Students decide whether they would like to participate in the pre-sessional course during the program’s application process.

This short, intensive course entitled British Culture and Politics since 1945 provides an introduction to both the unity and diversity of British culture, including British historical, political, and literary life. Particular emphasis is placed on the regional distinctiveness of Wales as part of the United Kingdom.

Excursions around Swansea are an integral part of the course. Visits will be arranged to places of local interest with guided tours provided for each.

Students earn 3 semester hours for the pre-sessional course.

Costs for the Pre-Sessional Course

The cost of the pre-sessional course is included in the program’s overall course fee, but students who enroll in the pre-sessional course will be responsible for additional costs for their housing during this period. See the Costs section of the website for more information.

Swansea University Courses

After the pre-sessional course, students enroll with their local Welsh peers in regular classes at Swansea University.

While enrolled at Swansea, students can choose from courses from a huge variety of disciplines. You can find details about the courses offered at Swansea University on Swansea’s What Can I Study? page under the Selecting Modules heading.

Course Restrictions

Before registering for your classes at Swansea, it is important that you review the Modules Selections and Restrictions heading on Swansea’s What Can I Study? page for details about course restrictions for study abroad students.

Specific courses must be approved in advance to receive major, minor, or certificate credit, or to satisfy the University of Iowa’s General Education Requirements.

Fall Semester: Extended Exam Period and Alternative Assessments

Fall Semester Students: Please note that fall semester students who take courses through the Biological Sciences, Business, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, Geography, and Mathematics departments will need to remain in Swansea through the exam period until late January. It is not possible for students who take courses in these departments to take their exams early, and so they must remain in Swansea through the exam period.

Fall semester students who take courses in other departments may be able to work with the department’s office after arrival to Swansea to make arrangements to take their exams before the regular exam period. In this case, students may be able to end the semester in mid-December, before the usual exam period.

In either case, all Fall semester students should be prepared to remain in Swansea until the end of the fall exam period in late January. See the Dates section below for detailed information on program dates.

Credits at Swansea

The number of ‘credits’ each course provides is different that the number of UI semester hours you will receive when your transcript from Swansea arrives at the University of Iowa. See below for details about how Swansea’s credits are ‘translated’ into UI semester hours:

  • 10 credits at Swansea is equivalent to 3 semester hours at the University of Iowa
  • 15 credits at Swansea is equivalent to 4 semester hours at the University of Iowa
  • 20 credits at Swansea is equivalent to 6 semester hours at the University of Iowa
  • 30 credits at Swansea is equivalent to 8 semester hours at the University of Iowa

Flexibility Regarding Course Offerings

Foreign universities are typically unable to provide a final course catalog for the upcoming semester until shortly before the semester begins. Students usually do not know which specific classes they can take before arriving abroad, and they usually do not register for classes until they arrive in their host country- this means that there is no way to guarantee that you will be able to enroll in your preferred courses. Your final course schedule may not be finalized until you are already abroad and attending classes.

Because of these differences, all students must meet with their academic advisor before going abroad to discuss how the differences in course availability will affect their degree progress and graduation plans. It is important to develop a back-up plan in case your preferred courses are not available when you arrive at their host university.


Building on the Swansea University Campus

Swansea sends Fall semester transcripts are sent to University of Iowa by the end of February.

Swansea sends Spring semester/Academic Year transcripts to the University of Iowa by the end of July.

Students can expect their grades to be applied to their UI grade reports within 2-3 months after they arrive to the University of Iowa.

Resident Credit

All courses available at Swansea University are approved for UI resident credit.

A Note on Grading

Students who participate in the Iowa Regents' Semester in Wales program will receive regular US letter grades for the courses they take at Swansea University. These grades will apply to their University of Iowa GPA in the same way that classes taken on the UI campus would.

Applying credit toward a UI degree

Unless UI Study Abroad has an approval on file for the courses you take abroad to be applied toward a specific major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, you will receive general elective credit for your course.

If you plan to apply the credit you receive for your program course to a major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, contact your UI study abroad advisor for details on the process. 

Program Dates

Program dates vary from year to year, but typically follow the University of Iowa’s academic calendar.

Students should consider these dates tentative until they receive final dates for their session abroad from the host university prior to the start of the program.

Pre-Sessional Course Dates

The optional pre-sessional course takes place in the two weeks prior to the start of the regular semester. Specific dates will be available a few months before the program begins.

Semester Dates

You can find detailed semester dates for the upcoming sessions on the Swansea University Term Dates website.

For more information

Steps to Studying Abroad

  1. Before initiating an application for this program, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa.
  2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
  3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0353

Where You Will Study

Mountain Landscape

Swansea University is attended by about 18,000 students. The university is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Students come from all parts of the UK—England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales—as well as many other countries. In fact, 20% of students are international students, so the campus enjoys an international flavor along with unique Welsh cultural influences.

The University has an attractive campus, situated in acres of park land right on the coast of Swansea Bay. Faculty-student relationships are excellent and students are encouraged to take an active part in departmental life. The Taliesin Arts Center, Sports Centre, and University Students' Union (which runs over 100 societies and clubs) offer a wide array of leisure activities.


Swansea is a modern port city of 239,000 inhabitants. It enjoys excellent road and rail connections to all parts of Britain. London, Stratfod-upon-Avon, and Oxford are all only three hours away by train. The city is both an important commercial center and a growing tourist destination.

Facilities include excellent shopping centers—the city's market dates back to the Middle Ages, yet the Quandrant Shopping Center next door is one of the most modern in the country. Dozens of shops are housed in attractive undercover malls and arcades. Swansea's splendid Maritime Quarter has been the role model for other national Maritime developments.

The Grand Theater is among the most important in the UK and attracts major touring companies, opera, and international entertainers. Swansea hosts an international festival of music each October which attracts world-famous artists, orchestras, classical performers. Swansea also has several cinemas, numerous restaurants offering cuisine from around the world, a major art gallery, and two museums. First-class rugby, cricket, and soccer are played in the city.

Swansea Bay

Swansea University lies on the wide sweep of Swansea Bay with the Gower Peninsula, an area of outstanding natural beauty, extending fifteen miles to its west. The Gower consists of a string of secluded and dramatic bays, cliffs, valleys, and sandy coves. It is a natural playground for hiking, horseback riding, hang gliding, surfing, fishing, and rock climbing. And, if you keep a sharp eye out, you might seen the odd puffin or seal splashing around!

Wales, United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (UK) refers to the four countries of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This is in contrast to another common name, Great Britain, which excludes Northern Ireland. Life and culture in the UK is different from that in the US. Experiencing this rich tradition is what studying in the UK is all about!

Some general facts about the UK:

  • The UK uses the British Pound as its currency.
  • Communication from the UK is easy. Cell phones are relatively inexpensive, the internet is easily accessible, and post offices are plentiful.
  • British food is unique! Try fish and chips, bangers and mash, steak pie, Indian curry, neeps and tatties, haggis, and more!
  • The UK is a relatively safe environment. Police are helpful and visible. Emergency services are reliable. Pharmacies, called 'chemists', are common and carry a wide variety of medicine and other essentials.
  • The UK has a temperate climate, influenced by the ocean that surrounds it. It is never too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter. Rain is common most of the year. Make sure to take plenty of warm clothes and waterproof shoes.

Cultural Resources

Beach scene near Swansea

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements/Accommodations

Residence Halls

Students make their accommodation arrangements prior to arrival in Swansea. All accommodations are in apartment-style residence halls with a combination of local and international students. Private rooms with shared kitchen and bath facilities are the norm.

Each residence hall offers similar amenities, but is located in a different part of the city. You can learn more about the housing options at Swansea on their Accommodation website.

Housing costs and deposits

Housing costs will be paid directly to Swansea University per instructions provided by the international office at Swansea. Students should plan to pay a housing deposit prior to arrival in Swansea.

Estimated housing costs are provided under the Application tab above.


All students need a valid passport to participate in this program. You can find details about applying for a passport on the UI Study Abroad Travel Documentation website.

Travel Arrangements (Flights)


Students make their own travel arrangements with advice from UI Study Abroad- UI Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination.

Do not purchase plane tickets until:

  1. You have received an official offer of acceptance by your host university.
  2. You have finalized your housing arrangements abroad.
  3. You are aware of both the semester start date and the move-in date for your accommodations.
  4. You have received your visa (if required- contact your study abroad advisor for more information)

Students will receive contact information for any other program participants several weeks prior to the start of their program so that they can coordinate travel plans with other students.

If you need advice on making travel arrangements, contact your UI study abroad advisor.

Local Transportation

Swansea has a great public transportation system, though many students navigate the main areas of the city on foot or by bike (when the weather cooperates). Taxis are available throughout the city, but they can be expensive. Swansea is also well connected to the rest of the UK by bus and train. Two major airports are located near to Swansea, connecting you to the rest of Europe within a few hours.


Path on the Swansea University campus

This program is open to University of Iowa students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
  • Minimum 3.0 UI and Transfer GPA- Students must have a minimum 3.0 UI and Transfer GPA to participate in this program (transfer GPAs lower than 3.0 may be considered on a case-by-case basis).
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked, and will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.
  • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing required- Students must have sophomore, junior, or senior standing at the time the program begins. First year students cannot participate in this program.
  • Approval by UI study abroad advisor- A student’s application must be reviewed and approved by their University of Iowa study abroad advisor.
  • Acceptance by host institution- Students must be accepted by their host institution as a temporary visiting student. Acceptance by the host institution is typically automatic for students that have been nominated by their study abroad advisor, but the final acceptance decision is made by the international student office and the sponsoring departments at the host institution based on their own internal requirements.
  • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming- Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programming presented by UI Study Abroad.


Students will be responsible for paying many of their program costs through their University of Iowa U-Bill, while other costs will be out-of-pocket costs paid by the student directly to vendors before and after going abroad. Refer to the cost sheets below for details on the costs associated with this program.

The cost sheets outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session. Final cost sheets for future sessions are typically available early in the semester before the session begins.

A Note About the Pre-Sessional Course

The program’s course fee covers the cost of the pre-sessional course. However, the course fee does not cover the cost of housing or personal expenses during the pre-sessional course. Students who choose enroll in the pre-sessional course will not pay additional fees to enroll in the course, however they will need to pay an additional amount for housing and personal expenses during the dates of the course.

Specific costs for housing and personal expenses during the pre-sessional course are described with the notation PS in the Cost Sheets below.

Cost Sheets

The cost sheet below applies to the Spring 2020 session.

PDFCost Sheet- Wales- Spring 2020

A cost sheet for the Fall 2021 session will be available by mid-spring 2021.

Calculating Fees

The cost sheets are based on the fees described below:

Cost sheets do not include the following optional costs:

Two baby goats

Personal Travel Costs

Costs for personal travel are not included in the cost estimates provided on the cost sheet. If you plan to travel outside of your host city or country during or after your study abroad program, you will need to budget for additional funds to cover the cost of your personal travel.

The cost of personal travel depends entirely on each student’s individual travel plans and spending habits. Estimates for personal travel costs provided by past students on this program vary significantly from $1,500 to as much as $9,000 or more per session.

Costs charged to the U-Bill

  • Application fee (charged at the time of application, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
  • Course Fees- Includes host university tuition (charged shortly before departure)
  • Study Abroad Fees (charged shortly before departure)
  • CISI Health Insurance (charged shortly before departure)

Out-of-pocket costs (not charged to U-Bill)

  • Round trip airfare from Cedar Rapids (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed)
  • Food (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
  • Housing (charged upon arrival to the UK )
  • Housing deposit paid by student shortly before departure to the UK , before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed)
  • Visa fees (paid by student upon or shortly before arrival to the UK , before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed. See the Immigration/Visa section under the Predeparture tab for more information.)
  • UK Police Registration fee (paid by student on arrival to the UK - only required for academic year students)
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (paid by student on arrival to the UK - only required for academic year students)
  • Local transportation- (paid at student’s discretion while abroad)
  • Cell phone (paid as needed while abroad)
  • Passport (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships are disbursed)
  • Textbooks (paid as needed while abroad)
  • Medical exam/immunizations (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
  • Personal expenses and personal travel (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)

Financial Aid & Scholarships

You can find information about options for funding your study abroad experience, including financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc, on UI Study Abroad’s Funding Website.

How to Apply

Interested students should make an appointment with the designated UI Study Abroad advisor to discuss the program and the application process. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 319-335-0353. During the appointment, the advisor will provide full application instructions. Note: Application materials will not be reviewed unless a student has already met with the advisor to discuss the program .

The application process consists of three major steps:

  • Step 1: After meeting with the UI Study Abroad advisor, students must complete the online UI Study Abroad Application. Please note that for study abroad programs through Spring 2022, students will not be charged the $50 application fee until travel is assured. If a student chooses to withdraw prior to the application fee being billed, it will not be charged.
  • Step 2: The UI Study Abroad Application is reviewed. If the student meets the requirements for the program and there are sufficient spaces available in the exchange, the UI Study Abroad advisor nominates them for study at the host university.
  • Step 3: Once nominated, the student completes the online application process for the host university. The application is reviewed by the host university, which makes the final acceptance decision.
  • Step 4: Academic Year and Fall semester students can expect to receive their final acceptance decision from the host university by mid-summer, and Spring semester students can expect to receive their final acceptance decision from the host university by late November.
  • Post-Acceptance


    If you are accepted to your program, you will be asked to commit to participating in your program by submitting the University of Iowa Confirmation of Participation form, as well as completing requirements for your host university.

    After you have formally confirmed your plans to participate, you will work both with UI Study Abroad and your host university. Follow instructions from both. Later in the semester, your UI study abroad advisor will contact you regarding orientation sessions, registration, and other required UI procedures and documentation.

    Application Deadline

    Ocean scene near Swansea

    Applications for the Fall and Academic Year sessions are due on February 24.

    Applications for the Spring session are due on September 23.

    Confirmation of Participation

    Confirmation materials will be posted after the program application deadline.

    Health & Safety Planning

    All students preparing to study abroad should review the following:

    Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

    Students are also encouraged to complete the Health Preparation Guide for International Travelform with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.


    All program participants are required to complete immigration requirements to enter and study in your host country. UI Study Abroad and your program provider/host institution abroad will provide you with immigration instructions prior to departure.

    Note that permission to enter and study in your host country is provided exclusively by the host country’s government based on that country's immigration requirements. Your host country’s immigration requirements may include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can make it impossible to receive permission to enter the country in some cases. Contact your UI study abroad advisor for more information.

    It is essential that you thoroughly review all of your immigration materials before you leave for your host country to ensure that they are absolutely complete and accurate. It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that all of your immigration materials are in order and fully accurate before you leave for your host country. If any of your immigration materials contain inaccurate information of any kind, contact your UI study abroad advisor immediately to discuss your options.

    Do not take steps to complete your host country’s immigration requirements until you receive more information from UI Study Abroad.

    Review the UI Study Abroad Travel Documentation website for further guidance on the immigration/visa process.


    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

    Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

    You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email

    Program-Specific Orientation

    This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

    1111 University Capitol Centre
    The University of Iowa
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

    Phone: (319) 335-0353
    Fax: (319) 335-0343