Urban Semester Program

Studying college students


Urban Semester is part of the Education Abroad Program at UConn. Additional information and program application are available on the Education Abroad website.

Students may also reach the program by e-mailing urbansemester@uconn.edu

The URBAN SEMESTER PROGRAM offers students a tremendous opportunity for service learning and public service. For over 50 years, students from diverse backgrounds have participated in classroom, internship, and urban living experiences, enabling them to assist Hartford in addressing its challenges. Nowhere are urban challenges any greater than Hartford, Connecticut – a city full of both need and potential, struggle and hope, rich with diversity and urban culture, poignant in its contrasts between wealth and poverty.

Student interns learn and practice in essential service agencies, government offices, and community and non-profit organizations. Students in Urban Semester involve themselves in all the issues facing the city from education, poverty, homelessness, youth issues, and crime, to the challenges of the changing economy. They intern in school-related programs, shelters, advocacy organizations, political offices, state and local government, and many other settings. Through two weekly seminars, they study and explore the issues in greater depth, taking part in thought-provoking discussions with community leaders and field trips into the city.

If you have interest in any of the following areas, then Urban Semester may be for you:

Human Services
Community Organizing
Social Work

Advocacy & Research
Civil Rights
Welfare Rights
Environmental Justice
State and Local Government
Community Media
Women’s Issues
Urban Problems
Youth Development
Peace and Justice
The Justice System
& many more


Students live together in housing in Hartford rented by the University for program participants. Living in the heart of the city allows them to collectively share the experience of urban culture, from shopping at neighborhood markets to eating multi-cultural cuisine, from visiting world-class museums to taking in a performance at one of the many local theaters. Housing costs are equivalent to the standard dormitory fee. Students are responsible for their own meal and transportation arrangements.

SEMINARS ON THE CITY… (6 Credits: INTD 3594 & INTD 3584)

Students are required to participate in two weekly 3-credit seminars. The Field Seminar (INTD 3594, available for “W” credit) allows students the opportunity to consider theories and apply them to their internships. The Urban Problems Seminar (INTD 3584) focuses on specific urban issues, emphasizing contemporary problems in Hartford. These two seminars increase students’ knowledge about issues facing urban areas and how social service organizations and political bodies respond. Classes are held at the UConn Hartford Campus in Hartford.


Students have full choice in selecting their internship placement. The Internship Coordinator will assist students in understanding the scope of activities in each site and help them choose the best placement option. Students spend 3 1/2 days a week in field work and are supervised by agency staff. The Internship Coordinator in consultation with the agency staff evaluates students’ performance. Students chronicle their internship experiences through regular journal entries.