Study Culture Abroad

A Guide To

Studying Culture Abroad

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1617 Culture Study Abroad Programs

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During your semester in London, you won't just read Shakespeare in the classroom; you'll go see it performed live in the Globe Theatre. The city is your classroom! On Semester at University of Westminster, London, you can take classes for your major or as electives at an internationally recognized institution while exploring this lively, diverse city. You can also intern at one of the city's ma...

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Spend the summer in the sunny and cosmopolitan city of Cannes with AIFS. You’ll earn up to 13 credits through a variety of courses studying at the Collège International de Cannes. Courses are taught in English or French, and no previous French language study is required. Students choose a 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 week program, with four different sessions offered. AIFS offers a Maymester Program to...

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Taught in English, the IES Abroad European Union Program gives you the chance to study Politics, Economics, Business, and International Relations like you never have before. As the European Union continues to grow in size and influence, understanding it becomes key to understanding Europe and our world. This program features an integrative seminar that incorporates approximately 21 days of fiel...

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The Sydney Sophomore Engineering program combines coursework at the BU Sydney Academic Center and the University of Sydney with professional work experience in or near Sydney. It is ideally suited for second-semester sophomores in engineering and is designed to fit neatly into engineering students' existing curriculum.

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A chance to be like thousands of international alumni who have studied at the Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU), study and live the language with flexible programs ranging from just a month to a full academic year of study. With the help of Go Abroad China, you will gain more vocabulary, master the grammar and speak with more fluency after intense classes, taught by some of the bes...

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The Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University makes China accessible to international visiting and exchange students, no matter their study interest. With curriculum all taught in English, 14 academic departments, including science, engineering, culture, design, business, and more  all combined with Chinese language and cultural study and taught by some of Asia's foremost experts  the university is...

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Athena's partner school in Florence, Italy, Lorenzo de' Medici (LdM), is a private institution located among several buildings in the center of this charming Renaissance city. The campus' main building dates back to the 13th century and, before being renovated, was originally a convent and church. Florence was the heart of the Renaissance, and its artistic flair is still tangible. With that ...

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Madrid is a brilliant city known for its exciting nightlife and superb fashion. The days here are full of sunshine and the nights are exploding with colors and sounds of friendly people who enjoy life to the fullest. It is the hub for important Spanish organizations, new companies, and government offices. The city also has many museums, art collections, and monuments for visitors to peruse. ...

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Language acquisition and cultural immersion are always at the forefront of Adelante Abroad's programs. In Seville, Spain, students are sure to develop their Spanish language, conversation, and reading composition skills. There may not be a better place to do it either. You have the option to take up to 5 courses in a wide range of subjects. Each course is also offered at various levels of Sp...

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Study Chinese language and culture at BLCU - Beijing Language and Culture University. Students can take part in high quality academic programs, and earn college credit. The program runs for twenty hours per week, four hours per day. Students can take an intensive course that runs for thirty hours per week, six hours per day. Housing is provided on campus in a residence Dormitory. Founded in ...

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The University of Granada was chartered and given official Papal ratification by Clemente VII in 1531. Through its almost 500 years of existence, it has become one of the major intellectual centers in southern Spain. The University's Modern Language Center, the Centro de Lenguas Modernas, is housed in what was once an orphanage built in the 1700s. It was completely restored in 1992 and is locat...

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With 40 years of academic excellence in Spanish studies, Spanish Studies Abroad specially designed the Spanish Studies Program for Spanish language students entering the advanced-level with a wide range of academic interests. The program integrates thoughtful synthesis of homestays/life in the residencias, study visits, language exchanges, volunteer, and other cultural opportunities into the cu...

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India, the world's largest democracy, is home to more than one out of every six human beings alive today. Cradle of one of the oldest and most influential civilizations on earth, it is an astoundingly complex nation, where you can log on to the web in a cyber cafe while elephants and camels pass in the street. Although Hinduism is the dominant religion, India also has the largest Muslim populat...

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The Madrid program is ideal for students who wish to study Spanish and European Studies in one of the world's great capitals. Madrid is a fascinating city and has a vibrant culture that provides the perfect setting for language study or art history studies. You will be able to study Spanish language and the complexities of Spanish and contemporary European societies through a wide selection of ...

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CEA

Spend a semester, a summer, or a year studying abroad in the "Eternal City": Rome, Italy. Join CEA Rome to experience life in a city that's been a center of art, culture, religion, fashion, and cuisine for thousands of years. Experience living history when you study abroad with CEA in Rome! Take classes at the CEA Rome Center, or through our partner institutions, John Cabot University, Provid...

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Studying Culture Abroad

Whether you’re trying to fill some electives or vamp up your second language degree, studying culture abroad is a no-brainer. Culture study abroad programs really put you in the thick of it; analyzing power structures and social phenomenon in other countries is serious fodder for reflection on your own. From a multi-country program in Europe to a semester long program centered around the Mayans in Mexico, students will be intensively immersed, both academically and physically, in their host culture. Books, cooking classes, nights out to the theater, exposure to entirely new systems and identities, need we say more?

Why Study Culture Abroad

Studying culture abroad allows students to delve into the finite aspects of the new society they choose to live in. Because of this, culture is actually one of the most exciting and interesting topics you can study overseas. Whether it’s finding out the deep dark secrets of torture practices in Medieval England or why pilgrims wear shells on their backpacks on the Camino del Santiago in Spain, cultural studies allow you backdoor access to the history of the place you’re living!

As well as gaining a deeper knowledge of the place you’re at, studying culture abroad allows you to learn under local professors that offer a different perspective from what you might find from a professor back home. For example, a professor of culture or history in Peru will most likely be Peruvian themselves (and will have grown up among Incan ruins, traditions, and culture) offering a first hand look into the subject you’re studying.

Finally, studying culture abroad is just plain fun. Many culture-oriented programs abroad are full of field trips to historical sites, contemporary examples of subject matter, and a TON of delectable samplings of the local cuisines (#foodselfies, much?!).

Locations

The great thing about culture is that you can literally go anywhere to study it. Virtually every university and study abroad program offers some sort of culture course, if not several. Whether you want to dive into the history of the political revolution in South Africa, Hinduism in India, colonialism in Brazil, or Jules Verne in France, the world is literally at your culture-lovin’ fingertips.

The most important factors in deciding where to study culture abroad are figuring out what credits count toward your major and what is interesting to you. Since cultural studies courses are so widely available around the world, many students choose to study abroad in non-traditional places, in order to learn about a culture they otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to.

The most popular places, by far, to study culture abroad are Europe, particularly England and France, because both countries offer many choices in terms of elite universities. The diversity of cultural course offerings are more likely to transfer credits to your home institution too.

Another one of the most popular places to pursue cultural studies abroad is South America, where students can delve into subjects such as pre-Columbian history, contemporary dance, or modern aspects of multicultural countries, such as Peru and Brazil. Even though most of South America was colonized by the Spanish or Portuguese, each country has its own unique history that offers a vastly different experience for each student. Finally, for those who are interested in indigenous studies should seriously consider South America as an option due to the thousands of ethnic groups that live in each nation.

Culture Study Abroad Programs

Since there is such a wide variety of culture courses offered abroad, students can heavily customize the type of study abroad experience they want.

Those looking to cast a wide net in a short amount of time should sift through summer multi-country programs. In general, multi-country study abroad programs focus on subjects that can be intertwined with cultural studies, such as literature and history. Depending on the specific program, courses will usually last between two and three weeks in each country.

If you want to focus on a specific culture and get into the nitty gritty aspects of a particular place, take a look at semester and year-long study abroad programs that all take place in one country. More long term study abroad programs will take students deep inside the minutia of cultural studies, exploring topics related to fine arts and history. Many full semester culture study abroad programs are accompanied by foreign language courses, if you choose a non-English speaking country, along with three to four related classes.

One thing to keep in mind when selecting a culture-focused study abroad program is accommodation; any culturally curious students should opt for programs that involve staying with local host families, so as to get the most immersive cultural experience possible.

Benefits & Challenges

Cultures. Are. Dope. But we’re preaching to the choir, right? As a fellow social scientist, you know that you can’t familiarize yourself with all the layers of a culture in a short amount of time. The time constraint of most study abroad programs may pose a challenge to anthropologists-in-the-making who take their international studies seriously.

That being said, just because you can’t memorize the entire scope of Italian culture in a mere few months doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try. There are many ways to experience a culture, many of them sensory ways that lead to a wildly fulfilling introductory cultural crash course (we suggest by way of belly).

Culture is a sum of many things, attitudes, perspectives, and trends, and is inescapable. Even those individuals who reject culture are subconsciously admitting of its existence. While we’re sure you’ve loved diving deep into your own culture as a college student, now’s as good a time as any to set your sights on a foreign one.

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