Crime can be found all around the globe, and where there is crime, there are crime fighters. Earning a criminal justice degree abroad will provide you with a broader view of human nature to help you uncover the triggers of crime, from the back alleys of a foreign country to the city streets and suburbs of your home country. So put on your deerstalker cap, grab a magnifying glass, and let's investigate the case for earning your degree in criminology abroad!
Why Earn a Criminology Degree Abroad
Not all degrees are created equally; we all know that. Furthermore, not all crime patterns and laws are the same throughout various countries. However, there is a universal crusade for justice, and studying criminology abroad opens your eyes to the sociological and physiological patterns of crime, which exist irrelevant of time and place.
Different countries have different crime histories, and analyzing them prevents similar mistakes to be made in the future. Whether it is a corrupt dictator, drug cartels, an unstable economy, or social uprisings, the historical aspect of every nation’s history comes with its own lessons that become embedded into textbook lectures. Different perspectives and responses to these problems provide invaluable teachings; take the best of each approach and use your own judgement as to which practices work best for which situation.
The treatment of crime offenders proves to be another interesting trend to view with a global lens. Why do different treatments work with different results in different countries? Might be worth going to the heart of these places to find out.
Whether you earn your bachelors, masters, or doctorate criminal justice degree abroad, you are sure to be on the cutting edge in your field with your global perspective. Plus, you could graduate faster (and with less debt!), since a lot of universities in different countries have shorter degree programs; this can give you an early start in the competitive job market, so you can start locking the bad guys up earlier.
Deciding on the ideal locale to earn a degree in criminology abroad can be tough; after all every country in the world has crime, law, and order. Making the right choice depends on your chosen career path or the justice issues that inspire you.
Crimes against women are common in many countries, unfortunately, and many cases go unreported because of the stigma and shame associated with common crimes against women, such as rape. Thus, gender crimes make for a crucial area of study for criminologists. Places where these crimes are prolific include India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. If you choose to earn a degree in criminology abroad, the lessons you learn can be applied to understanding and preventing crimes against damsels in distress all around the world.
Organized crime is on the rise in many countries, which leads to corruption in the justice system. Crimes such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, and illegal wildlife trade are all very complicated, as they tend to cross borders and involve multiple countries. If elephant poaching makes you sick, you want to work with drug enforcement or INTERPOL one day, or you just want to be famous for taking down the real Tony Montana, you may consider earning your criminology degree in Thailand, Costa Rica, or South Africa.
If you would like to study in a country founded by boatloads of convicts sent into exile, whip your yellow notepad out in Australia. Behavioural science, psychology, and evidence-based research skills are emphasized in the Land Down Under, with youth offenders and sexual assaults leading current prevention investigations. Direct approaches and public education seem to be doing well, as most people fear poisonous snakes and strong tides more than the sunny smiles of the Aussies.
Criminologists could also benefit from studying in countries that have found unconventional solutions to crime problems. In the Netherlands, the motto might be: “If you can't beat it, regulate it.” Lifting the ban on certain recreational drugs and prostitution has brought everything out into the open and under government control, which some may argue is a better way gain the upper hand, and drive black markets out of business.
Criminology Degree Programs
Between degree program lengths and the nature of the crime, criminal justice degree program options are many to say the least. Whether your end goal is to have a shiny sherif’s badge or to be a community development worker, you will need to focus on your specialization and mentally prepare yourself for a balance of mental stimulation and physical involvement in the field.
A bachelor's degree in criminology teaches the basics of crime analysis. Most bachelor degrees are three to four years, and the most common types of criminology degrees are in psychology, sociology, and criminal justice.
Masters and doctorate criminology degree programs provide students with the chance to zero in on a specific aspect of criminology and do hands-on work in subfields such as forensics, drug enforcement, or cyberterrorism. Your coursework will typically include some historical background of crime as well as legal processes, and will get into the nitty-gritty technical stuff, such as statistical analysis and research methods.
Most criminology degree programs take place in the classroom, but there are also learning opportunities at the scene of the crime. Some criminal justice degree programs require that you ride alongside a police officer and do some real street ethnography for your thesis, visit a correctional facility, sit in on a trial in a court of law, or volunteer at a halfway house. Sound intriguing yet?
Benefits & Challenges
The Big Picture. We've all broken the rules from time to time. Who can claim they never once "forgot" to pay for that bottle of $6 kombucha that was guzzled while grocery shopping or that they never broke into the local cemetery after hours a-la Scooby Doo. But let's not paint all "crime" with a broad brush. All over the world, there are human traffickers, drug cartels, organized crime syndicates, poachers, and people committing hate crimes, extortion, and corruption. If you want to study criminology to tackle social injustices on a global scale, then it makes perfect sense to earn your criminology degree abroad.
At The End of The Day. No one want's to be like Javert. Studying criminal justice requires that you "walk the beat" in those shady places in your home town and abroad, so you can understand why a person might be driven to commit a crime. You will be challenged to put some of your prejudices and preconceptions to rest, as you come to the conclusion that you cannot categorize everyone as "lawbreakers" and "law abiders," as you hear human stories behind broken laws from Brooklyn to Bangkok.
Earning your criminal justice degree abroad will help you gain a sense of how crime relates to basic human nature when you step outside of your own culture. You may also get a unique opportunity to learn about transnational crime, which is sure to impress future employers. Now that you've analyzed all the data, go earn a degree in criminology abroad. It's elementary!