It’s hard to imagine a more fitting degree to pursue abroad than in geography. The scientific study of the world as we know it – encompassing both its human and topographical elements – could not be better suited to travel. Earning your geography degree abroad is the opportunity to escape from the familiar constraints of your home country and explore the vast cultural and environmental diversity of our planet at large. What are you waiting for?
Why Earn Your Degree Abroad
Geography is an incredibly broad academic discipline, and one that can only truly be appreciated through direct experience. Learning about the lay of the world through texts and maps in a classroom setting has its value, but actually venturing out to experience firsthand the ways in which different cultures interact will shed entirely new light on the subject matter. We live on a great big globe, one teeming with beauty and variety, and its never too early to begin exploring by earning your geography degree abroad.
Where interests you most? This seems like an obvious point to begin with when considering where to pursue any course of study, but the question takes on an even greater emphasis with a degree abroad in geography. The interactions between human beings and their environments takes special shape according to factors such as topography, development, and culture all around the world, and this geographical manifestation will in turn shape the scope of your studies as well.
For instance in European countries such as Spain, England, or the Netherlands, you will learn about how these neighboring countries co-developed according to their shared cultural influences and own unique geographies. Meanwhile thousands of miles away, earning your geography degree abroad in a country such as China, India, or the United Arab Emirates will give you entirely different historical, cultural, and environmental contexts to work within.
The main point is that, while the overarching subject matter remains constant, the specific location where you choose to earn your geography degree abroad will determine both the immediate academic focus and everyday experience which supplements your studies. Between continents, regions, countries, and cites, the choices are vast and diverse; so do your research thoroughly, and choose wisely.
Academics & Degrees
The first decision you will have to make as a student earning a geography degree abroad is whether to focus in human geography or physical geography. At the undergraduate level you will usually be given the opportunity to take courses within both subfields, and in related disciplines such as anthropology, ecology, and the social sciences as well, before making this decision.
Human geography, which is generally conferred as a B.A., focuses on cultural manifestations of geography such as population demographics, religion, and social systems. Physical geography, which is conferred as a B.S., focuses on underlying environmental processes encompassing everything from climate change to rock formations to oceanography. At the graduate level, you will usually have the opportunity to pursue an even more focused area within either these fields.
Countries vary widely regarding the structure of their geography degree programs and their admission requirements. Generally an undergraduate degree abroad in geography requires three to four years of study, a Master’s degree requires one or two years on top of this, and a PhD can require up to several additional years as well. Your host university may also require you to pass a language proficiency exam in order to enroll, so if you’re seriously considering a degree abroad in geography, now’s the time to start brushing up on that second language!
Benefits & Challenges
Uncharted Territory. Studying geography in a classroom setting is all well and good, but globetrotting to experience as much of the planet as possible while young will be the truly formative experience on your degree path.
Direct Experience. Earning your geography degree abroad is the opportunity to apply your classroom lessons to everyday life, as you seek to understand the cultural differences within your new home and the processes which led to their manifestation.
Breaking Free. While earning your degree abroad in geography in a new country might be intimidating, the new perspective it will lend you on the subject matter and on life at large is worth the effort ten times over.
Earning a degree abroad in geography is the best way to gain a fuller appreciation for the field, learning through your travels and through studying in a foreign context. The entire planet is an open field for exploration; where will you choose to begin the adventure?