If you are planning on earning a philosophy degree abroad, then odds are you’ve already put some deep thought into it. If you need more convincing, consider that pursuing your degree abroad in philosophy will inherently challenge any preconceived notions which may have subconsciously formed within the specific cultural context of your home country. Basically, get ready for a mind blowing experience.
Why Earn Your Degree Abroad
Getting outside your comfort zone is one of the most valuable experiences that students of philosophy can undertake for themselves. By challenging yourself to pursue a philosophy degree abroad you will be uprooting from the familiarity of home and learning how to see the world in new ways through firsthand experience and a diversification of your studies. When all's said and done you will return a wiser, more experienced and level-headed philosopher because of it.
While philosophy may be embedded inherently in the human condition, its cultural manifestation as an academic tradition is somewhat more limited. Undoubtedly travelling anywhere in the world can help expand your worldview as a philosopher, but only in certain regions can you earn the academic credentials to back it up as an international student of the subject.
One way to break down your potential locations is between the eastern and western schools of philosophy. The Western school of thought, such as you might embrace while earning your philosophy degree abroad in countries such as Germany, France, England, or the United States, tends to emphasize a more rationalist, individualistic approach to the field of study.
Alternatively the eastern school of thought, such as you might explore while earning your philosophy degree abroad in countries such as China, Japan, Thailand, or India, tends to emphasize a more meditative, holistic approach the field. Within many eastern countries, religious and secular philosophy are much more deeply entwined than in the west.
These are obviously mass generalizations, but give an overview about how the location you choose may deeply affect the content of your philosophy degree abroad. You can also take your pursuit of a degree abroad in philosophy to many different countries beyond this sphere such as in Latin America, Africa, or the Middle East.
Academics & Degrees
Philosophy is just about as broad a field of study as there comes, essentially focusing on existence itself as the main subject matter. Thankfully most philosophy programs around the world will at some point enable you to choose from specific directions within the overarching discipline, focusing in areas such as political philosophy, logic, ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, and more. Keep in mind that these sub disciplines may differ significantly depending on the cultural traditions of your host country.
International students can choose to pursue a degree abroad in philosophy at the undergraduate, Master’s or doctoral level. Generally undergraduate programs last for three or four years and will give you the opportunity to explore many different areas within the field. As you advance to the pursuit of a Master’s or PhD, you will usually be expected to take a more specific path while focusing on research and writing a thesis.
Keep in mind that the language barrier can be a staunch limiting factor on the type of philosophy degree abroad programs that you may be able to enroll in. If you plan on studying at a foreign university outside of the English speaking world, then it’s never too early to start learning that second language!
Benefits & Challenges
Grow. Earning your philosophy degree abroad will be a tremendous growth experience, as you take on the challenge of moving away from home and immersing yourself in an entirely new cultural context for some years at a time.
Read. Far away from home in a foreign country, you will also be the master of your new routine. Philosophy is about abstract perspective as it is about firsthand experience, and earning your degree abroad will give you the opportunity to read the greats until your heart's content.
Break Barriers. By earning your degree abroad in philosophy, you will begin to see past mental latencies that you may not have even realized had been conditioned into you in your home country. We are all products of our environment; you must break free to see that environment for what it is.