If you plan to pursue a degree in sociology, chances are that you take an interest in human beings and how they are influenced by their cultural surroundings. What greater way to sharpen your sociological perspective than by uprooting yourself from your own culture and transplanting yourself into an entirely new one? Earning a degree abroad in sociology is your chance to do just that! Any aspiring sociologist will benefit from completing a sociology degree program abroad.
Why Earn a Sociology Degree Abroad
Sociology degrees are continuously growing in popularity around the world, as cross-cultural interaction becomes a definitive aspect of our modern age. It is easy to stay at home and learn about social forces in abstract ways at a local (familiar) college or university; however, challenging yourself by earning your sociology degree abroad will provide you with much deeper insight than you could ever gain by remaining in your comfort zone. There are very few things that can bring you to the heart of social matter like living and earning your degree abroad.
Sociology is a global discipline and is therefore offered by most universities. Yet, while you can choose to pursue a degree in sociology pretty much anywhere in the world, there are a few important factors to keep in mind when deciding on a location.
First, you should consider the vast differences between earning a sociology degree in the developing versus the developed world. This can be an interesting catch-22 when studying a subject like sociology. If you are interested in the subject matter for its own sake and want to embark on an enlightening sociological journey, then studying in developing regions, such as Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia, can prove to be truly groundbreaking.
At the same time, however, many of the most highly regarded universities in the world are located in industrialized countries, such as the United States, England, and Australia (which all share quite similar cultures, relatively). The tradeoff then becomes, deciding between studying at an incredibly well-known institution within a common cultural paradigm, versus studying at a less prestigious school amidst an entirely different cultural and socio-economic backdrop, which is not an easy choice for students interested in sociology.
Possible language barriers are yet another thing to keep in mind when choosing where to earn your sociology degree abroad. Depending on the language of instruction as well as your language skills, you may or may not be able to enroll in sociology degree programs at a local university. English-taught sociology degree programs do exist around the world at international schools and partner academic institutions, but bear in mind that most domestic universities will utilize the native tongue as the medium of education.
Sociology Degrees Abroad
Sociology is a comprehensive discipline that is inclusive of many different subfields and applications. No one knows better than you which degree path is most intriguing within this broad academic field for you, so explore the different sociology courses offered before deciding where to earn your sociology degree abroad.
The most popular specializations and courses available abroad include social research, evolutionary sociology, political sociology, and feminist sociology. However, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of sociology subfields, so you will likely have your hands full of available courses if you decide to earn your sociology degree at a local university. Some of the more unique sociology degree programs abroad include digital sociology, sociology of development, and intercultural competence.
Generally, you will not have to choose a specialization when pursuing an undergraduate degree in sociology, but you may have to write a senior thesis depending on the academic expectations of your host country or the structure of your host university. For postgraduate, masters, degrees in sociology you will usually be expected to pursue a much narrower focus within the field, and will often be expected to complete field research as well.
Since sociology is a very broad field, it is not a bad idea to pair your sociology degree abroad with an internship placement or some type of work experience. Many sociology students who decide not to continue with academia go on to fill a variety of professional roles, spanning everything from social work to public administration to market research. Supplementing your sociology studies with some sort of early career trajectory will help you immensely after graduation.
Its Own Education. Traveling and living abroad in another country will be enough of an education on its own; but, pair this with a full load of sociology courses and you will gain a much deeper, broader appreciation for the field.
The Road Less Traveled. While many students choose to study abroad at some point in their college career, few are bold enough to earn their full degree abroad. While surely a big commitment, the decision to earn your sociology degree abroad will pay off tremendously as both an opportunity for personal growth and as a learning experience.
An Open Map. Sociology degrees abroad present students with the rare opportunity to literally point somewhere on a map and make a move to live there for a few years. If you have the will to make it happen, then earning a sociology degree abroad might just be the greatest adventure of your life.