Study Archaeology Abroad

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A Guide to Studying Archaeology Abroad

Archaeologists have long been traveling to the far corners of the globe to unearth the mysteries of human life in centuries past. While studying the culture, practices, religions, and social structures of people in the past, you will be investigating the customs of living people in the country of your choice via observation and in person interactions. Meeting celebrated faculty members, peers destined for great discoveries, and seeing landmarks built by ancient societies you’ve only read about textbooks, will all be possible through studying archaeology abroad. This is an irreplaceable and life-changing way to study archaeology, a subject that enthralls scholars everywhere in the world.

Why Study Archaeology Abroad

Archaeology is the study of how humans lived, from the far reaches of the globe to the land you’re currently standing on. There are few better subjects to study abroad than archaeology, a subject that is both world renowned and present in nearly every country. Archaeological sites span the globe, giving students the chance to investigate how people used the land, tools, and resources around them in the past.

From archaeological museums to former dig sites or ongoing projects, studying archaeology abroad will expose you to resources that will enrich your education in ways that are not possible domestically. Additionally, because archaeology is an elite field with limited and competitive job opportunities, studying abroad can set you apart from other applicants by demonstrating your passion for travel and dedication to the field.


From well-known archaeological meccas to sites off the traditional study abroad map, there are places all around the world to study archaeology abroad. Those interested in field work may be interested in different regions than those looking to take introductory courses while exploring a country of interest; but no matter why you choose a specific location for your international experience, there is an archaeology study abroad program that can suit your needs.

For archaeology students looking into Europe for their study abroad term, Italy stands out as the first choice for locations. Whether you choose the capital, Rome, to study archaeology amongst the ruins of days past near some of the world’s finest museums and libraries, or Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance and the country’s financial capital, Italy has much to offer international archaeology students.

Also in Western Europe, archaeology study abroad programs in London, England offer access to some of the world’s premier archaeological research opportunities in the heart of a modern city, with rich political and social history. Additionally, studying archaeology in Spain can grant the experience of a lifetime living and learning in the beautiful city of Seville, where students may be able to work in one of the most comprehensive archaeological museums on the continent.

Countries in Central and South America host archaeology study abroad programs that mix educational classroom settings with hands-on day trips to famous historical sites. From Chichen Itza in Mexico, to Machu Picchu and nearby Ollantaytambo in the mountains of Peru, or to La Ciudad Perdida on the rolling coast of Colombia, studying archaeology abroad in an area as culturally rich as Central and South America combines a love of historical cultures with the discovery of modern-day rituals and traditions.

Studying Archaeology Abroad

Depending on how far into your archaeology degree program you are, the requirements of the program, and elective courses you’re able to take, your study abroad experience can be structured quite differently. Many students studying archaeology abroad are excited for the opportunity to take specific area courses, exploring the archaeological history of the new region they’re located in. Whether it’s Architecture of Etruria and Rome or Ancestral Maya Civilizations, these many archaeology courses abroad that offer a unique look into a specific region you may not be able to study so closely anywhere else.

If you are studying archaeology abroad through a university with a specific archaeological study program, it may be possible to take technical archaeological courses or even explore subfields, such as the study of osteology, bioarchaeology, or zooarchaeology. Many of these courses require strict prerequisites and will necessitate a great deal of planning and coordinating to ensure your spot in these labs or classrooms.

Basic archaeology classes can be taken in nearly any study abroad location and institution, even if the university program you are studying abroad at doesn’t have a dedicated archaeology department. Many undergraduate archaeology students find courses in anthropology, art history, or religious studies can coincide with their interests and count toward their archeology degree back home, for example. These related courses are often particularly focused on the city, country, or region where you are studying abroad in too, offering a unique opportunity to witness what you study outside the classroom. For example, you could study Greek Painting in Greece, or Ancient Cities of the Americas, while staying a stone’s throw away from actual living examples of your studies.

Though not every archaeology study abroad program will include fieldwork, if you’re passionate about getting your hands in the dirt, you will be able to find a program that will enable you to do so. Many graduate and doctorate students look for international students to volunteer with digs or laboratory research destined to end up in archaeological journals read worldwide.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Ease in Entering the Field. Breaking into the field of archaeology is a task few are up to, but with the added experience of a semester or year studying archaeology abroad it won’t seem so difficult. The cultural competency that comes from spending an extended period of time in a foreign country and the new friendships and professional connections you will make, will show you that studying archaeology abroad was a smart decision from any angle. If you’re interested in fieldwork, archaeology study abroad programs may be the missing link to you getting first hand experience with an archaeological dig, laboratory work with specimens, or documentation of found artifacts.

More Access to Advanced Classes. During your time spent studying archaeology abroad, you can take classes specific to the country you’re living in, which may very well not be taught anywhere else in the world. Not only does your education improve inside the classroom, but opportunities to explore cities with great histories, look through items at museums, and experience traditions developed over thousands of years can allow you to educate yourself outside of the classroom as well.

Any way you slice it, the opportunity to study archaeology abroad is something any archaeology student should be excited to dig into.

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A Guide To
Studying Archaeology Abroad


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