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A Guide to Studying Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Abroad

The study of gender, sexuality, and feminism is different everywhere you go. Therefore, there are study abroad programs related to these subjects all over the world, but each culture has its own approach to the field. Investigating gender, sexuality, and feminism requires students to engage in a variety of disciplines, including history, religion, race, social policy, law, and even behavioral science and biology. To study gender and sexuality abroad is to expose yourself to unfamiliar practices and perspectives, and in doing so, expand your platform for tackling larger questions regarding gender roles, LGBT rights, political activism, domestic violence, and many more aspects of society.

Why Study Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Abroad

Gender and sexuality are crucial to identity construction, and understanding our own identities depends largely on our own culture. Studying abroad allows students to fully experience diverse environments and the challenges of people around the globe, while coming to understand how culture contributes to larger conversations on women, gender, and sexuality.

If you’re interested in social policy, education, or social work on the international level, studying abroad can be a crucial personal and professional experience.

Locations

Western Europe. There are plenty of study abroad programs focused on gender and sexuality studies across Europe, but some of the more focused and challenging courses can be found in England, the Netherlands, and Denmark. These locations are widely regarded as some of the most developed and tolerant cultures in the world.Themes having to do with public policy, social work, sex trafficking, and queer theory are all good research topics within the context of Western Europe.

The Middle East. Students who decide to study gender and sexuality in the Middle East will learn how to approach the subjects through a largely Islamic or Muslim perspective. Many study abroad programs in the Middle East give students the chance to travel to places like Beirut and the West Bank to trace various types of gender constructions through history, literature, and social theory. This is a great region for those looking to examine ideologies of women and gender from a non-western perspective, or those who have a particular interest in the crossroads of religion and women’s rights.

Latin America. Latin America has a number of widespread problems when it comes to women, sexuality, and violence. Students interested in legal policy, sociology, and the behavioral sciences should particularly consider studying feminism, gender, and sexuality in Latin America. Many underdeveloped nations throughout the region, such as Mexico and Argentina, are  currently working to find solutions to the extensive difficulties that stunt social and economic growth. Students may, for example, have the opportunity to examine the crossroads of multiculturalism and politics in relation to gender studies.

Courses & Programs

Although these subjects can easily be studied simultaneously, each one can also be isolated and explored individually. Each study abroad program will focus on different topics and have its’ own approach to the field, meaning each student’s experience will be entirely unique.

Gender Studies. In these gender courses, students will investigate how gender is constructed and perceived in terms of cultural paradigms, societal norms, biology, and psychology. Course offering may include opportunities to explore gender and feminist theory, as well as more specific aspects like the function of gender in the military. Gender studies courses will challenge traditional notions of masculinity and femininity, and provide students with alternative views of gender and gender roles.

Sexuality Studies. While strongly connected to gender theory, sexuality courses focus more specifically on sexual identity and methodology, with an emphasis on queer theory, the LGBT movement, and gay and lesbian history. Many sexuality courses are combined with workshops and lectures involving visits to outside organizations, like the European Thematic Network of Women's Studies (ATHENA).

Activism & Social Policy. Policy focused courses push students to get out of the classroom and join the larger discussion of women and gender in the real world: challenging the status quo, changing the laws that govern, and advancing human rights and equality. This subfield includes gritty subjects that are difficult to discuss, like discrimination, human trafficking, contraception, prostitution, and rape and other forms of violence against women. Students engaged in this material during their time abroad will be provided with the necessary training needed to express tough concerns and enact real social change.

Many study abroad programs are offered in the summer, but it’s not hard to find semester-long courses for spring and fall too. Most programs allow students to conduct field research, create their own projects, or combine coursework with an internship. Gender-focused study abroad programs usually involve workshops and informative field trips to neighboring countries or relevant organizations.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Experience. There is no substitute for hands-on experience in a foreign setting. Since ideas of gender and sexuality vary from region to region, it’s critical that students concentrating in this field have an understanding of how different cultures approach these topics.

Opportunity. Many of study abroad programs are designed to bring students into contact with groups and organizations working to improve conditions for people around the world. Students will therefore have the chance to learn from and work with international groups and professionals in the field, and build a network of opportunities to utilize after graduation. 

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A Guide To
Studying Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Abroad

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CISabroad

Earn 6 credits while living in beautiful Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. Take a mandatory Thai Language and Culture course and an elective. Choose from Gender Studies, International Finance, or Buddhist Philosophy. Alumni of this summer program create a lifelong bond with their host country and each other.

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American Institute For Foreign Study

Spend a semester or academic year in Madrid with AIFS. Earn up to 15 credits studying abroad at Universidad Nebrija, in the capital of Spain. Choose one of the following academic programs: - Hispanic Studies (all courses taught in Spanish) - Spanish Plus (courses taught in English and Spanish) - Integrated Studies with Spaniards - Internship and Spanish Language (visit website for all ...

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IES Abroad

As the economic and cultural hub of the Iberian Peninsula with internship placements in commerce, media, fashion and more, Barcelona is the perfect place for your semester-long internship abroad. With IES Internships, you are guaranteed an unpaid, for-credit, 12-week internship of at least 30 hours per week in a business or organization that suits your career goals. Build a global network of pr...

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Athena Study Abroad

Athena's partner school in Florence, Italy, Lorenzo de' Medici (LdM), is a private institution located among several buildings in the center of this charming Renaissance city. The campus' main building dates back to the 13th century and, before being renovated, was originally a convent and church. Florence was the heart of the Renaissance, and its artistic flair is still tangible. With that ...

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Syracuse University

Study in the heart of London for a semester through Syracuse University's London Center program. You will take courses in liberal arts, as well as professional courses in architecture, music industry, design, business, public communications, and theater. This program includes internship placements in real work settings, allowing you to prepare for a career in today's highly globalized economy. ...

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USAC Uruguay: Montevideo - Undergraduate Courses

Known as “The Switzerland of South America” for its peaceful culture, Uruguay is nestled between South America’s two titans, Argentina and Brazil. The capital, Montevideo, is quickly becoming a travel destination for its thriving cultural scene including rich architecture, sandy beaches, plazas, shops, museums, and restaurants. Known as one of the “coolest” and “most chilled-out” cities, Montev...

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ISA (International Studies Abroad)

Prague rests along the banks of the Vltava River, and has been the political, cultural, and economic hotspot of Eastern Europe for over 1000 years. With over 1.2 million inhabitants in the city proper, and a constant flow of international travelers exploring the city, Prague is a bustling capital of global importance. Since 1992, Prague has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and with ...

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CIEE

Program Overview Spend your summer improving your language skills and immersing yourself in Spanish culture in a city on the beautiful Mediterranean coast. Summer study abroad in Alicante offers you two tracks of study. Students interested in beginning their study of Spanish, or studying about an aspect of Spanish culture in English, can take one, two or three, four week sessions. In all case...

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Forum Europe Summer 2017: Travel Around 9 Cities in 5 Weeks

Curriculum Highlights: Multi-country summer program in Europe: Earn up to 8 credits in the summer while studying in 9 amazing European cities. Students from the U.S. and other countries travel together (with the professors) taking classes, visiting universities, companies and international organizations. Open to all majors. U.S.-accredited university. Acquire a solid understanding of European...

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College Year in Athens

CYA has offered study abroad programs in a wide range of academic disciplines for over 50 years. With supplemental activities varying from archaeological digs to onsite courses, study-travel, and volunteer opportunities, students are able to actively engage with their course material. Students live in apartments in downtown Athens and will be inspired to immerse themselves in the environment an...

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Lorenzo de' Medici

The LdM Florence campus is one of the largest international schools in Italy, located in twelve campus buildings in the historic city center near the famous Duomo Cathedral and next to the bustling San Lorenzo market and church. The LdM buildings are Wi-Fi equipped and contain a full range of facilities including large classrooms and specialized art studios, a cafeteria, courtyard garden, libra...

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Knowledge Exchange Institute (KEI)

London is the epitome of a global city with diverse communities, historic landmarks, amazing nightlife, world-class museums and outdoor markets. With a history that spans over 2,000 years, it is no wonder most agree with the Samuel Johnson quote, "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life." Study for a summer, semester or one whole year at the London South Bank University (LSBU) in ce...

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Study Abroad in London at the University of Roehampton

The University of Roehampton offers students the opportunity to live and learn on a close-knit collegiate campus just a stone's throw away from the sights and sounds of the capital city. Students can really experience the 'best of both worlds' at London’s only parkland campus. You will study for one semester or a full year alongside Roehampton students from over 130 countries worldwide. Guar...

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Academic Summer Courses in Africa

African Impact’s Service Learning opportunities offer you a curated selection of summer courses, which combine specialized academic material and stimulating hands-on experience in a selection of subjects, in a unique African context. Our Summer Course destinations have been individually chosen for their intrinsic contrast and ability to add a depth to the context of the courses’ materials an...

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Summer Spanish Immersion - Study &/or Intern in Spain!

Immerse yourself in the Spanish language and culture over the summer! Through this program, we offer Spanish courses for academic credit at all levels (beginner through advanced). Additionally, you have the option to add an internship (for credit) in your field. This program is ideal for those who truly want to improve their Spanish language skills. Away from the crowds of Americans that...