Study Women's Studies Abroad

Back to Programs

A Guide to Women's Studies Abroad

As a whole, women’s studies is fundamentally international and interdisciplinary. The exploration of gender concepts often requires students to pull from a variety of other fields, such as history, politics, race, religion, psychology, and the biological sciences. Exploring women’s studies abroad will expose students to a range of cultural practices and ideologies, therefore developing a global framework to further contextualize contemporary issues like human rights, violence against women, and the LGBT movement. Study abroad programs focused on women’s studies are available almost anywhere in the world, and each culture will provide its own perspective and approach to women’s issues.

Why Study Abroad

Gender construction and questions of identity are largely culture-specific. Only by studying abroad can you fully experience the differing environments and unique challenges faced by women across the world, and how society and culture contributes to gender movements on a global level. It’s especially important for those who want to pursue women’s studies in the realm of international relations, policy, social work, or education. Study abroad experience listed on a resume illustrates drive, maturity, and a developed understanding of principal themes in women’s studies.

Locations

Women’s studies programs are available all over the world. although since Europe and Scandinavia are incredibly progressive regions opportunities are more common there. However, places like the Middle East and Latin America are also good places to pursue women’s studies courses abroad, since gender constructs are so uniquely defined.  

Europe. It’s pretty easy to find study abroad programs across Europe, especially in popular countries like England, France, Spain, and Italy. Students looking for more focused and challenging women’s studies programs should consider the Netherlands and Denmark. All of the latter locations are widely regarded as some of the most developed and tolerant cultures in the world. The Dutch government, for example, has decriminalized and legalized prostitution in an effort to regulate the sex tourism industry, which means the Netherlands is an extraordinary place to explore women’s studies abroad. Policy, social work, sex trafficking, and queer theory are great themes to explore within the context of any one of these nations.

The Middle East. Women’s studies programs available in the Arab world typically investigate identity and gender from a largely Islamic or Muslim perspective. Programs may, for example, take students to Beirut, Amman, and the West Bank to trace gender constructions through history, literature, and theory. Turkey generally has many opportunities to explore women’s studies. In general, this region is most beneficial for those looking to examine ideologies of women and gender from a non-western perspective, or for those who have a particular interest in the crossroads of religion and women’s rights.

Latin America. This is a great region to study gender and social change in Mesoamerica. Latin America has some widespread problems in terms of machismo, drug trafficking, and violence, but it also offers some gorgeous settings and incredibly colorful cultures. There is a demand for those interested in examining legal policy, sociology, and behavioral sciences. Many of underdeveloped nations in this region, such as Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil are working to find solutions to the extensive difficulties that stunt social and economic growth. Further research and case studies are needed to help reform and reframe concerns of violence, leadership, and gender norms, so those women’s studies programs in Latin America often include research components.

Courses & Programs

Courses in women’s studies generally fall under the categories of feminism, sexuality and gender identity, or activism and social policy.

Feminism. These make up some of the core courses of women’s studies programs; feminism courses include the history and theory of feminism, feminist policy, and overviews of the many different types of movements, such as postcolonial feminism, black and chicana feminism, and third-wave feminism. Students will have the opportunity to build a foundation by researching feminist pioneers like Mary Wollstonecraft, Margaret Fuller, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Sexuality & Gender Identity. In these types of courses, students investigate how gender is constructed and perceived in terms of cultural paradigms, societal norms, biology, and psychology. Topics include LGBT studies, queer theory, and the history of sexuality. Through research, students will be asked to challenge their own notions of masculine and feminine and imagine alternative models of gender and gender roles.

Activism & Social Policy. These women’s studies courses push students to get out of the classroom and join the larger discussion of women and gender in the real world, by challenging the status quo, changing the laws that govern a society, or advancing human rights and equality. Activism and social policy coursework includes gritty subjects that are difficult to discuss: discrimination, human trafficking, prostitution, rape and other forms of violence against women, and contraception. Students engaged in this material are provided with the necessary training needed to express tough concerns and enact real social change.

Many of women’s studies programs are available in the summer term, but it’s not hard to find semester-long courses in the spring and fall too. Most study abroad programs allow students to conduct field research, create their own projects, or combine coursework with an internship, and usually involve workshops and informative field trips to neighboring countries or relevant organizations, such as the European Thematic Network of Women's Studies. Prior coursework is generally not required, except for some advanced women’s studies courses.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Experience. There is no substitute for hands-on experience in a foreign setting. Since ideas of women and gender vary from region to region and culture to culture, it’s critical that students concentrating in women’s studies have an understanding of how different nations approach these topics and how other cultures differ from their own culture.  

Opportunity. Many of women’s studies programs are designed to bring students into contact with groups and organizations working to improve conditions for women around the world. Students have the opportunity not only to learn from and work with these groups, but also to network with them, and create strong professional connections that can be utilized after graduation.

Read More

A Guide To
Women's Studies Abroad

READ ARTICLE

 Find Women's Studies Study Abroad Programs Now

Save

This listing has been saved 223 times

CISabroad

During your semester in London, you won't just read Shakespeare in the classroom; you'll go see it performed live in the Globe Theatre. The city is your classroom! On Semester at University of Westminster, London, you can take classes for your major or as electives at an internationally recognized institution while exploring this lively, diverse city. You can also intern at one of the city's ma...

Save

This listing has been saved 50 times

American Institute For Foreign Study

As one of the world’s top university cities, you can expect plenty of wonderful opportunities while on a study program in London! Join AIFS students in England’s vibrant capital for a semester or academic year and earn up to 15 credits attending classes at Richmond, the American International University in London. AIFS in London offers a unique academic program: Traditional Academic Program,...

Save

This listing has been saved 78 times

IES Abroad

Many travelers who visit Granada insist it's the must-see city in all of Spain. With one of the clearest windows into Spain's unique historical symbiosis of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, the IES curriculum takes full advantage of Andalusia and all southern Spain has to offer including cultural excursions. Two semesters of college level Spanish are required to enroll in the Intermediate ...

Save

This listing has been saved 61 times

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 ...

Save

This listing has been saved 17 times

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. ...

Save

This listing has been saved 40 times

University Studies Abroad Consortium

The USAC program is located at the 30,000 student University of Alicante and offers two diverse academic areas: Intensive Language and Spanish and European Studies. You will have the opportunity to study the Spanish language and the complexities of Spanish and contemporary European societies through a wide selection of academic courses, as well as through personal interaction with the host cult...

Save

This listing has been saved 24 times

Academic Programs International

Be inspired by immaculate Renaissance architecture, passionate art pieces, as well as a vibrant and historical culture! Florence is arguably one of the most desirable cities in the world and offers a great learning environment as well as opportunities for internships, service learning, and volunteering. Ideal for someone who doesnt mind the hustle and bustle of a touristy city and for those...

Save

This listing has been saved 72 times

ISA (International Studies Abroad)

Broaden your knowledge and perspective in Spain through our study abroad program! Through ISA, you can enroll in courses (based on your Spanish proficiency) at any of these universities in Madrid. • Universidad Antonio de Nebrija: Spanish Language, Liberal Arts and Business; Hispanic Studies; or Spanish Language and Regular Courses • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid: Business and Communicat...

Save

This listing has been saved 11 times

CIEE

The Liberal Arts study abroad program in Buenos Aires, Argentina helps students gain a critical appreciation of Argentina and its importance in Latin America from a social sciences and humanities perspective. This is achieved through CIEE courses offered at Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales and direct enrollment courses in academic departments and faculties at Universidad de Buenos ...

Save

This listing has been saved 12 times

Semester at Sea

Semester at Sea is a global journey that brings students face-to-face with a diversity of our world's cultures and perspectives. Every spring and fall, Semester at Sea explores up to 11 developed and emerging countries and 15 cities on a 100-day voyage. Students represent nearly 25 different countries and 250 institutions, and with the faculty, staff, and crew become a supportive and collabo...

Save

This listing has been saved 6 times

The University of Minnesota

Study international development in Ecuador, and experience the wonderful blend of indigenous and Spanish colonial, all while advancing your Spanish language skills. You also get the chance to contribute through a research project or an internship with a nonprofit organization while you are there. You will find opportunities to explore the complexities brought about by issues related to globaliz...

Save

This listing has been saved 5 times

Spanish Studies Abroad

With 40 years of academic excellence in Spanish studies, Spanish Studies Abroad specially designed the Spanish Studies Program for Spanish language students entering the advanced-level with a wide range of academic interests. The program integrates thoughtful synthesis of homestays/life in the residencias, study visits, language exchanges, volunteer, and other cultural opportunities into the cu...

Save

This listing has been saved 2 times

Forum-Nexus Study Abroad

Curriculum Highlights: Multi-country summer program in Europe: Earn 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 culture...

Save

This listing has been saved 8 times

Study Abroad in Greece with CYA! (Semester/Academic Year)

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...

Save

ISEP Study Abroad

Ready to live and study alongside locals in the cultural capital of the Middle East, Sharjah? With our flexible course enrollment program at one of the United Arab Emirates' most prestigious universities, American University of Sharjah, you will be able to choose classes from the institution's full-course curriculum. Choose from hundreds of high-quality courses to meet your academic requirement...