Study Women's Studies Abroad

Back to Programs

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.


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.


  • 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


 Find Women's Studies Study Abroad Programs Now


This listing has been saved 41 times

The Institute for Global Studies (IGS) Intern Around the World Programs allow students to mix and match internships in two or three countries. Students can choose from any of the countries and internships available. Typical durations are four weeks to 12 weeks in each location. IGS will help students determine which internships and countries compliment each other. Sample itineraries: Paci...


This listing has been saved 155 times

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...


This listing has been saved 40 times

Spend a semester or academic year in the classic city of London with AIFS. You’ll earn up to 12 credits through a variety of courses studying at Richmond, the American International University in London. AIFS in London offers a unique academic program. Because of the wide range of degrees offered by Richmond, AIFS students have an array of courses to choose from to help fulfill and complemen...


This listing has been saved 81 times

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 ...


This listing has been saved 38 times

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 ...


This listing has been saved 10 times

Syracuse University's London Center is located in the heart of this vibrant city. It offers professional courses in theater, public communications, business, design, music industry, and architecture, as well as a broad selection of liberal arts courses. Internships can place students in professional settings and provide superior preparation for a career in today's global economy. Living in loca...


This listing has been saved 17 times

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...


This listing has been saved 59 times

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...


This listing has been saved 32 times

This program is designed for students who wish to experience all that a beautiful Spanish city on the Mediterranean has to offer, while studying the Spanish language and the complexities of Spanish and contemporary European societies. 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 Studie...


This listing has been saved 9 times

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 ...


This listing has been saved 5 times

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...


This listing has been saved 7 times

Embark on an intellectually-challenging study abroad program offered by Semester at Sea, the nation's leading shipboard program for study abroad. Participants circumnavigate the globe each fall and spring semester, and explore a specific world region each summer. A state-of-the-art passenger ship, the MV World Odyssey, serves as our floating campus. Colorado State University is the academic ...


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...


This listing has been saved 8 times

Study abroad in the United Arab Emirates with American University of Sharjah (AUS). Participants of this international learning opportunity have the chance to take courses from any of the four colleges/schools in the University, namely, College of Engineering (CEN), College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD), School of Business Administration (SBA), and College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). ...


This listing has been saved 4 times

Spanish immersion, community service and educational travel through Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands', incredible cultural and environmental diversity. Combine immersive Spanish language study, hands-on service learning projects and amazing educational adventure travel. Gain insight into the lives of indigenous Andean and Amazon communities; be astounded by Machu Picchu, the spectacular...