When it comes to studying abroad, no matter who you ask, you’re going to get the same answer: THE TIME IS NOW. If your inner dialogue is going something like this “it’s too expensive,” or “I won’t have any freedom as a student,” or “how am I supposed to choose just one!” then this is for you. We’ve considered all of the countries in each region, staying away from all of those obvious ones, and we suggest the best programs too! Say goodbye to those doubts and say hello to this:
With only 6% of the population living below the poverty line, everyone riding bikes and wearing Birkenstocks, and wind turbines gathering electricity for them, it’s no wonder Denmark is called The Happiest Country in the World. One of the top ranked countries in terms of socio-economic, artistic design, and environmental sustainability progression, Denmark is the ideal country to study abroad. At DIS, you have plenty of programs to choose from. All of the programs feature an experiential education with hands-on learning activities, study tours taking you somewhere else in Europe, and fieldwork opportunities.
We all know New Zealand as “the place where Lord of the Rings was shot,” right? Well, it’s for a good reason. New Zealand was one of the last places modern humans inhabited, and the biodiversity is outstanding. Unfortunately, the presence of humans challenges environmental conservation, so it’s a huge education opportunity! One in particular is essentially a semester long field trip worth 12 credits, where students are constantly immersed in nature without cell phone reception for weeks on end. If this sounds like something you’re into, visit the site here: Wildlands Studies.
Nepal: the place where dogs have their own day of celebration. Sounds like exactly where I want to be, but Nepal is still so much more than that! Religion is a huge component of their culture. With the largest Hinduism practice in the world with Buddhism as a close second, most citizens actually identify as being both. This creates an interesting syncretic culture- where antithetical beliefs are unified to create an inclusive school of thought. If you’re a World Religions major or are just fascinated with Hinduism and Buddhism, then we recommend a semester at The Dragons College. If the name doesn’t have your attention, the curriculum will. It includes: home-stays in the Kathmandu and Himalayan regions, a stone carving and mask making mentor, and a 10-day retreat at a monastery. This cultural immersion is the best way to learn about the developmental issues in Nepal and to truly inhabit a new perspective.
Ready to learn something new? Poland is the ONLY European country that completely dodged the recession that devastated the global economy in the late 2000s. Thanks to their strong domestic market, low private debt, and flexibly currency, where else would you want to study Business and Economics? A nonprofit, nongovernmental international education exchange program, CIEE, boasts a rigorous curriculum in the oldest and most prestigious school in Poland complete with cultural city excursions in the capital. Warsaw was obliterated in World War II and has completely reconstructed itself from the bottom up due to the hard work and resilient disposition of its citizens. Rich in culture, history, and economic opportunity, you can go as high up as their skyscrapers!
If you have never looked at Morocco on a map, I prompt you to do so right now……
Okay, so, if you didn’t already know, then now you know how absurdly close Morocco is to Spain and, subsequently, the rest of Europe. Because of its centralized location, Morocco is seen as a tree with African roots, a trunk in the Arab-Islamic world, with branches reaching into Spain and France. Morocco is a major player in world politics and the country is changing rapidly with a widely diverse culture. In terms of food, architecture, music, and much more, Morocco is so very rich in culture that it will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before. That’s why the School for International Training has a program that highlights Multiculturalism and Human Rights in Morocco from past to present. The country is filled with complexities and challenges due to its rapid thrust into modernisation while clinging onto age-old traditions. In the SIT program, you’ll not only get to analyze it, but you will live it.
Uruguay has steadily become Latin America’s leader as the country with least corruption, most fundamental rights, best public health and education opportunities, and all of the other wonderful things that make a country great. In particular, Uruguay is a big agricultural country, which is what caused their economic growth since the 80s. Because of this, several universities in the United States and Canada offer study abroad programs in Animal Science and Sustainable Agriculture. Through these programs, you’ll be able to visit and work on several Uruguayan farms and witness that how we treat our animals is a direct manifestation of how we treat one another.
How could I end this list without Mexico? It’s so close to home that we don’t realize its magnificence as anything more than a Spring Break hot spot and El Chapo drama. We overlook Mexico’s rich indigenous history, ancient ruins, and its title as the “Aquarium of the World.” Well, no more! Take a 21 day excursion from La Paz to the Yucatan Peninsula with this program as you travel through the desert and into the jungle all while snorkeling in coral reefs, playing with sea lions, and examining sea turtles. This program is more geared to high schoolers since it doesn’t offer credits, but it’s still a killer thing to put on your resume! And, of course, totally worth the experience.
There are so many possibilities out there available to students that it would be silly not to take full advantage of it. This is the chance to network on a global scale and to understand a perspective outside of what you’re used to. Complete with seminars, excursions, and independent study, what’s to think about? The deadlines are comin’ up for the 2016 semesters, so hop on it!