The most popular places that students typically study abroad are England, France, Italy and Spain. One of the benefits to studying abroad in Europe is that there are so many counties that are just a cheap flight or train ride away. It is very appealing to students hoping to get to know as many places as they can in a limited amount of time. There are so many opportunities for weekend trips and because these cities are so commonly known, most students tend to gravitate to those programs.
On the other hand, if you are looking for an extremely unique study abroad opportunity there are many destinations that are often overlooked when choosing a program. When choosing the perfect study abroad program, a lot of students don’t realize that they don’t have to only look at programs that their university offers. If you are interested in a location that isn’t offered at your school, you can go ahead and research where they do offer it and apply through that college. Most places will easily transfer your academic credits over to your university without any issues. An advantage of this is that you can meet other American students from other schools around the country and broaden your horizons. This way when you study abroad, you are not only making friends with people in other countries but from other parts of the United States.
Another aspect to consider when choosing a study abroad destination that is “outside of the box” is that studying abroad doesn’t necessarily mean taking classes. When you choose a program, you can also receive academic credit when you sign up for a volunteer program or an internship program abroad. This can be appealing because it gives students a break from constantly studying and having to worry about exams and papers for a semester. You get a chance to learn beyond a classroom experience.
Here are a few of the destinations that are thought to be a truly once in a lifetime experience to live for a lengthy period of time.
Antarctica is the coldest, quietest and least understood continent on Earth so why study abroad here? If you are interested in science and exploration, this could be the opportunity for you since most of the studies are field work. Antarctica has some of the world’s greatest concentration of wildlife in the world and amazing scenery. It really is an amazing opportunity to live somewhere most people don’t ever get the chance to even explore. If environmental studies, geology or conservation are careers you are interested in pursuing, this is a great advantage to move forward in your studies.
Ghana is located in West Africa with over 100 different ethnic groups and the primary language is English. This country has beautiful beaches, rainforests and incredibly diverse citizens. This is a great place for students interested in careers in social work and those passionate about global issues. You can really immerse yourself into a completely different culture as well as have an amazing time exploring Africa.
Even though our two countries have had a complicated history, this is one of the most fascinating countries to study abroad in. Russia has a lot of different types of territory to offer with two of the biggest, most diverse cities to choose from, Moscow and St. Petersburg. If you are interested in studying art and history, this might be a good choice to look into. Russia offers some of the most amazing museums and theatres in the world, as well as a economic and political center.
Tahiti is one of the last remaining colonies in our modern postcolonial world as it is a part of French Polynesia. If you are a history major and are interested in practicing your French, this is a very attractive place to study. Not only is the destination interesting from an educational perspective, but also has a fascinating sociological perspective in how different social structures interact with each other. The best part is you can leave Tahiti and explore other islands in the Pacific that are nearby.
If you have to actually study during your semester abroad, this is the perfect vacation spot to do it. The weather is amazing with beautiful beaches and island palms. Jamaica is also the largest English-speaking island which makes for a smoother transition for study abroad students. Most students who study abroad in Jamaica go with volunteer projects and internships since even though it is a beautiful country, it still needs a lot of support and repair. This is definitely a place to be if you want to give back as well as enjoy yourself with minimum stress.
Peru is great destination for archaeological, anthropological and environmental studies. It is filled with history and cultural wonders including Machu Picchu, remnants of the Incan empire, and Spain’s long lasting influence on the country. However, it is not just about history, it is also an extremely modern country especially if you go to Lima which is a very cosmopolitan city. This is a beautiful country to explore filled with mountain villages and deserts. It is a great country to either study if you are interested in the language or culture, or volunteer if you want to give back.
There are so many remarkable places in the world to explore, it is difficult to choose where to study abroad. We recommend really narrowing down what exactly you are hoping to gain out of this experience. From deducting what is important to you and considering all of your options, we hope that you are able to figure out the perfect destination to spend your semester abroad. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so make the best of it!
Remember to double check whether the country you are studying abroad in needs a visa and that your passport is valid for at least six months after you enter. Call Passport Study Abroad if you have any questions and/or need help getting your travel documents together.