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Study Abroad in the Humanities!

by Sara Kowalski, Class of 2017, Humanities Fellow

One of the most amazing experiences you can have as a humanities major is studying abroad (and that’s saying a lot considering the many amazing experiences you will encounter being a humanities major at Rochester!). The flexible Rochester curriculum and wealth of Rochester-sponsored programs makes it easy—not to mention the numerous opportunities for funding and financial aid and the helpful people at the Center for Education Abroad dedicated to getting you on a plane to somewhere you’ve never been!

Archaeology, Architecture, and History

'A Rally for LGBT Rights' by Molley Nemer '17, taken in Copenhagen '15
‘A Rally for LGBT Rights’ by Molley Nemer ’17, taken in Copenhagen

Studying abroad is a great way to get hands-on experience studying archaeology, eyes-up experience studying architecture, feet-on-the-ground experience studying culture and history, and so much more! Here are some Rochester-led or Rochester-partnered programs popular among students.

  • Architecture in Denmark: This semester-long program is based in Copenhagen and co-hosted by DIS: Study Abroad in Scandinavia. Here you will study architecture, art, and design while immersed in “Danish and Scandinavian design philosophies.”
  • Field school in Bermuda: This summer program takes place on Smith’s Island, where you can immerse yourself in archaeology research, learning all the field and laboratory methods involved with artifact recover and identification, documentation, mapping, photography, 3D modelling, and more!
  • Field school in Ghana: This summer program is based in Legon at Elmina Castle, where you will take the course Digital Archaeology of Heritage Structures of West Africa while surveying and modeling the site, learning about the culture and history, and documenting the stories of locals.
  • Field school in Italy: This UR-led program is based in the San Martino Archaeological Field School in Torano di Borgorose. You will stay in hostel-style living quarters, work at the San Martino site, and learn archaeological and laboratory methods. You will also take a course which intersects with the dig and also offers museum and other site visits.
  • Italian studies in Italy: This UR-led semester-long program is based in Arezzo. You will embark in a “grand tour” of the monuments of ancient Italy. You’ll go to Ostia, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae, and Paestum, traveling through private homes, public spaces, temples, baths, theaters, and of course—the Colosseum. And, of course you’ll take courses ranging from Elementary Italian to Archaeology and Architecture in Ancient Italy, from International Management in the Context of Contemporary Italian to Sustainable Health Care: A World View. There are many to choose from and almost all are cross-listed in several disciplines!

English, Theater, and Art

'Leap Frog' by Emily Hein '14, taken in China '13
‘Leap Frog’ by Emily Hein ’14, taken in China

Let this Shakespeare quote inspire you to let your love of literature, creative writing, the visual arts, and the performing arts carry you across the ocean, “to unpathed waters, undreamed shores.”

  • Advanced Studies in England: These spring semester and summer programs are based in Bath. Here you will take courses in whatever interests you: art, language, creative writing, education, Medieval studies, theater, gender studies, history, philosophy, and more! In addition to academics, a big part of this program is the opportunity to participate invaluable internships and cultural immersion experiences.
  • Bristol, England: Study anthropology, archaeology, art history; study acting and the performing arts; study American studies—American studies in England! There are even unique opportunities in Catalan language and literature, Czech language and literature, and Latin American Studies that you won’t find at Rochester. So take advantage of these opportunities!
  • Communication in Denmark: This semester-long program is based in Copenhagen and co-hosted by DIS: Study Abroad in Scandinavia. You will study journalism, communications, and media while interacting with the Danish government, media, and business sectors.
  • Theater in London: This amazing UR-led course condenses a full study abroad experience in less than two weeks during winter break. Guided by UR faculty, you and fourteen other students will see twenty plays, watching one to three plays of various genres per day. I’d say it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, except very few people will ever have an opportunity like this in their lives!
  • York, England: Study art, history, art history, English, archaeology, history, and more at the University of York for a semester or a full year!

Languages and Cultures

'Admiring the Aqueduct' by Boubacar Dialo '16, Segovia, Spain '14
‘Admiring the Aqueduct’ by Boubacar Dialo ’16, taken in Segovia, Spain

If you check out the Education Abroad page for the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, you’ll quickly notice that Rochester offers many special language and culture programs across the world. Here is just a sampling:

  • Anthropology in Malawi: The Malawi Immersion Seminar is a summer program sponsored by the anthropology department in which you attend a field school studying “cultural, health, social, political, and ecological issues in Malawi.” You will attend a Chichewa language course, take observational field notes, attend special lectures, embark on guided excursions, and so much more!
  • German in Germany: This summer program is based in Berlin. You will take language courses at Die Neue Schule—Berlin’s international language center, live in a homestay, and excursions within Berlin and in surrounding Brandenburg.
  • French in France: This summer program is based in Rennes. You will take courses in language, culture, and the contemporary and historic context of Rennese and beyond—taught by Rochester faculty! You will live in a homestay, and the three-day orientation will take place in Paris.
'An Unlikely Moon' by Casey Waldren '17, taken in Paris '15
‘An Unlikely Moon’ by Casey Waldren ’17, taken in Paris
  • Italian in Italy: This summer program is based in Procida, and this unique study abroad experience is all about service learning! You will work in groups alongside Italian students in sustainable social gardens. This will be accompanied by formal language instruction and guided cultural excursions. You will live in an apartment, and you’ll even get discounts at local restaurants!
  • Korean in Korea: This summer program is based in Seoul. You will take language courses at the language center at a local college, live in a homestay, do community service, and go on cultural excursions within the city of Seoul and beyond!
  • Russian in Russia: This summer program is based in St. Petersburg. You will take language-intensive courses with other international students at the University of St. Petersburg, live in a homestay, and go on excursions in St. Petersburg and Moscow led by Rochester faculty!
  • Spanish in Ecuador: This summer program is based in Quito. You will take courses in Spanish language and contemporary Ecuadorian culture and society. This program is co-hosted with IES Abroad, and courses will be held at the IES Abroad Quito Center. You will live in a homestay and there will be trips within Quito and to Mindo, Mitad del Mundo, and Otavalo.
  • Spanish in Spain: This biannual program fall semester program is based in Granada. It is co-hosted by IES abroad and language instruction takes place at the IES Abroad Granada Center. You will live in a homestay.
'A Beautiful Couple' by Hannah Greenwald '17, taken in Gowa, Malawi '15
‘A Beautiful Couple’ by Hannah Greenwald ’17, taken in Gowa, Malawi


  • Religion in Israel: Based in the Rothenberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, you can study Jewish studies, Middle Eastern studies, religion and theology, and more! (Including everything from theater to studio arts, from Arabic language and literature to international relations.) There are also opportunities for internships!
  • Religion Poland: Based in Krakow, you can immerse yourself Jewish studies at Jagiellonian University. Of course, you can also study history, international relations, Polish language and culture, and more! There is a summer programs, a semester programs, and full-year program!
  • Sacred Spaces in Greece: Spend your winter break studying both religion and classics in a single condensed experience being led by Rochester faculty around Greece from one ancient sacred location to the next!

Peer Advisers

Did you know that fellow students can help you with your study abroad search and planning? These students have gone abroad themselves and been trained to help others. They can eve help you fit study abroad in your busy course schedule!

These will turn over every year, but currently the Education Abroad peer advisers are:

For more information on study abroad at Rochester, check out the Education Abroad site. And if you want to see more awesome study abroad photos, check out the archive of photo contest winners and honorable mentions.

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