Do You Dig Travel? Study Archaeology Abroad

With hundreds of thousands of U.S. students study abroad each year, it's easy to see all the trees instead of the big forest. Facts are facts- regardless of a program's targeted major, they often include excursions to museums and historic sites, from Berlin's formidable Pergamon Museum to Mexico's Museo Nacional de Antropologia and everything in between. And the Bucket list of the average person often includes visits to at least one of the ancient wonders of the world. It would seem that studying archaeology abroad, even if just a beginner's course, is appealing to anyone!

For those archaeology majors whose research interests lie beyond the U.S., all the more reason to go abroad. Picture the opportunity to see the hauntingly beautiful Stonehenge, the otherworldly Moai of Easter Island, or even the majestic Machu Picchu! So strap on your whip, practice your best swashbuckling impersonation, and load up your iPod with John Williams's soundtrack to Indiana Jones. Create your own archaeological adventure abroad!

Monumental Roman Arch in Syria
Monumental Roman Arch in Syria
  • Number of Archaeology Majors Each Year: 2,500
  • Popular careers for Archaeology Majors:Academic positions, Museum curators, Governmental positions (U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service), and Cultural Resource Management jobs for private firms.
  • Famous People who studied Archaeology: Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, Ted Hughes

Due to how small and competitive this field is, archaeology majors greatly improve their chances of landing employment by gaining experience in international field schools, and on exciting excavations and digs. Studying abroad gives one that competitive edge, and also looks impressive on one's resume. Furthermore, it offers the excellent opportunity to explore world-renowned archaeological sites as well as those off the beaten path. Finally, studying abroad allows the budding archaeologist a dynamic outlet through which to hone one's skills and mature both personally and professionally.

There are a variety of reputable archaeology programs abroad, some offering degrees, and others representing standard summer and exchange programs. Generally, the location and program type dictate the language used. If the program offers a degree and is in an English-speaking country, courses will be in English. Degree programs in non-English speaking countries tend to be in the native language. Regular study abroad programs run by universities and NGO's typically offer courses in either English or a combination of English and the native language. Similarly, depending on the program, package costs usually include tuition, airfare, some meals, and housing.

Popular locations for such programs include the U.K., Greece, Italy, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Australia, Ghana, and South Africa, to name only a few. The Archaeological Institute of America and Archaeology Fieldwork also periodically post fieldwork programs abroad.

Archaeological Dig
Picture Yourself Here!

Popular regions to study archaeology include Central and South America, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Italy, Greece, and China. In terms of degree programs, the U.K. stands out in research, with the University of Sheffield and the University of South Hampton representing some of the largest archaeology departments in the country.

Israel also offers degree opportunities at Tel Aviv University and the University of Haifa. Similarly, Australia has several degree programs through Australian National University and Flinders University. In terms of study abroad programs, Italy, Greece, Spain, and the U.K. take center stage, with providers including API, CEA, and CIEE, as well as many programs run through U.S. based universities.

From the glorious Chichen Itza to the breathtaking Giza Plateau, the endless relics of the ancient world truly beckon archaeology majors - and archaeological enthusiasts in general - to venture study abroad. This call of adventure is also an opportunity to discover and interpret. With all the discovered artifacts out there, what exciting insights will you provide?

There are myriad scholarships and funding opportunities for archaeology students. Here's just the beginning!


Contributed by Kate Kirk

Kate Kirk currently works as a coordinator for Georgia Tech's Language Institute and as a virtual intern for Melibee Global. She has worked in international education in both the U.S. and Honduras. She is a lifelong learner, enjoying elective studies in global education, ethics, music, and philosophy. Keep up on Kate's personal website.

Spend a semester or academic year at Loyola University's John Felice Rome Center in Italy! Use your location as a crux for your studies in the classical and contemporary fields. Courses are also offered in a number of other fields,...
10 Reviews
More Programs by Loyola University Chicago
The 2015 field school will excavate at the Graeco-Roman town of Karanis, founded in the third century BCE and abandoned during the early seventh century CE. The preservation of the ancient remains is excellent and a wide range of...
2 Reviews
More Programs by Institute for Field Research
The School of Humanities and Social Sciences, located in the beautiful old section of Aix-en-Provence, once a medieval village, is the only study abroad center in the region that offers classes in both French and English. IAU prides itself...
5 Reviews Request Info
More Programs by IAU College
The Blackfriary Community Archaeology Project is a unique, hands-on opportunity for students to excavate the buried remains of a 13th century Dominican friary in the town of Trim, County Meath, Ireland. By ascertaining who was buried at...
2 Reviews
More Programs by Institute for Field Research
API students have the opportunity to study at Lorenzo de' Medici - The Italian International Institute in Tuscania (LdM). Founded in 1973 in Florence, LdM is committed to helping students realize their potential, providing high quality...
5 Reviews
More Programs by API Study Abroad
This field school is part of a larger research project that examines the archaeology of the 19th century prison on Spike Island, Ireland's Alcatraz. The prison at Spike Island was tied into the British imperial system of power as in the...
3 Reviews
More Programs by Institute for Field Research
Romania, in Eastern Europe, is a unique and wonderful place to complete a volunteer project or internship. The outstanding scenery, biodiversity and paradoxes of a country that is in the process of economic and cultural change will mould...
13 Reviews
More Programs by Projects Abroad
Archaeological Shoreline Research (A. Sho.Re) is an underwater archaeology project that aims to establish an interdisciplinary survey methodology of maritime landscapes in Kephallenia, Greece. Fieldwork focuses on the systematic and...
2 Reviews
More Programs by Institute for Field Research
The Maya Research Program is a U.S.-based non-profit organization (501c3) that sponsors archaeological and ethnographic research in Middle America. Each summer since 1992, we have sponsored archaeological fieldwork at the ancient Maya...
4 Reviews
More Programs by Maya Research Program
College Year in Athens (CYA) invites students to come study abroad in Athens, Greece for a summer, semester, or academic year! The program focuses on continuing student's education, while bringing out a well rounded appreciation for Greece...
1 Reviews
More Programs by College Year in Athens
Intern abroad in India with the Institute of Cultural Ecology! I.C.E. offers internships in India in a variety of fields including conservation, film production, business management, and hospitality. Internships are available throughout...
More Programs by Institute for Cultural Ecology
The site of Zita is an urban mound located in southern Tunisia and situated along an ancient trade route from Carthage to Tripoli. Identified by a Latin inscription as the Roman city of "Zita" ("Olive City" in Punic) it also contains a...
2 Reviews
More Programs by Institute for Field Research
Cetamura is an archaeological site on a hilltop located in the Chianti Mountains of Tuscany, between Siena and Florence. Investigations at Cetamura have revealed an Etruscan sanctuary and artisans' quarter, Roman baths, and a medieval...
More Programs by Florida State University
This field school will focus on two major Paracas mound sites in southern Peru's Chincha Valley: Huaca Soto (PV-57-26) and La Cumbe (PV57-3). These sites flourished between 400-1 BCE. Students will have the opportunity to excavate at both...
1 Reviews
More Programs by Institute for Field Research
Fieldwork focuses on the excavation of an urban area where a monastery has been found. In the laboratory students will learn to classify artifacts, including Roman pottery, numismatics and faunal remains. Participants will also learn and...
More Programs by The Sanisera Field School. Archaeological Courses