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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.

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