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 Antropología 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!
Photo credits: Jirka Matousek.
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.
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.
South America is a top choice for lovers of archeology due to the many prevalent pre-Colombian cultures that called the rich lands here home. Peru, a vibrant country in the North of South America, is home to more than 18 universities where students can study a wide range of topics in both English and Spanish. The former capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco is one of the top places in the world to study archaeology due to the well-preserved culture and archaeological sites that are found nearby.
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.
Costs & funding
There are myriad scholarships and funding opportunities for archaeology students. Here's just the beginning!
- The Archaeological Institute of America also provides a list of grants, fellowships, and scholarships, many of which support study abroad.
- Catering to both archaeology and anthropology students, the American Anthropological Association offers extensive lists of both international and national grants and fellowships.
- Also visit the Society for American Archaeology, which offers a couple of notable scholarships for Native Americans as well as general awards for students, which are presented at the national conference.
- More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships