Every Classics student knows that benefits of the classical education go way beyond The Odyssey. Students who studied ancient Greek and Latin have higher Med school acceptance rates than any other subject, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Harvard Magazine maintains that they also make some of the most successful law students. The rigor and commitment of the major is undeniable; who else but a hard-core scholar can get through all those noun declensions? Students in the classics know how to get down and study hard.

However, the stereotype of the dusty scholar is a thing of the past. Today’s students have many opportunities to get out behind their books and see the ancient world for themselves (Or at least what’s left of it!). If nothing more, reading classical literature ignites an incredible desire to visit all of the sites, from the marvelous Roman Forum to the islands of Greece to Dido's Carthage - if you study classics, you know exactly what this feels like! Luckily, studying abroad is the perfect chance to immerse yourself in this opportunity. Read The Aeneid and works of Catullus as you make your way through the Mediterranean. Also, it's pretty much a guarantee that your courses will include lots of field trips! Think that studying classics abroad might be for you?

Students looking to study abroad are in luck. From Hadrian’s Wall in the west to the Fertile Crescent in the East, students can find vestiges of the classical world almost anywhere. Pretty much every modern universitas magistrorum et scholarium offers courses in the ancient world to pay homage to their classical roots.

If you're considering studying classics abroad, your mind probably immediately jumps to Greece or Italy. With fantastic programs like AIFS at The American College of Greece and CSU in Florence, this isn't a bad thing! If you choose to study in one of these two countries, you'll be able to truly immerse yourself in the rich history that you already love to study. Mind-blowing ruins and monuments will surprise you around every corner. Also, you'll have the unique opportunity to see how the ancient cultures and customs that you've been studying have translated to modern day. For instance, don't be surprised if much of the Italian you hear on the street sounds familiar.

Remember, however, that not all roads lead to Rome. If you're feeling adventurous, branch out a bit. There are fantastic opportunities to study the classics all around the world. Turkey, Jordon boast impressive ancient sites. With these programs, you'll be exposed to more exotic cultures, and a semester or year is the perfect amount of time to sink your teeth in and really get to know the people. You'll return home with a broader perspective on the ancient world and more understanding of how each historical event fits in with the next. This can only help you in future studies of the classics.

If you're really tired of lecture-style classes and spending hours translating texts in the library, think about branching out even more. There are some pretty unusual study abroad opportunities out there, each of which relates back to the classics in some valuable way. For instance, if you're looking for your very own Indiana Jones-esque adventure, check out the underwater archaeology program with Penn State in Israel!

Although your learning doesn't have to be confined to a classroom, if you prefer your discovery to take place indoors, don't forget about the treasures that are buried in the stacks of the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Picture yourself walking the hallowed halls and eating in the grand dining rooms as you ponder that latest wisdoms imparted on you by your world-famous classics professor. A study abroad experience like this may not be quite as adventurous as underwater archaeology, but it will still activate your imagination like staying at home never could and will really enhance your studies of the classics. Finally, consider studying at the Free University in Berlin, where you can take a peek at the wonders in the Pergamon Museum.

Taking time off to go abroad can be financially challenging, but fear not, there are a multitude of scholarships that apply to both classics specific programs and general study abroad. (Be sure check if your school offers any scholarships as well.)

Contributed by Julia Brady

Programs

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Associated Colleges of the Midwest Study Abroad
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Italy
The ACM London & Florence: Arts in Context program gives you the exciting opportunity to experience an interdisciplinary immersion in the arts and history of cities that have been central to the development of Western culture. On the streets of London and Florence, you’ll trace the steps and experience the creative output of famous artists and writers, architects and actors — from Leonardo da Vinci and William Shakespeare up to the present day. Expert faculty and guest speakers will guide you in classes that are frequently held on-site at landmarks in both cities. You’ll be immersed in contemporary life, too. In London, you and your classmates will regularly attend the theatre and live in a vibrant neighborhood. You'll have a homestay in Florence, study conversational Italian, and take class trips to Rome and Venice. With nearly two months in each city — and numerous field trips to surrounding locations — you’ll gain an understanding of how two contrasting cultures have developed over centuries, while exploring the similarities of two remarkable cities, as well. You can also take advantage of a one-week break between the two segments of the program for independent travel. There are a variety of scheduling options students can choose from. For the 15-week semester option, students can choose to either start in London or Florence and switch cities during the mid-semester break. For the 18-week semester option, students will begin the program three weeks earlier in January and can spend this additional time either in London with museum studies, or in Florence with intensive language. They will then remain in that city for the first part of the semester until the mid-term break, where they will switch. Students could alternatively participate in the 10-week winter quarter/trimester, where they will stay in one city, either London or Florence for all 10 weeks. Detailed course descriptions are available at ACM.edu/LonFlo.

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