Colleges around the world have been offering courses in Liberal Arts for centuries. Subjects in this field, including math, literature, biology, and psychology, are widely available. Understand the similarities and differences across cultures when you study these common courses overseas. Maybe math is about more than just numbers. Maybe familiar literary symbols mean something different in different countries.

You'll have the freedom to choose from popular study abroad locations like London and Barcelona. Or you could take the road less traveled and explore Liberal Arts in South Korea or Morocco. With so many options, you'll be able to pick the program that best fits your budget, schedule, and personal interests.

Never been abroad before? There are plenty of short-term options in Liberal Arts to get you started. You can also explore longer programs, like semester or year exchanges.

There are so many program types available for studying Liberal Arts abroad. You can narrow your options by considering: how comfortable you are in another culture, how far along you are in your degree, and what level degree you're pursuing. Some program types will be similar to your current college experience and some will take you much farther outside your comfort zone.

Seminar and Lecture Classes

If you're going overseas for a full semester or year, your classes will most likely have a lecture portion and/or a discussion section. Other than cultural differences in grading practices and classroom etiquette, the format will not be too different than what you experience at your home university.

One change to expect, in most universities outside the U.S., is longer class times. Rather than meeting for an hour multiple times per week, many international universities meet for approximately three hours, once per week.

Immersion Courses

Can't spend a full semester or year overseas? There are plenty of short-term options available for studying Liberal Arts abroad. The best way to take advantage of short-term programs is to learn about the country before you go and immerse yourself in the culture while you're there.

College instructors often lead programs abroad over spring or summer break. Whether you need the credits for general education or major requirement, you could take a course in math, biology, literature, history, or whatever fits your needs. Complete part of the course at home and the rest overseas!

Graduate Research

Students who are working on their theses or dissertation requirements in Liberal Arts often spend time overseas in the final semester or year before graduating. This allows them to gather research first-hand. This program type is much more flexible than traditional global experiences because students decide exactly what topics they want to study, and they make their own schedule because they've usually completed course requirements already.

Scholarships and grants are widely available for international graduate research, so talk with your university's academic and international program advisors about your funding options.

The sky is the limit when you're choosing where to study Liberal Arts abroad. You can go to some of the world's oldest colleges, where Liberal Arts degrees were established centuries ago. No matter where you go, you'll get a global perspective on subjects like Psychology, Biology, History, Languages, Literature, and more!

Austria

Austria is a great choice for Psychology students, especially those who are interested in the mid-twentieth century. You'll be surrounded by World War II history and close enough to Germany, Czech Republic, France, and Italy to visit relevant sites.

Vienna and Salzburg are good options for newer travelers, and the smaller cities are nice as well. The people are kind and generous. German language skills are definitely a plus, but most study abroad programs will not require fluency.

Costa Rica

Although Costa Rica is one of the smallest countries in the world, it boasts 5% of the world's biodiversity. If you study biology here, you will fly into San Jose, but you'll probably spend most of your time in the small towns in the rainforest instead of the city.

Travel with the migrating turtles in Tortuguero, marvel at the mariposas in Monteverde, and speak to sloths all over the country! Practice your Spanish with some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet.

Chile

Chile is a slightly less popular study abroad destination, but there are many benefits to choosing this beautiful country. Universities in Chile offer a wide range of subjects in Liberal Arts, but History and Spanish are two great options. There is a good chance that you could take classes in both!

Japan

Studying abroad in Japan is a dream come true for many students, especially those who are interested in learning more about Popular Culture. This relatively new subject is often incorporated into Literature or Humanities courses. Japan is a great place to see the impact video games, fictional characters, and film have on the world.

Liberal Arts includes a wide range of subjects, and most colleges will offer many of these subjects. This is a pro and a con. You'll have your pick of any place and time, but that many choices can make it hard to pick just one.

How to Choose a Liberal Arts Study Abroad Program

The quickest way to narrow your options is usually to speak with a study abroad advisor at your home college. If this isn't an option, you should consider cost, location, and duration first. Then you can consider specific details like program reviews from other participants, amenities, and accommodations.

Because there are so many choices for studying Liberal Arts abroad, making a spreadsheet is a great way to keep notes of the different programs. It may seem like you're overdoing it, but color-coding your top choices also really helps!

Health & Safety

Statistically, going overseas is no more of a health and safety risk than staying in the states, but you should always exercise caution and use good judgment in an unfamiliar environment.

If you are traveling overseas with a third-party provider or your university, you will most likely go through a pre-departure orientation. If you don't get this training, keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Keep your belongings close to your body to avoid pickpocketing.
  • Travel with a buddy, especially at night.
  • Don't drink too much.
  • Make copies of your passport. Bring a copy with you and leave one with an emergency contact at home.
  • Check the state department travel warnings before choosing your location.

Other Need to Know

The best advice for choosing a study abroad program is to start planning as early as possible. You can start making payments sooner, you can start researching fun things to do, and you can stay on track to graduate on time.

Short-term programs are cheaper, but there is very little scholarship money available for trips under two weeks. Longer programs are more expensive, but it's easier to find funding and you can usually use student loans to pay for a semester and year-long experiences.

Guide Author
Photo of Victoria Hundley
Go Overseas Writer

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