Religions can answer some of the most fundamental questions we may ever ask: Why are we here? How did we get here? What is the meaning of life? They have changed the paths of many, affected the history of nations, and heavily influenced predominant philosophies and world views for thousands of years.

It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that many students are drawn to religious studies, whether a specific one like Islam, Buddhism, or Christianity or a more comparative studies model. If you’re looking to study religious studies or theology abroad, you’ve come to the right place.

Christianity/Theology

There are several study abroad programs at Christian universities around the world. These classes are formulated in a Christian worldview and can cover all aspects of theology and the study of Christianity, from basic introductory courses about the Bible and the history of the church to in-depth classes offered by seminaries. However, if you are interested in studying Christianity from a more secular level, there are non-religious institutions that offer courses that are more history-based.

Islam/Islamic Studies

Many of the study abroad programs that offer courses about Islam or Islamic studies are more introductory in nature. History is also emphasized, as is the philosophy behind this religion. You’ll find that most of the courses are available at universities with liberal arts programs. Many of the classes are in English, but there are some universities that have classes in different languages, including Arabic.

Buddhism

The classes that are available about Buddhism can be regional, introductory, or combined with another religion. For example, you may have the option to take a course about the history of Buddhism in Japan, and it’s not uncommon to take a class about the history of Buddhism and Hinduism. These courses are usually offered by a religious studies department at local universities.

Hinduism

Like classes on Buddhism, many of the programs which offer courses about Hinduism can be rooted in the history of the country or region where the university is located. Introductions to Hinduism are the most common classes available.

Judaism/Jewish Studies

Classes in Jewish studies or Judaism are usually offered by secular universities or Jewish universities. The subject matter and tone of the courses can vary by university and focus. Some are more rooted in Jewish theology, while others are based in history or philosophy. These courses are often available in English, but sometimes are in Hebrew, too.

Comparative Religions/Religious Studies

If you’re interested in taking more of a survey course or a course which focuses on the history or philosophy of religions, have no fear: many universities that have a wide array of liberal arts courses have religious studies departments with classes that focus on religious studies from various backgrounds and points of view.

Depending on your area of study, the destinations that are available to you will vary. Here are some ideas to get you started based on the type of religious study you're interested in:

Christianity/Theology

Most Christian universities or other universities that offer classes about Christianity are in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The United Kingdom in particular has a few popular study abroad options if you want to study Christianity or theology abroad.

Islam/Islamic Studies

There are study abroad programs in Middle Eastern countries like Israel, Jordan, and Qatar that focus on Islam and Islamic studies. Morocco also is a popular destination to study Islam abroad -- particularly in the city of Fez. Additionally, you can also study Islamic history at some universities in India. In Europe, there are a few universities in England where you can study about Islam.

Buddhism

There are a few study abroad programs in Japan which offer classes about Buddhism. Universities in New Zealand and the UK offer courses on Buddhism as well.

Hinduism

India, of course, is probably one of the most popular places to study Hinduism abroad since it’s the heart of the Hindu religion. The UK and New Zealand have universities with classes about Hinduism, too.

Judaism

Israel is the probably the most popular destination if you’re interested in studying Judaism or Jewish studies abroad. Many programs are in Jerusalem, though there are other programs in different cities like Tel Aviv.

Comparative Religions/Religious Studies

The broad focus of religious studies is echoed in the widespread options available to study comparative religions abroad. Europe has a lot of options (e.g., the UK, the Netherlands, and Denmark), but you can also study in New Zealand, Japan, or India.

Housing

Each study abroad program will have its own housing option(s), but you’ll discover that you generally can live with host families or in on-campus dorms with students from different countries. In other cases, you may have the opportunity to live in residential homes or apartments that are just for students in your programs, or in student apartments. Sometimes, you might have the option to find housing for yourself.

Scholarships

The great news is that the majority of available study abroad programs, regardless of the country, have financial aid and scholarships available just for study abroad students. You may be able to take out student loans to fund your study abroad adventure. We also have an extensive list of other study abroad scholarships and grants you may qualify for!

Contributed by Michelle Philippon

Religious Studies Programs

Displaying 1 - 15 of 320 programs
CEA Study Abroad
CEA Study Abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France
France
46 reviews4 interviews

Located just 19 miles north of Marseille, the country’s second-largest...

IES Abroad
IES Abroad Granada – Study in Granada
Spain
80 reviews7 interviews

Our curriculum takes full advantage of Andalusia and all southern...

CIEE
CIEE Arts + Sciences in Seoul, South Korea
South Korea
13 reviews2 interviews

CIEE’s Arts and Sciences program is designed for students to learn at...

CEA Study Abroad
CEA Study Abroad in Rome, Italy
Italy
43 reviews5 interviews

Study abroad in Rome and discover la dolce vita— the sweet life...

IES Abroad
IES Abroad Barcelona – Liberal Arts & Business
Spain
74 reviews10 interviews

There are a wide variety of courses available, primarily taught in...

API
API Study Abroad in Florence, Italy
Italy
23 reviews8 interviews

API students in Florence study at Lorenzo de’ Medici - The Italian...

CEA Study Abroad
CEA Study Abroad in Prague, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
34 reviews5 interviews

Study in the heart of ancient Bohemia: Prague! With a growing economy...

IES Abroad
IES Abroad Nantes – French Language Immersion & Area Studies
France
56 reviews11 interviews

The IES Abroad Nantes Program has two important goals: to improve your...

USAC
India: Bengaluru - Culture, Society, and Global Perspectives
India
24 reviews3 interviews

Spend your first, or your next, study abroad experience in India at...

CEA Study Abroad
CEA Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain
Spain
26 reviews6 interviews

Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city, features a cosmopolitan...

IES Abroad
IES Abroad Vienna – European Society & Culture
Austria
43 reviews8 interviews

Open to students at all language levels, our program brings more than...

Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA)
IFSA: University of Edinburgh Partnership
Scotland
15 reviews4 interviews

Hallo agus fàilte! Study abroad amid beauty, history and friendliness...

CEA Study Abroad
CEA Study Abroad in Granada, Spain
Spain
15 reviews3 interviews

Granada has it all! This multicultural utopia features stunning...

IES Abroad
IES Abroad Salamanca – Advanced Spanish Immersion
Spain
29 reviews3 interviews

The program allows you to be involed in the academic and social life...

Semester at Sea
Semester at Sea: Study Around the World
Multiple Countries
153 reviews10 interviews

Explore multiple countries around the world while earning up to 15...

What People Are Saying

Queenstown

If you're looking for a high adventure and culturally immersive experience, API's study abroad program at the University of Otago is for you! I studied at the University of Otago in Spring 2017. This...

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Studying abroad in Florence for a semester was by far the best decision I could have made. The fact that you're able to leave the US for a semester and immerse yourself in an entirely different...

In Katowice for a marathon! I highly recommend visiting this nearby city.

ORIENTATION The first weekend, API provided seminars for blending in with the Polish population, provided meals, and made efforts to get SIM cards activated.I think the most prominent error I found...

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