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 136 - 150 of 320 programs
Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
Middlebury School in Jordan
Jordan
4 reviews

The Middlebury School in Jordan offers cultural and linguistic...

Mary Immaculate College
Study Abroad at Mary Immaculate College
Ireland
7 reviews1 interview

MIC has a vibrant international community, collaborating with more...

HECUA
HECUA: Social & Political Transformation in Ecuador
Ecuador
5 reviews1 interview

HECUA offers students the chance to study abroad next J-Term in...

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
Middlebury School in Morocco
Morocco
7 reviews

The Middlebury School in Morocco is designed for students with high...

Arcadia Abroad
Arcadia University- University of Canterbury
New Zealand
1 review

Students who study abroad here with Arcadia will encounter the...

USD Study Abroad
University of San Diego: Study at St. Clare's
England
2 reviews2 interviews

The University of San Diego invites USD students to take a semester or...

IAU
Visit 11 Cities in 3 Weeks: Psychology Travel Seminar
Multiple Countries
2 reviews

The Psychology of Peace and Conflict in the Mediterranean Seminar...

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
Middlebury School in Argentina
Argentina
5 reviews1 interview

The Middlebury School in Argentina offers cultural and linguistic...

Centro MundoLengua
Semester Abroad in Seville, Spain
Spain
3 reviews2 interviews

Ready for an exciting and enriching change in your university studies...

API
API Study Abroad in Stirling, Scotland
Scotland
1 review

Laying at the heart of the nation’s history and linked to two of its...

LeadAbroad
LeadAbroad: GO Rome
Italy
3 reviews1 interview

Join us for 5 weeks in the heart of Italy this summer! Spend your...

Academic Studies Abroad
Study in the Unique College Town of Dublin, Ireland
Ireland
3 reviews1 interview

Choose your program based on the classes that you need for your major...

Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Study Abroad in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Israel
2 reviews1 interview

Immerse yourself in a lifetime study abroad experience at the top...

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
Middlebury School in Italy
Italy
3 reviews1 interview

The Middlebury School in Italy offers cultural and linguistic...

Go ED. Study Abroad
Go ED. Study Abroad Program in Rwanda, Africa
Rwanda
2 reviews1 interview

Go ED. Africa: spend 15 weeks in beautiful Rwanda with classes focused...

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