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Dr. Kat’s List: Five Colleges with Unique Study Abroad Programs

College is about learning and growing, and there’s no better way to gain a new perspective of the world than to study abroad! Many colleges offer varying study abroad opportunities, either for an entire academic year, a semester, or just a few weeks. By studying abroad, students are able to gain a global perspective, hone foreign language skills, discover a different side of their academic study, and benefit from international networking experience. These are all benefits that can translate into real job skills after graduation.

Everyone is familiar with the typical European study abroad experience, but that’s not the only study abroad opportunity available to students. Many colleges are stepping outside of the box and offering students a rare overseas experience. Here are Dr. Kat’s five colleges with unique study abroad programs.

University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Interested in studying in a region few people in the world will ever see? Look no further than the University of Georgia’s Study Abroad Antarctica program.

UGA students have the unique opportunity to explore Antarctica and adjacent regions including Tierra del Fuego and the Southern Ocean – corners of the world that few have visited. Students will learn about the area’s history, climate, geology, biology, and the affects of human activity in the region.

Prior to the two-week excursion in Antarctica, students will take online courses in the semester leading up to the trip, learning about the region before seeing it first-hand. This is a great program for students studying environmental conservation, geology, climate change, and other environment-related fields, however, the program is open to any major. All you need is a sense of adventure (and some warm clothes!)

Trinity College, Hartford, CT

While study abroad programs are great for gaining a global education, few offer students the opportunity to acquire real-world work experience. For those looking to attain internship experience and make a difference in a local community, Trinity College’s Trinity in Cape Town study abroad program is a great fit.

Students in the Trinity in Cape Town program are able to enroll in an internship for college credit, usually with a local NGO or school. This allows students interested in social justice the opportunity to work with organizations that make a difference in the community, whether it’s promoting human rights, women’s rights, HIV education, tutoring, or afterschool programming for children. When they’re not working, students are studying various courses at either the University of the Western Cape or the University of Cape Town.

In addition to their internship work, students will also explore the area through university-led excursions and have the option to spend a weekend with a host family in a township.

Millsaps College, Jackson, MS

Many colleges have international campuses and facilities, but few are as unique as Millsaps College’s Biocultural Reserve in Yucatán.

Students in the Living in Yucatán program can study anthropology, archaeology, ecology, education, business, and more. The 4,500-acre reserve includes a research and learning center, labs, research facilities, and dorm and classroom facility in Merida, the capital city of Yucatán.

The reserve is run in conjunction with the college’s non-profit organization, Kaxil Kiuic, and is home to many different research initiatives. The reserve also contains ancient Mayan ruins, where students can learn and do actual archaeological fieldwork as undergraduates, which is very rare!

In addition to the Yucatán program, Millsaps also offers study abroad programs in Israel, the Galapagos Islands, Paris, Africa, and more.

Butler University, Indianapolis, IN

Want to study abroad, but not ready to make the commitment to just one location? Butler University has the program for you! Through the school’s Global Adventures in the Liberal Arts (GALA) program, students are able to travel all over a continent while receiving personal instruction from a faculty member.

Throughout the semester, a group of up to 20 students will travel with a Butler professor who is deeply knowledgeable about the area where they will be studying – whether it’s a single country, region, or entire continent. The professor will teach two courses spread out over the term of the semester as the group moves from place to place.

Throughout the trip, the group will also be joined by two or three other professors who will teach short, intensive courses related to the location where the group is at that time. This is a truly unique program that allows students to experience small class instruction in a global classroom.

Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

Living and learning communities are a great way to get individualized attention and work with other students with the same interests. At Wake Forest University’s Venice campus, 20 students are able to study abroad each semester with a resident professor who lives with them while teaching Italian, art history, history, and more.

Students and their professor live and work in Casa Artom, the former home of the American Consulate that is next door to the Peggy Guggenheim Art Museum.

During their semester at the Venice campus, Wake Forest students explore as much as they learn. They visit art museums, attend film festivals, spectate boat races, and experience one of the world’s most unique cities.

Other unique study abroad programs offered by US universities include the University of Arkansas’s Rome Center, Texas A&M’s Argentina Tango and Culture program, Connecticut College’s Study Away Teach Away program, and University of San Diego’s program at its new Madrid Center.

Interested in receiving a global education and learning the benefits of studying abroad? At IvyWise, we can help you identify colleges that meet your interests and goals, including study abroad and global education experiences. For more information on how we can help you find the colleges that are the best fit for you, contact us today for more information on our ongoing counseling programs.

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