Participating in a study abroad program provides exciting learning experiences and other benefits. When American students decide to study abroad, most pick common destinations such as the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, and Australia. While these locations are beautiful and interesting, there are other unique study abroad destinations that may benefit a student more by challenging preconceptions, destroying bigotry, introducing very unfamiliar cultures, and providing more marketability in the job force. If you are thinking about studying abroad, consider these atypical study abroad destinations and opportunities.
Semester at Sea
Semester at Sea (SAS) is a study abroad program managed by the Institute for Shipboard Education and sponsored by the University of Virginia. This program is held on a cruise ship that circumnavigates the globe and visits such locations as Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria, Egypt, Morocco, Denmark, Namibia, Mauritius, Nova Scotia, Viet Nam, Puerto Rico, etc. The ship includes classrooms, a library, a computer lab with wireless Internet, a student union, two dining rooms, a swimming pool, fitness facilities, and double-occupancy cabins. While the ship is at sea, students attend classes in a variety of subjects; however, no classes are held when the ship is in a port. Instead, students are able to explore the country independently or through Semester at Sea sponsored trips. Before arriving at each port, students are briefed on the culture and rules of society with the people and country. To participate in this program, you must meet admission requirements. Study abroad programs are a significant investment, but financial aid and scholarships are available to help with the cost of the SAS program. For more information, visit www.semesteratsea.org.
Thailand is described by many travelers as the most exotic country in the world. From its tasty cuisine to its stunning landscapes, Thailand offers a wonderful location for students to further their studies. The country is rich in culture and history, and its people are friendly and welcoming. Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand has one of the strongest economies in the region and offers the most proactive ecology, agriculture, and development studies in the area. Consequently, students majoring in these academic areas should benefit significantly from studying in Thailand. However, with more than 100 colleges, universities, community colleges, and technical institutions from which to choose and a range of courses from science and engineering to travel and tourism, Thailand offers a unique study abroad experience for any student. Check with your school or visit www.studyabroad.com for Thailand study abroad programs available to high school and college students.
Ghana has tropical beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, and an abundance of cultural festivals, so it makes for quite an appealing study abroad destination. Located in West Africa, Ghana has the most stable political, economic, and social environment of the region. While Ghana's official language is English, students choosing to study there will be exposed to dozens of different languages including Akan, Dagbani, Ewe, Twi, Ga, and Hausa. Students will also have the opportunity to visit powerful landmarks that make up the country's history such as slave forts and castles. For information about study abroad programs in Ghana, check with your school or visit www.studyabroad.com.
Guatemala is located in Central America. With Mayan and Spanish background, it is a country rich in history and cultural diversity. The landscape is varied ranging from urban to Caribbean to jungle to volcanic, so visiting students will get to experience many different sides of the country. Although the official language is Spanish, Guatemala's population speaks over 23 different languages giving students exposure to many Mayan and Amerindian languages. The country has one public university and nine private ones. For more information about studying abroad in this unique country, visit www.studyabroad.com.
Denmark has been touted as the "happiest place in the world" and with its whimsical tales and beautiful countryside, it's not hard to see why this country has earned that title. Located in northern Europe, cultural influences come from people of Scandinavian, Celt, Roman, and German origin. Students find Denmark interesting because it is a central location for music and other arts, and it has an exciting city life. The country has eleven universities and more than 150 specialized institutions of higher education. For more information about study abroad programs in Denmark, visit www.studyabroad.com.
For more specific information about studying abroad, talk to your high school counselor or college advisor.