Resources for Advisors—Humanities
Study Abroad Opportunities for Humanities Majors and Minors
Study abroad offers enormous opportunities for students who are interested in the humanities. At UR, those departments include art and art history, English, modern languages, music, philosophy, and religion and classics. There is also a program in Film and Media Studies.
Students majoring in the humanities will find that a semester or a year abroad will greatly enhance their resumes and their career. Many programs offer challenging internship opportunities for students who enjoy engaging their writing and research skills. A museum internship in London or a theater internship in Berlin aren’t just notches for your resume; they will lead to exciting internships and career opportunities back in the United States, or even in other overseas locations in the future. Humanities majors who study abroad are more likely to apply for competitive scholarships for domestic graduate and professional schools, or for further graduate study abroad.
The Career Center strongly encourages humanities students to take advantage of the flexible Rochester Curriculum to spend at least one semester abroad during their four (or five) years. For more than 20 years, the Take Five program has provided UR undergraduates majoring in the sciences, engineering or social sciences to add breadth to their work with humanities courses.
Many students believe that if they are studying the humanities abroad, they need to first be proficient or fluent in a foreign language. This is not always the case; many English-language programs are located in the UK, Ghana, South Africa, India, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand. However, it would be a mistake to overlook extraordinary opportunities to begin a new language on UR-sponsored English-language programs in Austria, Argentina, Chile, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Taiwan.
Students will find a great diversity of humanities courses overseas, more than are normally available on a typical American campus. These programs are designed to immerse students in the literatures, arts, and religions of many cultures. What can you experience abroad that you can’t study as effectively at UR? Most programs feature regular field trips to historic sites and museums of all kinds. If you have already traveled, you know that looking at slides of the frescoes and sculpture of Italy in a classroom is a very different learning experience from visiting museums in Tuscany with an art historian. Reading the Romantic poets in a UR classroom is not the same as doing so on a field trip to Britain’s Lake Country. You will also have access to courses that aren’t offered at UR (Art and Architecture of Cairo, Latin American theater in Buenos Aires).
Many students may believe that they are “just not good” at languages. However, they often find that learning a new language in a natural environment can make them reconsider their abilities. Consider these figures: it is true that you can “get by” in many locations around the world knowing only English; there are about 400 million speakers world-wide. But did you know that there are an estimated 70 million speakers of Italian in the world? German has about 100 million speakers, Japanese, 130 million; Arabic about 180 million, French, 200 million, Russian, 280 million, Spanish, 500 million, and Chinese, one billion. Learning another language provides you with important cultural, social and political understandings, as well as insights into your own native language and cultural milieu.
Nearly all UR-sponsored programs offer courses in the humanities and students have received approval to take one course while abroad towards a cluster. For more information, contact a study abroad adviser.