Student Profile- Intercultural Journeys
It took a while for graduating senior Jennifer Lin to learn the complex dynamics of culture and language. But in taking Chinese at Brandeis, she "realized that through studying the language, I was constantly learning subtle nuances about the history of the Chinese people while at the same time clarifying my formerly hazy perspective on my own heritage." (Read more.)
Choosing a Program
There are over 250 Approved Programs in about 70 countries for you to choose from during the academic year. The University Curriculum Committee has approved these programs as eligible to receive Brandeis credit
All of the Brandeis approved programs allow you to continue your academic learning in the context of another culture and earn credit toward your degree. There is a great diversity of programs available to Brandeis students which can be divided into the following categories:
University Based Programs
If you choose to study at an overseas University you will enroll in regular classes and study alongside students from the host country. This option offers the advantage of full cultural immersion. This also permits you to choose from a wide variety of courses in many disciplines. Visiting students are expected to perform at the same level as their native classmates, and will be graded as such. In most overseas universities the majority of each course grade will depend heavily on the outcome of a final exam or paper and less on assignments throughout the semester. In addition, classes will follow the local academic calendar and semesters may start earlier or later than universities in the U.S. University Based Programs normally offer housing in dorms or in student apartments. Some universities only offer housing in a designated international dorm. There are two different ways you may study at an overseas university:
- In some countries you may apply to and enroll directly in a university. Generally, overseas universities do not offer the same level of support services that students are accustomed to receiving at Brandeis University. However, there are usually international student offices that do provide some services to visiting students.
Examples: London School of Economics and Politics; University of Melbourne
- In Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the U.K. you may apply to universities through American intermediaries, such as Arcadia, IFSA Butler, and interstudy. These program providers offer services such as an arrival orientation in the host country and assistance with course selection, registration and housing. These organizations also employ a resident director and other staff in each city or country who provide on-site support.
Examples: interstudy/ University of Cape Town; Arcadia/ University College Dublin
Study Center Based Programs
Some academic institutions have study centers overseas where they host programs specifically designed for international students. These programs offer classes in English or the local language that are taught by local and/or visiting faculty. Courses are generally structured similarly to U.S. university courses, with a syllabus, regular assignments, and frequent exams. These programs are also more likely to follow the U.S. semester calendar. If you chose to study on one of these programs you will be taking courses with other foreign students. Most of these programs offer housing with homestay families, a few offer housing in student apartments.
Examples: IES in Granada, Spain; Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies
In some countries where English is not the primary native language these programs may also allow students with adequate language abilities to take one or more courses at a local university alongside local students.
Examples: IFSA Butler Argentine University Program; CIEE programs in many countries
Study abroad on a Field-Based Program offers you the opportunity to approach academic learning in a new way. These physical and social science programs take advantage of their locations in the field to engage students in experiential, interdisciplinary learning. Most programs have very specific themes such as ecology or social justice. These programs tend to be small, usually accommodating 25 or fewer students from the U.S. who take all of their courses together. Courses are taught by a combination of professors, local experts and working professionals. Most class time is spent out in the field, learning about the local culture and history, observing, collecting data and interacting directly with the subject matter you are studying. Courses tend to have regularly scheduled assignments and exams. Assessment is often based on the quality of observation and analysis demonstrated in your work. These programs tend to follow a U.S. academic calendar. Housing options vary depending on location. Many programs offer a homestays or rustic accommodations in field stations.
Examples: SIT: Community Health, South Africa; School for Field Studies: Sustainable Development, Costa Rica
Internships offer a unique way to immerse yourself in the local society and gain a deeper understanding of a particular field. Several programs around the world sponsor academic internships that allow students to gain real word experience with a private firm, an artistic association, a government body or a non government organization. Please note that not all internships offered by programs on the approved list meet Brandeis' requirements for credit. Internships, independent study courses, and fieldwork experience must have approval from the Office of Study Abroad in order to be accepted for credit. More information on internships, field study projects, and independent study projects can be found on this page.
Examples: Boston University Sydney Internship; University of Haifa