Office of Study Abroad

Cultural Integration Philosophy

Whenever and wherever possible, Brandeis encourages the fullest possible integration, including participation in classes with host country students and faculty, enrollment in courses that fully engage with the setting, and living arrangements with local students or with a host family. Students are also encouraged to seek out opportunities for cultural engagement, through both course work and co-curricular activities (e.g., sports, music, theater, volunteer work, etc.). It is strongly recommended that students do not select housing options where they are isolated in communities of only U.S. students.

Independent Housing Policy

In all aspects of international study, Brandeis University encourages students to engage in local cultures and most importantly, through their housing.

Brandeis does not permit students to secure housing independent of their study abroad program. There are many reasons for this, including cultural engagement, safety, and security. Neither the program nor Brandeis would be in the position to help or provide resources or support (in an emergency or otherwise) if students are not living in program housing.

Further and importantly, programs have vetted the housing they provide, making sure all the appropriate health/safety precautions have been taken (e.g., buildings, fire codes, locks, etc.). Students are expected to abide by their program’s housing policies.

Most approved study abroad programs are able to provide housing (apartments, residence halls, homestays, or similar) to Brandeis students. In an effort to support cultural learning, reduce legal and safety risks, utilize housing options ethically and create a network for students, Brandeis students are required to participate in these housing options.

If a program is unable to cater to any necessary religious, dietary or similar life function needs of a Brandeis student, please contact your advisor in the Office of Study Abroad as soon as you’re aware of this issue.

A Note About Traveling

Travel can be an important part of the study abroad experience, but it shouldn't be your primary goal. Brandeis' philosophy for study abroad emphasizes immersion in a single host country to maximize cultural, linguistic and academic integration and understanding. If you want to travel extensively, you should plan to do so before or after your study abroad term.