As each year passes, tuition rises, and a new group of freshman enter universities and colleges across the globe, the idea of studying abroad remains the same. It’s foreign, it’s exciting, it’s the chance of a lifetime.
At this point, it’s hard to click through a friends photos on Facebook without diving deep into their semester in Rome, their summer internship in London, or their year abroad in Australia. But occasionally, we come across people who aren’t taking the traditional study abroad trips to big European cities and the sprawling beaches Down Under and instead are opting to track and protect the black rhinos of Africa or make pilgrimage across Tibet.
Here is a list of some of the most interesting, unique, and wild study abroad programs out there, for the students who would rather spend their semesters hiking mountains than eating mountains of gelato.
Missing Mother Nature while cooped up inside a classroom? Then this program is right for you. For the hands-on, dirt-loving students, you can explore the eastern Himalayans in Bhutan by participating in environmental preservation, rural development, and sustainability projects. And if you really fall in love with Bhutanese culture, Naropa University offers a semester-long program that immerses students in Bhutanese culture, environmental sustainability, education, Buddhism, and traditional art, to name a few.
Bundle up for this trip across the globe! If you’re passionate about Russian culture and the outdoors, this is definitely the program for you. Working to create trails and various infrastructure to support the Siberian tundra’s ecotourism, students are exposed to a culture (and temperatures!) that can only be found in Russia.
American Universities International Programs: Antartica
Day dreaming about the coldest, most isolated place on the planet? Then sign up for this 6-credit program, sending participants to the bottom of the globe for two weeks of field study in the land famous for its adorable penguins and jarring icebergs. Studying the history and global impact that Antartica has, is, and will be facing, the biggest takeaway is bragging rights that you actually lived on the only uninhibited continent on Earth.
This isn’t for the faint of heart or those who get queasy out on the open water. Actually only for high school students, The program lasts a little less than a month, taking students in the Pacific ocean off the Island of Fiji, diving with and studying the behaviors and physiology of a number of shark species. Strap on that oxygen tank and get diving, if you dare!