Having the ability to complete your college courses abroad is one of the most attractive benefits of studying overseas. The fact that you can get a once-in-a-lifetime experience without falling behind in coursework is the main reason students take advantage of study abroad programs.
However, when students are doing their research on the courses available abroad, many times they don’t realize just how many unique classes are available for credit. From language and business to STEM, liberal arts, and extra-curricular, there are hundreds of classes to choose from. Did you ever think you could live in a foreign country and take a surfing or cooking class and have it go towards your graduation? Pretty much the coolest realization ever.
The easiest way to see what’s offered in a program is by looking at the courses section for a specific program on our website.
In the meantime, we thought we’d share some of our favorite classes that are offered abroad.
Here are 22 unique courses that you can take when you study abroad through USAC.
Course: Peoples of the Amazon
Description: The course is intended to give a general introduction to the cultures of Amerindian peoples that live in Lowland South America (including but not limited to the Amazon basin). The course has four parts. The first is an overview of the pre-history of Amerindian populations, historical ecology, and languages spoken by Amazonian Indians. The second explores two different variations on the subject of the social organization of Amerindians. The third part examines some of the classical themes that have informed an anthropological debate about Amazonian peoples (the body, shamanism, human-nature relations, “pure” vs. “mixed” peoples). The final part discusses a sample of the different struggles of contemporary indigenous peoples in the context of their ever-increasing contact and exchange with the surrounding society and state representatives.
Location: Florianópolis, Brazil
Course: Introduction to Viticulture and Vineyard Establishments
Description: Viticulture is the study of grapes. Students will study the harvest, growing and care procedures related to the grapes and vines; students will learn and observe inside the small and large vinification facilities to understand better the physical process of creating wine—up to the corking, bottling and packaging process.
Location: Montevideo, Uruguay
Description: Capoeira is one of the strongest expressions of Afro-Brazilian culture that exists today. Introduced to Brazil by West African slaves from the 16th century, it is a martial art which combines elements of dance, music and acrobatics. Through learning capoeira, students will be able to develop a greater, richer understanding of Brazilian dance and music, and the African influences in the country. The USAC Capoeira course, taught by Bahian Luiz Liborio, uses capoeira as a means of educating, teaching Portuguese, social inclusion and a way of teaching African-Brazilian culture. The course will develop ethical values based on respect, socialization, and freedom through the capoeira course that will be offered as practical and theoretical workshops, as well as documentaries and other material about capoeira.
Location: Florianópolis, Brazil
Course: From Elvis to Rap: 50 Years of History as Seen Through Rock Music
Description: This innovative course will examine the popular culture of the last 50 years of the 20th century by focusing on the music and lyrics of the most popular rock groups as well as other important signs of the times gleaned from documentaries, slogans, advertising, newspapers, and television.
Location: San Sebastián, Spain
Course: Czech Society: Transition from Communism
Description: The collapse of socialism in the Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia) in 1989 produced an extraordinary euphoria amongst Czech people. It created an unusually great unity in the whole country and brought also extraordinary challenges. What are those challenges and how do we approach them? What is the political, economical and moral inheritance of the 40-year Communist era? What nature is the nature of post-communism? And what is the broader Central European context?
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Course: From Saints to Selfies: Documentary Photography
Description: Analyze the visual paths that created our collective identity through the study of the “culture of the gaze” (Western), to finally arrive at the historical moment in which we live, strongly marked by the images. Each image, without distinction, is in respect of the memory more effective than the word, making it a fundamental tool for the documentation of cultural assets. Documentary photography serves to preserve the memory of an object and makes it visible, even in its absence. The photographer has the task of having to create documents that represent in a fair and objective way the cultural assets, but at the same time also has the role of creating new readings for a better understanding of the work, with the knowledge of a translation that respects aesthetic and historical values.
Location: Viterbo, Italy
Course: STEM Courses
Description: Valencia offers more STEM courses than any other USAC Specialty program. Choose from a variety of Biology, Calculus, Differential Equations, General Chemistry, Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Statics and more.
Location: Valencia, Spain
Course: Sailing in the Meditteranean Sea
Description: Students will take 10 two-hour sessions where they will learn the key components of sailing with experienced teachers. In order to take full advantage of the mild weather conditions and water temperature, all sailing sessions will take place during the warmer weather months of each semester, i.e. from September through October in the fall, and from February through April in the spring. This means that class will sometimes meet two times per week. Also, the programmed order of sessions is subject to changes for reasons beyond our control, such as inclement weather, very big waves, strong rip currents, etc.
Location: Valencia, Spain
Course: Italian/International Educational Approaches
Description: The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational approach to early childhood education which places value on the idea that children are capable of constructing their own learning and are driven by their interests to understand and know more. It was developed after World War II by a psychologist Loris Malaguzzi, and parents in the villages around Reggio Emilia. Several of the early childhood education classes offered in Reggio Emilia utilize this method of education.
Location: Reggio Emilia, Italy
Course: Highland Ethnic Peoples and Social Transformation of Northern Thailand
Description: This course will explore the historical background of highland ethnic groups in Northern Thailand and their social transformation. It also covers the state government policies, regionalization, and globalization impacts toward them. Ethnic responses in various aspects will also be explored and discussed. Furthermore, field studies will be organized for students to experience ethnic people’s livelihood and culture.
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Course: Service Learning
Description: Service learning combines community service with academic instruction, focusing on critical, reflective thinking and personal and civic responsibility. Service learning programs involve students in activities that address community-identified needs while developing their academic skills and commitment to their community.
Location: Accra, Ghana
Course: Intensive Language Courses
Description: USAC offers a variety of Intensive Language Courses that allow you to complete up to two years worth of language requirements in just one semester. Choose between Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Basque. We also offer additional unique language classes in nearly every program location including Twi in Ghana, and Czech in Prague.
Location: Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Uruguay
Course: Buddhism Studies
Description: Several locations offer cultural classes in Buddhism, including Buddhism and Culture, Buddhism and Hinduism in Contemporary Society, and more.
Location: Bengaluru, India; Chengdu, China; Chiang Mai, Thailand
Course: Introduction to the Folklore and Ethnology of Cork
Description: This course provides the visiting student with a stimulating introduction to the humanistic discipline of folklore through an examination of the popular pastime of storytelling examined from both a traditional and contemporary perspective. While the initial focus of these lectures will look at the importance of face-to-face verbal interaction in olden times, attention will be paid to similar elements and themes used in the context of informal sessions nowadays. There will be further discussion on the way certain elements of these stories are also reflective of the changing social, economic and technological landscape. A continuous emphasis on all forms of communication stratagems such as verbal skills, accents, dialects, idioms, and expressions as well as distinctive body language will be a recurring theme throughout all of the lectures.
Location: Cork, Ireland
Course: In Search of Irish Roots: Tracing Your Family Genealogy
Description: This one-credit course will help you excavate the archaeology of Irish family history by orientating you towards some of the rich repositories of information about the past which help explain why, how and when the Irish moved, where they moved to and what happened to them once they’d moved. Each class will help you navigate your way more deeply into the matrix of online records, which has turned genealogy and family history into an exciting pursuit requiring forensic skills and the instinct of a good detective. You will learn something about the cultural and political differences which distinguish different waves of emigration from pre-Famine times to the successive generations who left Ireland in the 1920s, 1950s, 1980s. You will discover how to read family history through the physical landscape by way of maps, graveyards and rural and urban landscapes. Finally, you will find out something of the context which led to different forms of the Irish diaspora in different times.
Location: Galway, Ireland
Course: Tropical Marine Biology
Description: This course is a general introduction to tropical marine ecosystems and their inhabitants. It is conducted in conjunction with the National University Center for Marine Studies and Parque Marino del Pacifico both of which are located in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The unique ecosystems of tropical oceans and their inhabitants will be presented in an evolutionary and ecological context. Prerequisite: one year of General Biology with lab.
Location: San Ramón, Costa Rica
Course: Forest Ecology
Description: Forests are critically important for plants, animals, and people. The world has incredibly diverse forests from rainforests to high mountain forests to vast savannas dotted with trees. This course is a non-technical introduction to the ecology of forests and a survey of the valuable services provided by forest ecosystems: clean air, clean water, wildlife, forest products. We will cover ecological concepts such as disturbance and succession, tree recruitment, growth and mortality, and forest sustainability. Throughout the course, we will discuss and apply course concepts to local Costa Rican forests.
Location: Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Course: French Theatre
Description: Working on the vocal chords: pronunciation, articulation, intonation, breathing, necessities to an explicit speech. Technics of interpretation of a text: developing focus, building a character, being sincere and authentic. Improvisation: developing imagination, spontaneity, emotions, not fearing one’s opinion, learning to know oneself and surpass oneself. Working on the body: relaxation, body warm up. Non-verbal expression: facial expressions, silences, gestures, body movements, using space. Teaming up: Developing the interpersonal know-how-to-be that leads to collaboration. Any communication starts with being humble. Having a positive construction of the group’s resources in the goal of interactivity.
Location: Lyon, France
Course: Myths and Legends
Description: All cultures have developed their own myths and legends, consisting of narratives of their history, religions, and heroes. Myths, legends, and allegories contain great symbolic meaning, and this is a major reason why they have survived the ages and remain, to this day, a primary source in the study of our existence. This course examines how mankind has created these systems, interpretations of them and their importance. We will first study a variety of myths from antiquity to the present, with special attention given to Greek, Roman, and North-European Mythology. Secondly, we will examine specific topics such as mythological places and creatures. Taught in German. Prerequisite of 4 semesters of college German. (Spring semester).
Location: Lüneburg, Germany