Season your studies with immersion in new cultures and places
Living amidst a new culture is the best way to form the international perspective essential to thriving in today’s global village. This opportunity to experience unfamiliar cultures begins in your first year with the Fall Semester Abroad programs. In these FSA programs, you’ll undertake intensive language study, combined with four months of interdisciplinary courses driven by the particular characteristics of your host country.
Your chance to study the world
Off-campus study is popular at Bates because of its focus. Through Bates guidance, you can trust that your off-campus study experience will be an expansion of your studies and research, not a reprieve. Bates works with the most reputable universities, colleges, international organizations and consortiums to ensure continual academic and experiential rigor.
- About two-thirds of Bates students earn academic credit for study abroad.
- Bates students have studied in nearly 80 countries over the last decade, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, China, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Japan, Nepal, Oman, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uganda, the United Kingdom and Western Samoa.
Eye-opening experiences, on campus and abroad
“In high school I visited my older sister when she was studying abroad in Córdoba. I was fascinated by the town’s Mezquita — an ancient mosque that is now a cathedral — not to mention the amazing food and the unique Spanish accent spoken in southern Spain. So I chose Córdoba. But Bates also gave me a grant to travel to northern Spain, so I could compare the geography and the culture.”
What did you discover in Spain that surprised you?
“I was idealistic, even naïve, about living abroad. What I found were some of the same cultural and racial issues — tensions between immigrant communities and native Spaniards, and difficult conversations about race — that exist here at home. As a woman of Pakistani descent, I felt that my experience was shaped by my gender and my religious and racial identity.”
Can an experience on campus compare to an experience abroad?
“The most eye-opening academic experience of my life was a seminar called Understanding Disease. It made me question things I’d always thought were true, it made me think differently about medicine and health, and it was directly applicable to my life. It changed my world.”
About 60% of our students study abroad. We offer access to programs in more than 80 countries, many of which are off the standard track (Cameroon, Chile, Cuba, India, Nepal, to name a few). Our faculty also develop and lead rigorous, cross-disciplinary Fall Semester Abroad trips. Five recent examples:
- French Identity: Migration, Mutation, Exploration (Nantes)
- German Literature, Art and Film in the 20th Century (Berlin)
- Health Care in China (Kumming)
- Person and Place in Japan (Kanazawa)
- Russian Political Economy (St. Petersburg)
So, for example, the FSA on health care in China was codirected by an economics professor and a biology professor; it included immersive language courses, practical training in traditional Chinese and Vietnamese medicine, a rural health field trip, a week of independent travel and coursework in the economics of China’s health care system and the biology of world health.Next: Senior Thesis