Untraditional Study Abroad Locations

There are currently 193 member states of the United Nations each with unique customs, food, and language dialects. While many people in the United States of America believe their country is the best in the world, this does not mean that there is no reason to see other places. As Mark Twain once said, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." The pursuit of new lands and new experiences opens up your mind to a bevy of great things. It is human nature to desire for knowledge and exploring other countries grants you knowledge of their cultures and people. These experiences are what shape a person's life for the better.

Learning Abroad Can Be a Great Experience

Travel can be an excellent experience as a vacation, but something that immerses you even deeper in another culture is the process of studying abroad. To study abroad means to spend a semester or more in a foreign country taking courses at a college or university in the area. This allows you to learn the same concepts and techniques you would study in the United States of America in a different part of the world. The professors there may offer a different viewpoint than those at your college or university and this exposure to varied opinions fosters greater knowledge and interest in the subject. Not only will you learn concepts pertinent to your major, but you also may learn a different language or simply other things common to where you are studying that are unknown to most Americans.

Some Not-So-Typical Study Abroad Locations

Students often choose to study abroad in popular European destinations such as London, Paris, and Italy. There are, however, so many other areas where you can take advantage of a great education and a different experience. Some of these are:
• Japan - The country of Japan is one of the most developed countries in the world, ranking 11th on the Human Development Index. It is also home to some of the best universities in the world as the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University and Osaka University were ranked 20th, 24th, and 75th in the world respectively. Japan has a rich history and a culture that is extremely different from the United States. Whether you are interested in the martial arts tradition of the samurai of old or the architectural style seen in Japan's pagodas and temples, you will surely find Japan extremely interesting.
• Australia - Studying in Australia will not provide as much of a culture shock as Japan since they speak the same language as the United States. The country is very different from ours, however, as it has a different climate and culture. There are some great universities in the country as well. The Australian National University and the University of Melbourne were ranked 59th and 62nd in the world respectively. Studying abroad in Australia allows you the chance to witness Aboriginal culture as well as some beautiful sights like the Sydney Opera House.

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