Religious Studies, BA

Why YOU Should Study Abroad

The humanities are the core of many everyday topics – from politics and health to language and traditions. Students with a degree from the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies venture on to careers in law, politics, museums, academia and more. Studying abroad can complement skills and lessons learned in the classroom with real-world experience.

Study abroad programs will help you gain a global perspective and an increased appreciation for the history, philosophy and religion of different cultures. In addition, the experience and understandings gained across borders can aid you in a competitive job search.

While you are studying abroad you attain skills such as:

  • Problem-solving: Overcoming travel and cultural obstacles through intuition and resourcefulness will show future employers you can tackle any problem that comes up in the workplace.
  • Communication: Learning how to communicate with others in a different language can make you more confident in workplace interactions and will make you a great networker.
  • Adaptability: Studying abroad will need a flexible attitude and the ability to adapt to multiple situations, much like in today’s modern work environment.

A Message from the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

“To truly understand one’s own culture, it is necessary to get to know another. Studying abroad is transformative: you won’t return the same person you were before. Your life will have been immeasurably enriched, your sense of center and periphery unsettled, your circle of friends widened, your studies deepened.”

- Richard Amesbury, Director of SHPRS

Planning Your Program

When to study abroad

When to study abroad

With advance planning, you should be able to fit study abroad within your four years at ASU. A suggested timeline to consider study abroad activities is as follows:

Year Term Recommended Student Action
Year 1
  • Identify a summer study abroad program that fits your goals, interests, and budget.
  • Consider a summer study abroad program.
Year 2

Optimal year to study abroad
  • Identify a spring/summer study abroad program that fits your goals, interests, and budget.
  • Consider a spring semester or spring break study abroad program
  • Consider a summer study abroad program ( *History: Secondary Education majors should plan a Summer or global intensive study abroad experience so that they will be able to complete their course of study in a timely manner).
Year 3

Optimal year to study abroad
Fall - Spring
  • Consider a semester, winter break, or spring break study abroad program (*History: Secondary Education majors should plan a Summer, winter break, or spring break study abroad experience so that they will be able to complete their course of study in a timely manner).
  • Complete a summer study abroad program
Year 4 Fall - Spring
  • Your senior year, especially your final semester, may not be an optimal time for a Study Abroad program, depending on the remaining requirements you have left for your degree. Capstone classes in your major must be taken through ASU. Please be aware that in some cases, studying abroad in your final semester could cause a delay in the posting of your degree if transcripts are not received in a timely manner. Please check with your International Coordinator (study abroad advisor) about any possible delays.

General Advice

General Advice

Advice from the School Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

The ASU School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies will accept many classes toward your major. However, required “capstone” or methodology classes, including HST 495, HST 496, PHI 300, REL 307, REL 405, REL 406/407, JST 491, JST 495, and JST 496 cannot be satisfied through Study Abroad Coursework.

Advice from the Study Abroad Office

  • Be sure to view the list of recommended steps for getting started on your study abroad journey.
  • Attend a Study Abroad 101 info session to get all the basic information from a Study Abroad Student Recruiter on program types, eligibility, housing, finances, searching for and choosing a program and the application process. Discover times and locations.

Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad workshop to get information on program fees and deadlines, how financial aid can apply to study abroad, how to utilize community-based funding and tips on finding and applying for study abroad scholarships. Discover times and locations.

Meet With Your Academic Advisor

Meet With Your Academic Advisor

How to make an appointment

Key questions to ask

  • What are my remaining degree requirements?
  • How many upper-division credits do I still need to complete for my degree?
  • How many elective credits (lower vs. upper division) do I have left to complete my degree?
  • What remaining prerequisites must I fulfill, and how will study abroad impact my progress?
  • Which of my remaining degree requirements could I complete abroad?  Are there any that I cannot take abroad?
  • Can I receive academic credit for an internship abroad?
  • Are there any in-residence requirements I need to be aware of before I go abroad?

Meet With the Study Abroad Office

Meet With the Study Abroad Office

Meeting with a Peer Advisor

Peer Advisors are ASU students who have studied abroad on various types of programs and who are here to help you get started on a journey of your own!  They are prepared to help you understand the different types of programs offered, narrow down your program options, guide you on the application process, discuss program costs, and speak about student life abroad.

No appointments are necessary to meet with a Peer Advisor.

  • Stop by the Study Abroad Office anytime Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Contact a Peer Advisor by email  or Live Chat with them on the Study Abroad Office website.
  • Call a Peer Advisor at (480) 965-5965.

Meeting with an International Coordinator

Your International Coordinator can answer your questions about specific programs, can talk you through the application process, and can help you find funding resources for your particular program on the Study Abroad Office website. Your International Coordinator is happy to meet with you multiple times to answer your questions, and he/she would be glad to schedule meetings in person, by phone, or via Skype.

  • Find the name of your International Coordinator listed on the Study Abroad Office webpage for your program of interest.
  • Schedule an appointment online. Click on the International Coordinator name for your program of interest and follow the prompts to schedule your appointment.
  • Visit an International Coordinator during walk-in hours in Student Services Building, Room 278.

Key questions to ask the Study Abroad Office

  • What are the eligibility requirements for my program(s) or interest?
  • What is involved in the application for my program(s) of interest? Is admission to the program competitive?
  • How will I get ASU credit and grades for the courses I take abroad?
  • What courses are available on my program? How can I get courses approved for my program(s) of interest?
  • What is the cost of participating in my program(s) of interest? What do I need to consider in preparing an estimated budget for my program(s) of interest, and what expenses do I need to plan for upfront?
  • Where can I find more information about scholarships for study abroad?

Research Your Funding Options

Research Your Funding Options

Studying abroad is an investment in your future. Like any other type of investment, it requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets, and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad.

Review Cost Sheet

You can find a link to your program’s Cost Sheet near the top of the Study Abroad Office webpage for your program. The Cost Sheet will highlight the costs that are billed to your student account as well as additional estimated costs that are not billed to your student account but that you might expect to spend while abroad. Be sure to note what expenses are included in the fees charged by the Study Abroad Office, and remember to budget additional money for airfare, passport and visa fees, and personal expenses since these are not included in any Program Fee.

Research Funding

Once you have reviewed the Cost Sheet for your program and are aware of the costs you might expect to spend on your program, you can begin to make a plan for financing your study abroad program. You can receive funding for studying abroad through financial aid, scholarships and grants, and community-based fundraising efforts. We encourage you to:

  1. Speak to Financial Aid and Scholarship Services (FASS) about financial aid;
  2. Use our Scholarships and Grants page to search for general study abroad scholarships and scholarships that are unique to your program;
  3. Read the Community-Based Funding Guide for creative ways that past ASU students have funded their programs.

Financial Aid

We encourage you to speak to a Financial Aid Counselor, who can help you figure out how your financial aid might be applied to our study abroad program. Be sure to seek answers to the following questions from a Financial Aid Counselor:

  • How do loans work for study abroad? What kinds of aid/loans do I currently receive, and are there any restrictions on this aid if I study abroad?
  • Have I reached the maximum of (insert name of) loan allowed per academic year?
  • When will funds be released for my semester of participation?
  • How will additional scholarships impact my ASU financial aid?

Major-Specific Scholarships

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers study abroad scholarships for which you may apply.

Community-Based Funding

Check out the Study Abroad Office website to learn more about community-based funding, including tips and tricks for crowd-source funding. There is funding out there… you just have to ask!

Attend Financing Workshop

Would you like help learning about your financing options? We offer bi-weekly in-person and online Financing Your Study Abroad Workshops. Join us in the MU on Monday afternoons or log in through Adobe Connect (register here) on Thursdays to learn how to finance your study abroad program through financial aid, scholarships and grants, and community-based funding.

Helpful Links

“Studying abroad can help your career goals, even if what you learn abroad is seemingly unrelated to your work at home. I have been asked about my study abroad and travel experiences in just about every interview. Being able to share these experiences with potential employers has helped me obtain jobs I may not have had otherwise.”
- Andrew Wenker, Philosophy alum and current law student
Food and Culture in France Program

“I participated in the year-long program in Japan at Okayama University. By participating in volunteer projects, homestays and events offered on campus, I have been able to experience a true Japanese lifestyle. Not only did I fulfill my dream of traveling to Japan, but I also made professional connections, new best friends and gained a deeper respect for other cultures.”
- Mariah Armstrong, Asia Studies undergraduate
Okayama University Program

“Seeing a culture that thrives through a completely opposite approach to the United States when it comes to education, welfare, etc. has helped me create opportunities in my community as I've been able to use what I learned to work with local education officials and teachers to try to reform the school system in my area. I've been in contact with these officials in hopes that they will experience the same trip I did, and take back what I learned to integrate it into their school system.”
- Marc Vance, History undergraduate
Comparative Education in Finland Program

“As a major who studies with particular emphasis on the history of Japan, being able to actually go to Japan and visit numerous castles, temples, shrines, etc. that I had previously only read about has given me an indispensible experience of the history that goes beyond what can be found in text alone.”
- Nicolas Cortez, Asia Studies undergraduate
Japanese Language & Religion in Hiroshima Program


Recommended Programs

Although SHPRS students can participate in any ASU study abroad program, the following programs are particularly appropriate for our majors. If you are looking for programs that offer specific classes in your major, we recommend using the “Search by ASU Course” feature on the Study Abroad website.

Program Type: Faculty-Directed
Available Terms: Summer
Country: France
Unique Features: France is not only known for its beautiful landscapes and historic places, but also for its unique culture of food which is unparalleled in any other region of the world. As such, this program focuses on the intersections of food, culture and health. Students on this program will be exposed to the origins of the French diet and cuisine, rural and urban food systems and dietary globalization. This program is centered in central Paris and includes excursions to Reims, Versailles and Normandy.
Program Type: Faculty-Directed
Available Terms: Summer
Country: France
Unique Features: Live in Lyon for four weeks while focusing on language and culture. Students are enrolled with other foreign students in the Centre International d’Études Françaises (CIEF) at the University of Lyon located on the downtown campus along the Rhône River within walking distance of the city center. Receive full immersion training in language and culture and earn 7 FRE (French) credits, including coursework that can go toward fulfilling the second language requirement, on this program.
Program Type: Faculty-Directed
Available Terms: Summer
Country: Canada
Unique Features: Stay cool in Québec City this summer while earning 6 ASU French credits, including credit that can go toward completing the second language requirement. Participants will live in a francophone home while taking French courses at Laval University, one of the oldest Francophone universities in North America. Québec City, the only walled city in North America, is so beautiful that it was declared an official historical monument by the United Nations.
Program Type: Faculty-Directed
Available Terms: Summer
Country: Germany
Unique Features: Study for four weeks in Regensburg, Germany - a UNESCO Heritage Site, with excursions to Munich and Nuremberg. Receive full immersion training in language and culture and earn 6 GER (German) credits, including coursework that can go toward fulfilling the second language requirement, on this program.
Program Type: Faculty-Directed
Available Terms: Summer
Country: Italy
Unique Features: Students will study for four weeks in San Severino, a beautiful, small town nestled in the rolling hills of the region of Le Marche in Italy. San Severino has a rich history and yet does not attract great numbers of English-speaking students and tourists. As a result, this program allows full immersion into Italian language and culture. Over ten excursions to various locations throughout Italy are also included.
Program Type: Faculty-Directed
Available Terms: Summer
Country: Mexico
Unique Features: Spend five weeks in Mérida, Mexico learning Spanish in the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula. Mérida, a pleasant and safe colonial city with a tranquil lifestyle and all modern-day conveniences, is the perfect place to study the Spanish language and Mayan culture. To maximize language immersion, students will reside with local Mérida host families, take classes with ASU instructors and interact with local Mérida experts in Mayan culture.
Program Type: Faculty-Directed
Available Terms: Summer
Country: Finland
Unique Features: Find out why the Finnish educational system produces the smartest kids in the world by visiting one the most beautiful Nordic cities on a two-week adventure to Helsinki, including a visit to the country of Estonia and the medieval city of Tallinn and a day-trip to Finland’s original capital the 13th-century city of Turku. Experience the history and traditions of Helsinki and cities throughout Finland through socio-cultural excursions to museums, Repovesi National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Suomenlinna Fortress and the Verla Mill, art galleries, the Finnish Congress, the Rock Church, among other places.
Program Type: Global Intensive Experience
Available Terms: Post-Spring
Country: Dominican Republic
Unique Features: Join us in the Dominican Republic! Students on this program will connect with the Peace Corps community to get a "taste of the Peace Corps." They will help to implement ecologically sustainable projects in rural areas, engage with leaders working on community development projects, and participate in a site visit to a current Peace Corps Volunteer. Visit a Haitian batey and snorkel in blue waters. Students will write a project proposal based on their experience during Session B online.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
Country: Italy
Unique Features: Immerse yourself in Italian culture by learning to speak the language and interacting with Italian and international students. Choose from a wide variety of courses taught in Italian, including hands-on community-based courses, service learning projects, volunteering, independent research, extra-curricular activities and language exchanges. With the Direct Enrollment option, students of all levels of language proficiency focus exclusively on Italian language and culture and study alongside people from all over the world whose goal is to become fluent in Italian.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Fall, Spring
Country: Israel
Unique Features: Students can take challenging and inspiring courses in Hebrew, as well as English. Students can also participate in one of BGU's academic specialty tracks of study: Global Health, Sustainable Development, Israel Studies, Entrepreneurship & Innovation. There are opportunities to learn about Israel's history, landscape and diverse cultural traditions through OSP-sponsored excursions. BGU is known for its warm ambiance and personal approach.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Fall, Spring
Country: Czech Republic
Unique Features: Students can choose from a variety of humanities-based courses. ISA works closely with faculty at Charles University to develop coursework exclusively designed specifically for ISA students. Subjects are taught in English and include history, architecture, cinema, economics, politics and Czech language. While there is no language pre-requisite for this program, all students will complete a two-week intensive Czech Language course.
Program Type: Exchange
Available Terms: Fall, Spring
Country: China
Unique Features: This program draws on more than 20 years of experience, offering quality courses taught in English and Mandarin, as well as opportunities for home stays with Chinese families, courses with Chinese students, and study tours around the area and to major cities in the country. This program is recommended for mature, motivated, and independent students.
Program Type: Exchange
Available Terms: Fall, Spring
Country: South Korea
Unique Features: Yonsei is the oldest private university in Korea. Living in Seoul, South Korea, students will experience the undeniable heritage and tourism scene: fortresses, temples, shrines, palaces and ceremonies compete for attention while modern skyscrapers, glitzy shopping malls and multi-media and entertainment complexes, including the world-famous K-Pop scene around the Itaewon, Jamsil and Namsan districts capture the imagination.



Key Contacts and Resources