Study Abroad for English Majors

The English department encourages its students to complete some portion of their undergraduate study through UC Education Abroad Program. English majors can deepen their understanding of British, American, and post-colonial English literature by study in a foreign university and at the same time add an international dimension to their undergraduate education. Because all courses taken through EAP are accepted as UC courses, with careful planning students may spend as much as a year of study in a foreign university with no loss of time in completing their degrees.

Why study abroad?

The opportunities for enhancing one’s understanding of literature written in English through foreign study are almost boundless: seeing Shakespeare performed in the rebuilt London Globe, visiting the Lake District where Wordsworth and Coleridge wrote their finest poetry, reading Joyce’s Ulysses in Dublin, discussing American literary texts with British, Australian, or Indian students, or experiencing Coetzee’s South Africa.

English majors who study abroad come to understand that cultural context is crucial for interpreting literary texts, that knowledge is constructed differently in other political and social millieu. 

Alternatively, students can study literature in a foreign-language, improving their fluency in another language and acquiring a sense of its literature while at the same time studying English literature.

English majors find that a term, or better, a year in a foreign university not only enhances their critical and writing skills, but that the experience of adapting to another academic and cultural world expands their self-understanding and gives them a keen sense of the political and social differences in today’s world. The personal and intellectual growth of study abroad provides further advantages when it comes to the challenges of graduate and professional study. 

Beyond academic competence, a generally unintended and unmeasurable result of education is the change it brings about in an individual’s thought processes and modes of experiencing the world. It is perhaps one of the greatest unacknowledged rewards of an education. 

When should I study abroad?

tudents can study abroad as early as their sophomore year or as late as their last semester, even in a fifth year. 

Where should I study abroad?

With an increasing number of foreign universities offering coursework in English, you could complete major requirements on one of six continents! UCEAP is also an excellent way to complete your foreign language requirement.

If you are interested in post-colonial literature, you should consider study in Barbados, Ghana, or South Africa.

What classes should I take?

Search Gaucho Credit Abroad and the UCEAP Course Catalog to get an idea of the types of English courses UC students have taken around the world.

If you want to study abroad for a full year, you should complete the lower-division preparation for the major and at least some of the upper-division requirements before you go.  You should also complete all, or most, of your general education requirements. This way you’ll have maximum flexibility in the courses you do abroad. 

All UCEAP students automatically earn UC credit for the work they complete abroad. However, the application of credit to major requirements is subject to the discretion of the department and approval of the college. Save all syllabi, papers and other relevant course information to help you petition courses for specific requirements Plan ahead and consult with your advisors before leaving and while abroad.

Keep in mind that at least 20 units of upper-division major coursework (or 12 upper-division minor units) must be completed in residence at UCSB along with other residence requirements. Consult a Letters & Science College advisor for more information.

Can I Afford it?

Studying abroad through UCEAP can be comparable to or even less than the cost of staying at UCSB. UCEAP participants continue to receive UC financial aid. All UCEAP students are eligible for special scholarships. 

Internships & Research

An international internship or research experience will greatly enhance your resume and provide you with valuable skills and contacts to improve your success in the global job market. Many UCEAP students arrange such opportunities in conjunction with the UCEAP Study Center in their host country.

How do I get started?

  • Stop by the UCSB EAP office at 2431 South Hall.
  • Go the UCSB EAP website, Getting Started.
  • Consult the UCEAP website for program details.  
  • Go see your department undergraduate advisor. 

What happens when I return? 

If you take courses abroad for which you wish to get credit towards your major, you should keep your syllabi, course materials, essays and exams. You can petition your academic department with these materials after your have received your UCEAP course grades. Consider doing a senior honors thesis based on the course work and intellectual interests you developed abroad.  This provides an ideal way of integrating your time abroad with the completion of the English major. 

Department of English
2607 South Hall
University of California, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 893-7488

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