Religious Studies

Event Date: 

Monday, February 1, 2021 - 2:45pm

Study Abroad for
Religious Studies Majors

Hear from a Religious Studies Major
who studied in England

Religious Studies Info Meeting

The Religious Studies Department strongly encourages its students to study abroad through the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP). The study of religion is cultural in content; it shouldn’t be restricted to classrooms and books. Take advantage of one of UCSB’s best opportunities and spend a year in another country. Imagine studying in a country where you can visit sacred places and see rituals being practiced while you study the history and language. With over 150 programs to choose from in 40+ different countries, the possibilities are endless. Whether you go for a summer, a semester, or a year, you can still plan your courses so that you will graduate on time. What are you waiting for?

Why study abroad?

The study of religion should be considered in terms of human experience, experience that varies across time and place. Studying abroad will not only provide you with a unique life experience, it will broaden your perspective, knowledge, and skills necessary to be effective professionally and personally in our rapidly changing global world.

Religious studies majors have the opportunity to study in the places where many of the world’s religions began. Study the religions of ancient Rome in the ornate rooms of the Palazzo Maffei-Marescotti, a renaissance palace owned by the Vatican in Rome, Italy. Study Shintoism in Japan or Buddhism in Thailand where you can visit the temples and see the rituals being practiced.

Exposure to other cultures can help students gain new perspectives and achieve a greater understanding of the world in which we live. It is also an opportunity to put one’s critical thinking and reasoning skills to the test in a whole new setting.

When should I study abroad?

While it is possible for religious studies students to go abroad at almost any point in their academic careers, the particular quarter, semester, summer or year that you study abroad depends on what courses you plan to take. Students interested in Language and Culture programs, or in fulfilling major preparation and General Education requirements, can participate as early as their sophomore year.

Where should I study abroad?

Many UCEAP courses are taught in English, in places as diverse as BarbadosDenmarkGhanaHong KongIsraelSweden and South Africa, as well as the more obvious AustraliaCanadaNew Zealand and UK-England. There are also plenty of courses taught in the native language of the host country, including French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese, and are excellent choices for students who have a grounding in those languages. Additionally, UCEAP offers intensive Language and Culture programs.

What classes should I take?

The Religious Studies Department offers a list of pre-approved UCEAP courses for major credit.  You are not limited to just these pre-approved courses.  If available, you may take any appropriate Religious Studies course abroad and petition to get it to fulfill major requirements.

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. It is best to plan early for study abroad. 

Some of the courses from which students in Religious Studies have benefitted from in the past include: “Islam & Christianity in Africa” and "Women in African Indigenous Religions” (Ghana); “Thinking About Evil” and “Ghosts, Death & the Afterlife” (England); “Messiahs in Conflict: Early Christianity and Judaism” and “Egyptian Fingerprints in the Bible” (Israel); and “Hinduism & Buddhism in South Asia” and “Religion & Society in Modern Japan” (Japan).

Use Gaucho Credit Abroad to search for the types of credit (i.e. major, minor, GE areas, or electives towards graduation) that UCSB students received for courses taken on UCEAP. You can find more UCEAP courses in the UCEAP Course Catalog and additional course listings on UCEAP partner university/program websites.

How do I get started?

Academic Planning Form Tutorial

Gaucho Credit Abroad Database