Editor’s note: “Huskies Abroad” is a bi-weekly column exploring UW’s extensive Study Abroad programs with recommendations on certain programs and destinations.
Let’s be honest, the UW Study Abroad page is overwhelming. You open up “List All” and suddenly have about a hundred programs at your disposal. If you’re like me and only have a vague idea of where you want to go abroad, it might be helpful to diversify your travel list. It’s never guaranteed that you’ll land your dream program or destination, so I have devised recommendations to aid you in your search for the perfect temporary home.
Keep in mind that we are still in a pandemic and that these recommendations might not be readily available in the coming months. If you’re reading this in the far future when COVID-19 is no longer an issue, then you might have better luck. For now, let me introduce you to some notable study abroad programs in the most populous continents: Asia.
China is the most populated country in the world with the longest continuous written history of any civilization. Studying abroad in China would mean rigorous but fruitful Chinese language courses. This might help you in the hustle and bustle of China’s various metropolitan cities, where you’d be fortunate enough to take UW-aligned courses with partnered universities.
Are you a Foster student looking to study business in the cultural heart of the world’s fastest-growing economies? Look no further than the Beijing program with the Foster School Undergraduate Exchange with Peking University (PKU), one of the most prestigious research institutes in China. In this program you’ll learn under PKU’s Guanghua School of Management, a highly-respected business school that will assist you in understanding Chinese economics and business management.
Not a Foster student? Don’t fret — me either. You can still attend a prestigious study abroad program in Beijing with UW’s Tsinghua University Exchange. Tsinghua University is the most prestigious school in China with esteemed faculty in almost all academic disciplines that is sure to assist you in whatever coursework you decide to pursue. If you’re also interested in doing research abroad, Tsinghua is another great option for you.
Instead of Mandarin, do you have a hankering to learn Cantonese instead? Hong Kong, China’s special administrative district, is a great destination to learn both. If you’re in law school or the Foster School of Business, you have the privilege to study at the University of Hong Kong, the oldest post-secondary institution in the region; you will be able to take language courses and will have a list of course offerings specially curated for international students.
Hong Kong offers a rich heritage and diversity from years of being a port city that facilitated trade between the East and West. It is a great travel destination to experience historical-cultural immersion as well as firsthand experience with Hong Kong’s socioeconomic standing in the grand scheme of Chinese politics. If you aren’t in any of the aforementioned UW schools, you can explore the city through the Chinese University of Hong Kong Exchange instead; it is the second oldest institution in Hong Kong and is a little more flexible in course selections with several classes taught in English, Cantonese, or Mandarin.
Known for its wonderful celebrations and festivals, India offers a fun learning experience for students seeking knowledge in one of the most diverse countries in the world. Many residents speak English but each region still has its own unique languages, traditions, and religions. If you like walking, the programs below specifically state that much of their activities will be outdoors — great opportunities to put some of your sneakers to use.
Engineering majors have the amazing opportunity to study in Bangalore with student accommodations at the United Theological College through the Engineering India: Grand Challenge Impact Lab (GCIL) program. Students will have the chance to explore the Hampi UNESCO world heritage site, an ancient village known for its beautiful architecture.
If you’re interested in social justice and artistic expression, the CHID India: Art & Activism in South India program might be for you. This program will allow you to experience and participate in Indian dance, music, and art. You will meet Bangalore locals and activists and will learn about the continued effects of colonization and tourism. It’s definitely a program that will make you examine your own reasons for studying abroad and the impact you leave on the countries you travel to.
One of the most popular tourist destinations due to its technological advancements and well-preserved historical sites is Japan. With one of the world’s best public transportation systems and extensive vending machine options, you are sure to find something completely new in Japan.
UW offers a multitude of exchange options with several prestigious Japanese universities, such as the University of Tokyo, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Waseda University, and Keio University. Since there are so many to choose from, I found a short program that stood out.
If you want to spend your early autumn in the most populous city in the world as well as the second-most populous city in Japan, the Asian Urbanism, (In)visible Cities program might be your cup of tea. Attendees travel to and from Tokyo and Osaka to examine the cities’ “urban life and everyday landscapes,” according to the program description. While the course would work best for landscape architecture majors, there are no prerequisites to explore this program.
The land of beautiful river landscapes and motorbikes, Vietnam is an incredible destination to engage with a dynamic community. Vietnam is home to diverse animals, spices, and people. Traveling to Vietnam will enlighten you on the United State’s dire impact on the land and people, but will also show you the resilience and power of the Vietnamese people.
The CHID Viet Nam: Building for Peace in the Wake of War program is a great way to engage with the Vietnamese community. If you are not afraid of some manual labor, this program will allow you to work with residents of the heavily war-impacted Quang Tri province. You will gain insights into contemporary issues of Vietnamese society by speaking directly to survivors and provincial citizens who are still experiencing the effects of the U.S. invasion.
These recommendations are based on affordability and accessibility. Studying abroad will always be expensive, but some options are cheaper than others. (You’ll even find that studying abroad could be cheaper than what you’re paying for tuition as an out-of-state student like me.) I also took into account the requirements of the programs, how long each program lasts, and visa requirements. If nothing I recommended fits your interests, the UW Study Abroad search list can help you filter through all your preferences.
Reach columnist Kimberly Quiocho at [email protected]. Twitter: @kimberlyquiocho
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