Study Abroad for Anthropology Majors

The Department of Anthropology strongly encourages its undergraduate students to take advantage of opportunities through UCR and affiliate institutions to study abroad. Staff are eager to assist you in discovering the program that best fits your educational and personal needs and to direct you to the multiple financial aid resources available that will make your study abroad experience an affordable investment.

Steven Mandeville-Gamble Scholarship offers financial support for an anthropology student to study abroad

Why Study Abroad?

For students considering a career in anthropology, study abroad is of special importance. In order to gain an understanding of the complexity and diversity of humans across space and time, aspiring anthropologists have to get beyond the classroom and out into the world. When you study abroad you will not only come away with a broadened cultural perspective, you will also gain practical skills in anthropological methods.

Regardless of your future career choice, study abroad in Anthropology can still provide you with valuable life skills. You will broaden your worldview, increase your proficiency in another language, improve your critical thinking, develop self-confidence and independence, and expand your personal and professional network on an international scale. For all of these reasons we strongly encourage our students to study abroad.

“It is an experience that breaks your comfort zone and somehow provides a unique insight into the person you are, but more importantly, it is an experience that engages you with the world like no other. Aside from experience, you build connections with your fellow travelers, TAs, and professors. These connections have led me to pursue my archaeological interests in graduate studies…”- Ashley Magana

Where Should I Study Abroad?  

A number of programs that are particularly strong in anthropological research are highlighted on this webpage. However, it is important that you choose a study abroad program that engages your interests. If you don’t find what you are looking for in this list, you can conduct a program search on the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) webpage to find a program that fits your individual needs. You can also search courses that other UC students have taken, to get an idea of past course offerings in anthropology. EAP partners with over 28 countries that offer courses in anthropology, so you are sure to find the perfect program!

Types of Programs

UC Education Abroad Programs (EAP)

EAP have already been pre-approved for and receive UC credit. The cost of study abroad can be close to the cost of studying on campus. All student financial aid, including institutional aid, can be directed towards program costs, and if you do not already receive UC financial aid, you may qualify for aid while on EAP. Each year, EAP students receive $1.3 million in study abroad grants and scholarships. EAP programs typically last for one quarter of study or a year of study.

Recommended Programs:

  • UC Center Mexico City, Field Research
    Study at La Casa de California in Mexico City, a University of California facility founded to enhance cultural ties between California and Mexico, and work closely with a Mexican scholar/mentor to design a research plan on a topic of particular interest to you. Then conduct your field research at one of UCEAP’s research sites in Yucatán, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Queretaro, or Mexico City.

  • University of Chile, Santiago
    Study in the Department of Anthropology at one of Chile’s top universities, with opportunities for independent research or internships at one of the many international research institutes, non-governmental organizations, libraries, or museums located in the capital city of Santiago.

  • University of Cape Town, South Africa
    Study in the Department of Social Anthropology and/or the Department of Archaeology at South Africa's oldest university, with opportunities for field research and independent study in a setting with enormous cultural and social diversity.

  • University of the West Indies, Barbados
    Study in the Department of Cultural Studies and/or take courses with an emphasis on Caribbean studies across multiple departments. Interdisciplinary collaborations are encouraged with the faculties of Clinical and Medical Research, Humanities and Education, Law, and Pure and Applied Sciences. Opportunities for independent research are available.

  • University of Auckland, New Zealand
    Study in the Department of Anthropology in the largest Polynesian city in the world. Pick from numerous course offerings in Archaeology, Biological and Medical Anthropology, Social Anthropology, and Ethnomusicology with regional strengths in Māori and Pacific Island studies.

More recommended EAP programs by college at UCR

UCR Summer Study Abroad (UCRSSA)

UCR Summer Study Abroad (UCRSSA) are faculty led programs offered in the summer. UCRSSA programs have already been pre­approved for and receive UCR course credit. The Office of Undergraduate Education provides scholarships exclusively for UCR students participating in UCR’s Summer Study Abroad programs. Awards range between $250-$2500, and are based on financial need and/or merit. (For more information on eligibility and how to apply see details on under “Undergraduate Education Scholarship”)

Recommended Program:

  • Hue, Vietnam (To run in summer 2017)
    Study the formation of Vietnamese culture from its roots in the Bronze Age to the present through travel writing, structured seminars, and an independent ethnographic research project.

“This trip greatly expanded my perspective of Vietnam; having been born in the U.S. from parents that fled, due to the Vietnam War, my knowledge of my own culture was very limited and biased. The program was able to give me a sense of enlightenment while also reinforcing my sense of Vietnamese patriotism and pride.”- Nancy Nguyen

More UCR Summer Abroad Programs

Opportunities Abroad Programs (OAP)

Other UC and non­-UC programs are institutionally referred to as Opportunities Abroad Programs (OAP). OAP do not automatically receive UC credit. However there exists a formal process at UCR for pre­approving OAP courses, securing transfer credits, and directing student financial aid to program costs. OAP programs can be all varieties of lengths­ quarter long, year long, or summer length programs.
Recommended Programs:

  • Yucatec Maya Language
    Students particularly interested in linguistics and Maya culture can study Modern Yucatec Maya Language. The program is offered at three levels, for beginning to advanced Yucatec Maya speakers, with additional opportunities for independent research.

  • Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project (BVAR)
    BVAR offers an accredited Archaeological Field School in which students receive training in survey, mapping, stratigraphic excavation, and artifact analysis and processing. Fieldwork is complemented by weekly lectures and tours to nearby archaeological sites.

How Do I Get Started?

Begin by identifying your goals for study abroad. Next review the resources and anthropology programs highlighted here to find the appropriate one that fits your needs. Before enrolling in any study abroad program first schedule an appointment with your academic advisor.

And remember, START PLANNING EARLY. Processing the required paperwork for your study abroad opportunity can take anywhere from 6 – 12 weeks. However, UCR has a multitude of resources and staff eager to assist you in making your study abroad opportunity a reality.

Any remaining questions you may have can most likely be answered through UC Riverside’s Study Abroad Programs website, accessed here:

Have specific questions? Want to talk to a real live person?

Stop by the Study Abroad Programs office in Olmsted Hall, Room 2322 or call (951) 827-2508
Hours of Operation: M-F 8:00 am to 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm-5:00 pm