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Where Should I Study Abroad?
October 13, 2011 10:38 PM   Subscribe

I'm a junior, and I have until tomorrow (!) to figure out where I want to study in the spring. I'd like to be somewhere in Europe - I study medieval European history in school - but I can't chose the right place. I want to go somewhere beautiful and culturally rich, continually stimulating and well located. I don't care about the language, and I grew up overseas so I don't need to choose a place that will expand my 'comfort zone'. Give me suggestions? I'm open to anything!
posted by howgenerica to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
 
Whoa there. Does your school have programs with specific foreign universities, or are you able to choose any institution you find? Do you have a background in any non-English European language at all? Because that will affect your experience differently in different countries. If you're really just faced with a blank canvas decision you should choose Paris, obviously, you can learn French, visit the Cluny, live in Paris, but there have to be more factors in your decision than you're giving us.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:44 PM on October 13, 2011


Prague sounds perfect:
-Medieval significance
-Incredibly beautiful
-Museums, galleries, symphonies, operas, theatre, etc. all available and very cheap
-Great location between eastern and western Europe - it's easy to travel anywhere
-Plus it's totally gorgeous in the spring

I studied abroad in Prague this past spring, so feel free to contact me for more specific information.
posted by rabbitbookworm at 11:09 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ljubljana, Slovenia. Its gorgeous, well located, people are nice, great student programs (from people I met there studying who raved about how student friendly it was, no links to back this up sadly).
posted by Admira at 11:15 PM on October 13, 2011


Think about "medieval European history" a bit differently and you open your doors a bit wider. Istanbul? Cordoba? Palermo? Krakow?

You'd come home more capable than your peers in the less-studied regions and cultures of the continent like medieval Poland or al-Andalus or Byzantium or Norman Sicily, and you'd also be more clued into how those cultures affected the "England/France/Germany/Italy" definition of Europe that seems to be all most people study about Europe in this period in the States.

Staying out of northern/western Europe also makes things cheaper and generally less like home (if home is North America). Finally: if the place you go is a bit warmer and you don't have serious winter where you come from, life, in general, will be more tolerable.
posted by mdonley at 11:24 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll second villanelles, and add that the program/school should take precedence over location in your decision making. What university offers the most interesting courses? An extremely large percentage of Europe is culturally rich, beautiful, well-located and stimulating.

Paris is great. Prague is great. But I'd choose the UK or a smaller country that is (at least a little) off the beaten track. Norway, Slovenia, Bulgaria, etc. The UK would be my first choice because I think the history and literature is amazing, and there's so much to see, and it's English speaking (you say that language doesn't matter, but academic language is much more difficult than conversational language...keep that in mind), plus you'd potentially be choosing from many of the world's top universities. But if that really doesn't float your boat, try somewhere most people can't find on a map. :-)
posted by guster4lovers at 11:25 PM on October 13, 2011


Aberdeen Scotland, A lot of international students come here. Partly because we are the first on the list (or were until very recently) and because there is a lot of history in the area. It is also pretty cheap.
posted by adventureloop at 1:29 AM on October 14, 2011


I came in to suggest Prague, also.
posted by misha at 4:51 AM on October 14, 2011


Tubingen, Germany. One of the oldest universities around.
posted by princelyfox at 5:04 AM on October 14, 2011


Tuebingen would be great. I studied abroad there a few years ago and loved it...but I'm pretty sure you need to know German. I had to fulfill some language requirements before signing up and none of the classes were in English.
posted by fromageball at 8:01 AM on October 14, 2011


The University of York in York, England has a world class medieval studies department. And it's situated in the historic city of York (founded in 71 AD by the Romans). Today it still has 20+ medieval churches, the Minster, Clifford's Tower, the city walls and their entrance bars, the Shambles and loads of other stuff. If that's your thing, you won't be bored.

I'm biased though...this place is phenomenal (I study and live in York).
posted by iamkimiam at 10:11 AM on October 14, 2011


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