Reasons to Study Philosophy Abroad

The ultimate tool to develop your skills in critical thinking and verbal and written communication

Philosophy is an incredibly rewarding discipline of study. Whether or not you plan on completing a major in philosophy, there are many out there who believe that all students should be required to take a course in philosophy, regardless of their chosen major. The reason for this is simple – philosophy provides students with essential skills in critical thinking and verbal and written communication. In addition, it provides students with a deep understanding of things like:

  • Human nature
  • History
  • The origins of knowledge
  • The foundations of ethics and morality
  • Justice theories
  • The role played by the state in politics

Essentially, philosophy is all about truth, wisdom, the search for knowledge, and an understanding of the human experience. Just think about how valuable this knowledge would be for someone getting a degree in writing, literature, journalism, anthropology, law, medicine, nursing, or any other discipline. This is why many people either major in philosophy, do a second major, or minor in philosophy.

Why Study Philosophy Abroad

Philosophy’s roots can be traced back thousands of years, and it developed in many different countries. Each culture or spiritual tradition has its own unique philosophy, which makes it uniquely suited to travel and study abroad. When you can immerse yourself in a new culture, see life and experience from a different perspective, and learn their philosophy, you enrich your own learning.

In addition to the advantages of learning philosophy in a different country and culture, there are other astounding benefits to studying abroad. These include:

  • Learning a new language
  • Learning about a new culture
  • Making professional connections on a global scale
  • Increased personal development and personal growth
  • Developing exceptional organizational and project management skills
  • Increased employment opportunity (employers value people who have international experience)

The take-away? You will come back from your studies a more diverse individual with new experiences and perspectives that will make you an asset to any advanced degree program or any employer. 

How to Know Where to Study Philosophy Abroad

When choosing where to study philosophy abroad, it is vital to consider a number of things. You might want to go to a country, such as Greece, that has a significant history in philosophy and philosophical teachings.

Instead, you might desire to go to a particular country in which you have always been interested. Or you might want to search out the best schools for studying philosophy or the specific type of philosophy program you are interested in and study in one of those countries. The great thing is there are no limits. 

How to Plan for Studying Philosophy Abroad

If you have your heart set on studying philosophy abroad, or even if you are just thinking about the possibility, you need to start with research. Start with the countries you would like to go to and look up the best programs in those countries. Alternatively, you can search for the best programs worldwide and choose candidates from that list of schools. Once you have selected your preferred schools, you can apply and make your final decision.

Here are some other things you will need to do before you study philosophy abroad:

  • A passport and a student visa for the country in which you are studying.
  • Proof that you have enough money set aside or coming in each month to support you for the duration of your stay in that country. 
  • Tell your bank and credit card companies that you will be living abroad, so they won’t think your card has been stolen and lock your accounts.
  • A complete physical before traveling to ensure your health is good and all your immunizations are up to date.
  • Travel insurance that will cover your medical needs while you are away. This should also include lost or stolen luggage and personal items, flight delays and cancellations, and emergency evacuation.
  • Purchase your plane ticket. Make sure you do your homework and get the best deal you can find on a return flight. And be sure to check the flexibility of flight changes, just in case you have to go home early, or you want to stay longer.
  • Research all the local customs, culture, and people of the country before you go. This will help you adjust better once you are there, prepare you for what to expect, and educate you on how to interact with the locals.
  • Your language skills must be up to the task. Most foreign universities require you to know the local language in order to study there, and you will need to take a test before you are accepted.
  • Make sure you can use your cell phone while abroad. The best way to do this is to get a local SIM card and a pay-as-you-go plan, so you will have a local number and be able to stay in touch with everyone back home.
  • Pack smart. You will want all the essentials and enough clothing to make do, but remember that you will also shop while you are there. And be sure to pack weather-appropriate clothes.

Studying philosophy abroad might just be the most fabulous experience of your life. It will add depth and texture to your educational experience and your understanding of philosophy, as well as life and humanity. After all, philosophy is about thinking in new ways and exposing yourself to new ways of living and being. What is a better way to do that than to study abroad!

The Nth Degree

Is an online magazine created by Newman University to provide valuable content to all students bound for undergraduate and graduate college.