Learning about the ancient world through lectures and readings is just the first step in discovering the vast history and culture of Greece, Rome, and the Ancient Near East. To truly comprehend the art and architecture – the layout of historic cities and regions – and gain an understanding of the significant events in ancient times, visiting is the next. Study abroad provides students the opportunity to experience and explore what textbooks and professors can only discuss.
Because the CANES Department believes so strongly in study abroad, we have created two faculty-led programs: UW-Classics in Italy and UW-Classics in Greece. These three-week programs are offered in alternating summers and provide students with guided exploration of some of the most famous sites of the ancient world.
In addition to our summer study, there are a number of semester and year-long study abroad programs through International Academic Programs (IAP). No matter when study abroad may fit into your academic plans, there is going to be a program that meets your needs. Best of all, we offer two scholarships that can help offset the cost of study abroad and they are available to CANES majors only. Learn more about those here.
Prospective CANES Students
Declaring a major or certificate in CANES is a simple process. There are no pre-requisites and students can declare at any point in their academic careers; however, we do encourage interested students to meet with an advisor as soon as possible to ensure that all requirements are clear and can be met in the remaining time to degree.
While there are no pre-requisites for either UW-Classics study abroad programs and declaration of a CANES major or certificate is not required, it is particularly helpful for students interested in these locations to have taken one or two relevant history or culture courses. Beginning with some historical context and background in the ancient world will significantly enhance a student’s experience and add to the breadth and depth of knowledge gained. For this reason, it may be best to pursue study abroad later in a student’s academic career. Most students feel prepared by the summer heading into their junior year (or third year on campus) and the most common time to study abroad is junior year. Do keep in mind that for many students who came to the UW with a large number of AP, IB, or transfer credits, there is more flexibility and more time to fit in a wide variety of experiences in the typical four-year college cycle. Another reason to visit with an advisor sooner than later.
CANES Course Considerations Abroad
Any student pursuing study abroad should be sure they understand how credits transfer back. Study abroad programs through IAP guarantee that all credits will be assigned UW course credit, but it is the student’s responsibility to understand all requirements needed to graduate on time. One of the best aspects of gaining credit for study abroad through IAP is the fact that all credits earned will count toward the Letters & Science Residence Requirement. For CANES majors, this policy requires that 15 credits are taken “In Residence” and 15 credits must also be taken “On Campus,” meaning that study abroad courses through UW-Madison will count toward the Residence requirement but not toward the On Campus requirement. For students earning the CANES certificate, the residence requirement is 9 credits. Confused? Don’t be! Basically, students who study abroad and take courses to count toward their major or other requirements should rest assured they are making progress toward earning their degree. As always, make sure to speak to an advisor about these policies to see how they’re reflected in DARS and get any questions answered!
Keeping the rules above in mind, students are generally welcome to take as many courses in the major as they prefer. However, course exploration and diversity of academic experience is strongly recommended. On one hand, students may choose locations that offer a wide array of Classics related courses in literature, history, archaeology, etc., and the appeal to take these, and only these, courses in this setting is strong. But, keep in mind that, oftentimes, these experiences are once in a lifetime; limiting the academic experience to one field of study prohibits exposure to other opportunities that could equally enhance a student’s time abroad. For example, if current events – perhaps politically or culturally – are such that a course in Political Science or Sociology might be more appealing, consider fitting those kinds of courses in as well.
Mapping Your Study Abroad Experience as a CANES Major
At this point, most students are just beginning to explore their interest areas and find out where their skills and talents are best utilized. Anyone having an interest in ancient languages and cultures is encouraged to take courses in relevant fields, including Art History, Biblical Hebrew, Classics, Greek, History, Latin, Literature, Philosophy, and Political Science. The more familiar students are with the ancient world, the more prepared they will be to begin considering how an experience abroad fits into their academic plans. IAP hosts a number of open advising events and information sessions every semester, so make sure to attend some of these events to begin exploring options, gathering information, and finding resources.
By this point, many students are more comfortable identifying which majors or certificates fit their goals best. They are also developing a better sense of what it means to be fully engaged in a particular area of study. During the second year of college, it is best to begin exploring study abroad programs in Greece, Italy, and those associated with the Ancient Near East. Students will want to consider specific locations, length of programs, language of instruction, size of the college or university, academic rigor and course offerings, internship opportunities, and housing options. All of these factors contribute to determining the best fit for students’ educational expectations. Students will also need to spend time with their academic advisors making certain that the programs they are most interested in offer courses that keep them on track to completing their degrees in four years.
The third year of college is the most popular time to go abroad, however, we want to encourage students to keep their options open. It is especially important that the timeframe and program selected fit the academic goals and plans for each specific student so students have the best experience possible. Students accepted to programs during any point in their academic careers are encouraged to check with advisors once they reach their sites and register for classes. We want to ensure that any changes or additions to course schedules still keep the student on track to graduate. If students majoring in Classical Humanities are considering study abroad during their senior year, they must plan to take the capstone course spring semester of their junior year.
The final year of a student’s college career can be an exciting time to go abroad. Most students have a very well-developed sense of themselves, their interest areas, strengths, and future career goals. Electing to go abroad at this point can solidify plans as well as allow for special experiences such as internships that play a part in career exploration. As an intern nearing graduation, students can be appealing candidates to hire. These experiences also lead to opportunities for networking and informational interviews. If students majoring in Classical Humanities are considering study abroad during their senior year, they must plan to take the capstone course spring semester of their junior year.
Questions to Ask
Your Academic Advisor
- What classes must I complete for my degree (breadth/depth, major requirements, etc.)?
- Do I need to be on UW-Madison’s campus for any courses in my major?
- How many electives do I have outside of my major?
- For Classical Humanities majors, how will the capstone course fit into my plans?
Your Study Abroad Advisor
- What classes can I take abroad?
- How and when do I select courses for my program?
- When will I know course equivalents for my program?
- What is the class structure like abroad?
Identifying Programs That are Right for You
Research all programs using the IAP Program Search page. The below is not an exhaustive list of all programs that offer CANES courses. There may be other programs that are a better fit for your individual needs or interests.
Australia: Macquarie University Exchange
England: University of Bristol Exchange
England: University of Leeds Exchange
England: University of Warwick Exchange
Greece: Arcadia Center for Hellenic, Mediterranean, & Balkan Studies
Greece: UW Classics in Greece
Ireland: IFSA National University Ireland, Galway
Israel: Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Israel: Tel Aviv University
Israel: University of Haifa
Italy: UW Classics in Italy
New Zealand: Massey University Exchange
Wales: Cardiff University
Search all IAP programs