Being a tourist is fun (and important) but stepping outside of the tourist comfort zone and immersing yourself in another culture is life-changing. Understanding and experiencing a local culture on a deeper level, also known as cultural immersion, is a major benefit of studying abroad.
Studying abroad allows you to learn about a culture through firsthand experience. Take in the sights, smells, flavors, history, people, traditions, and a way of life as you spend quality time in a new country. You aren’t just navigating from one hot-spot to another in a whirlwind of a few days, you’re managing day-to-day life alongside locals.
Any CIS Abroad program is going to offer you the opportunity to experience a new culture, but we’ve gathered some recommendations of top programs for cultural immersion that make this even easier during your study abroad.
The University of Economics in Prague offers an affordable and culturally rich experience of Czech. It’s situated in the eastern part of central Europe so you’ll get exposure to other European cultures too. Study Central and Eastern business and culture while living in the heart of this historical yet progressive city. The university has a thriving student life both on campus and throughout the city. You can participate in student clubs and join the Czech Mate buddy program. Get assigned a Czech buddy who helps you immerse in the local culture and understand the city. Additionally, your Czech buddy can point you to popular spots for locals!
Our Site Director has plans excursions within Prague and outside the city, so you can make the most of your time. For example, you might visit the famous Pilsen Historic District that houses the Pilsner Brewery and ride-along Prague’s Vltava River. Venture beyond the city to the picturesque Renaissance town of Cesky Krumlov. There is no shortage of ways to get your fill of local culture!
Toyo University provides a unique culturally immersive Japanese university experience. Interact with Japanese students and engage with the vibrant city of Tokyo on the Hakusan campus. It’s located in the center of the city and near some of the most culturally iconic neighborhoods of Tokyo. The campus is easily accessible and has a calm sense of sanctuary while being surrounded by the cosmopolitan hub. There are many university-hosted and CIS site director-hosted events, so you’ll have a range of ways to learn about Japanese culture. For instance, you can attend sumo lessons, Japanese calligraphy, and excursions to experience tea ceremonies. You’ll also visit well-known Tokyo sites such as the tranquil Meiji Shrine.
Choose to study in English or Spanish at Universidad Veritas, depending on your individual language skills and goals. Located in the capital city, the school is a safe hub to branch out from the classroom. Explore the surrounding culture, breathtaking nature, and vibrant locals. Stay with a host family where you experience local culture first-hand. Enjoy two home-cooked Tican meals per day provided by your host family! Food is an easy (and delicious) way to learn about the culture.
Additionally, you can take courses offered in Costa Rican culture. Our site director organizes unique excursions as part of the program. For instance, you could take a trip to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Baldi Hot Springs, and the Arenal Volcano. Ride horses and check out the sea turtle reserves at Tamarindo bay!
These top programs for cultural immersion will help you get started. Keep in mind that CIS Abroad builds cultural activities into every program, so you can’t go wrong. No matter where you choose to go (and for how long), you will inevitably have culturally rich and life-changing experiences.