Study Abroad/Internship

As part of the requirements of the International Studies major, students are required to spend one semester or summer in a study or internship abroad program. Students must earn six credit hours upon successful completion of the program to fulfill this requirement. International Scholars students may choose from a variety of programs and are encouraged to participate in a study abroad or internship during their junior and/or senior year. Exceptions may be made for students who participate in a stateside internship with international scope with permission from the International Studies Department Chair.

To learn more about Study Abroad for the International Studies Major, click here.

To learn more about general Study Abroad at the College of Charleston, click here. 

Previous Study Abroad/Internship Locations. 

England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Estonia, Switzerland, Russia, Norway

Latin America
Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Honduras, Argentina, Chile

Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania

Middle East/North Africa
Jordan, Turkey, Morocco, Israel

South and East Asia
India, China, Japan, Cambodia

Student Testimonials

Emilia Olson - Travels around the world

Emilia OlsenEmilia Olson '22 is a native of Summerville, SC. She is majoring in Public Health and International Studies with a concentration in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Throughout my time at the College of Charleston, I have been able to study abroad three times. The first time was during a May Away to Estonia with the International Scholars Program. During the two weeks we spent in Estonia, we went to three cities: Tartu, Narva, and Tallinn. The second program was a semester-long, global health-focused study abroad with the International Honors Program at the School for International Training. With this program, I studied in Vietnam, South Africa and Argentina, in both urban and rural settings. My third trip was a study abroad in Havana, Cuba for a semester-long program with the College of Charleston.

One of the most impactful experiences I had abroad was in South Africa. Studying global health, we spent three days in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, which is a township, a remnant from the apartheid policies. While in Khayelitsha, we studied how the built environment affects human health. We also learned about how the apartheid and current political policies have influenced and created health disparities in the country. While I have studied South Africa in the classroom, seeing the reality on the ground and speaking with residents of the township had a profound impact on my understanding of health disparities and racial inequality.

Studying abroad has been one of the most impactful experiences of my undergraduate education. Studying in multiple countries allowed me to understand the idea of globalization from a grounded perspective that otherwise I would have only learned in the classroom. In all of my travels, I learned to be flexible and respond positively to the unknown, which will assuredly benefit me in my future career as a physician. Additionally, I learned to adapt and be open to new cultures, environments, and experiences, even if they are uncomfortable, as well as improve my Spanish communication skills while in Argentina and Cuba.

Host Family Vietnam     Lions Head Mt. S.Africa


Sophia Stoios - University of Tartu Exchange Program 

Sophia StoiosSophia Stoios '21 is a native of Alpharetta, GA. She majored in Political Science and International Studies with a European concentration and minored in Economics.  

In Spring of 2019, I participated in the exchange program with the University of Tartu in Estonia. I spent the semester taking Master’s level political science and international studies classes that focused on the Baltic Sea region.

Studying abroad my sophomore year really taught me how to take academic initiative and be more disciplined in my studies. The class structure at Tartu was very different than CofC, as we only had each class once a week for two and a half hours. There were also very few assignments throughout the semester. In most of my classes there was only a final exam or paper. This structure forced me to create my own study schedule throughout the semester to make sure that I stayed on top of the information and was prepared at the end of the semester.

While at the University of Tartu, I took a class on Nationalism and Right-Wing Movements. It was very interesting to hear about American politics from a European perspective. I remember one day my professor opened class by showing us Brian Kemp’s, Governor of Georgia, campaign videos. Being from Georgia, I was very familiar with them. Everyone in the class thought they were fake and an over exaggeration of what people in the American South believed. They were shocked to find out that they were indeed real. Coming from Georgia, I had sort of become desensitized to the extremism that the American two party system can create. It was both interesting and grounding to see the American system from the eyes of people around the world.

During my time at the University of Tartu, I made some of the best friends I've ever had. I still talk with a group of about 15 people from all around the world every single day even though we have not seen each other since we left Tartu two years ago. In addition to the amazing people I met, I was able to travel to some incredible places. Through the Erasmus Student Network, I took a five day trip to Lapland, Finland and stayed in the Arctic Circle. It was the most amazing experience of my life. I dog sledded, went snowmobiling, rode in a reindeer sleigh, took a polar plunge, and saw the Northern Lights. The entire trip felt so magical.

Stoios sledding    Northern Lights   

Stoios Estonia








Kelly Lifchez - Studies and Interns Abroad 

Kelly LifchezKelly Lifchez 21' is a native of Columbia, SC. She majored in International Studies and Economics.

I was able to study/intern abroad three times while at the College of Charleston. My first international trip was in 2018 for the Maymester program in Ghana. After the Maymester in Ghana, I traveled to Moscow for a three month Russian language study abroad program. In May 2019, I traveled to Maastricht, Netherlands for a summer internship with the Migration and Development Research Group at the United Nations University (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG). In addition to doing migration policy research, I transcribed personal interviews with migrants from many different places, all of whom had their own unique stories to tell. In 2020, I received a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Award for Russian language and was prepared to go to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for the CLS program. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the on-site programs from being held. In 2021, I received another CLS award to participate in the CLS program virtually.

One important lesson I learned abroad was adaptability. While in Moscow, in addition to learning the Russian language, I learned how to navigate through a variety of different situations like reacting appropriately to political controversy, understanding body language in conversation, doing laundry, and night-train etiquette. All of these situations required quick interpretation and an openness to learn. Acclimating to new situations by myself was a very intense and long, practical lesson that I will always be grateful for.

Traveling abroad gave me the opportunity to view my own culture from a different perspective, look at topics I studied in the classroom through a new lens, and gain a better understanding of international problems. For example, in Ghana I spoke with locals about a research project I did on child labor in Western Africa. This conversation made me realize that one can never fully capture the depth and complexity of an issue by simply reading about it. The migration work I did in Maastricht exemplified the importance of humanizing migration policies that invokes empathy. I believe in order to make a worthwhile impact, it is imperative to develop a deep understanding of the people being affected. The International Scholars Program allowed me the opportunity to become a global citizen by submersing myself in other cultures and languages.  

Lifchez Ghana     Lifchez4