History Heels Abroad
According to the UNC Study Abroad Office, the department of History ranks among the top departments on campus in terms of the number of its majors that study abroad. Through the competitive Boyatt awards, the department helps to defray the costs of studying abroad for some of its majors. History faculty commonly participate popular in study abroad programs, such as Honors London, and act as advisors for students with funding that allows them to do research abroad, such as the Robinson Honors Fellowships. If you need academic advising related to studying abroad, contact our departmental adviser, Matt Andrews (firstname.lastname@example.org). To learn more about studying abroad in general, visit the pages for UNC Study Abroad and Honors Carolina Study Abroad.
The Department is proud of its majors who venture out into the wider world. Here are a few examples of such students, whose study of the past and travels in the present have impacted their educational lives and futures.
“I had the opportunity to study abroad in the United Kingdom at King’s College London this past semester. London was the perfect city for me because it is truly an international city and has many historical sites. One of my favorite classes I took while I was abroad was ‘History and Memory.’ The course focused on how we remember, memorialize, and even forget events across the world. The topics we discussed throughout the semester were often traumatic, controversial, and heavily debated including Apartheid in South Africa, the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and the Algerian War of Independence. Discussing these complicated topics with British students and other international students allowed me to see the different meanings and memories these events have outside of the United States. Adapting to the different standards and expectations of the British education system was challenging at first, but my writing and communication skills grew as a result. While the skills I learned inside the classroom will be valuable to me in the future, traveling was the most enriching part of my experience. I had the chance to travel to several sights that I had learned about in my history classes here at UNC. It is one thing to learn and read about these places, but it is another to actually see them in person. I would not trade my study abroad experience for anything and would highly recommend studying abroad to anyone interested!”
– Tyler Brown (Class of 2020)
“This past spring (2019) I spent 6 months living in Norway and studying at the University of Oslo. I never thought I would ever visit or study in Norway, but doing so allowed me to learn about parts of European History that I had never considered or studied before. Most of my classes had a practical component where we worked in the National History Museum studying and classifying objects related to the periods we discussed in class. In my free time, I travelled around Scandinavia and Europe, and hiked in Norway once the snow had melted. The ability to both live by myself in a new country and travel and experience new cities as well as get hands-on exposure with subjects we studied in lecture was a unique experience that has allowed to grow both as a human and as a scholar.”
– Thomas Armacost (Class of 2021)
“This past summer (2018), I packed two suitcases and flew to Poland for my six-week study abroad program. Poland was a place I had never thought I would visit, but I was enthused to learn about Poland’s extensive history. During my time abroad, I was able to earn credits for history courses. The class that I enjoyed was about the texture of memory of the Holocaust, which provided different perspectives and experiences about the memorialization of the Holocaust and its implications on the country. I was also able to learn about Polish and Jewish national identity. In my free time, I visited various cities in Poland, and I was able to expand my experience in Polish culture. Furthermore, I was able to visit concentration, death, and working camps that Jews from all across Europe were forced to work during the Holocaust. I even learned about groups other than the Jewish people who were also a part of the holocaust, such as the Roma people. I truly believe that this trip was an experience that helped me to better my understanding of different groups of people from all around the world and how their current identities are a result of the history of their people. Overall, this trip certainly helped me grow as an individual who learned the importance of practicing empathy and gaining independence while being on my own for the first time in Poland.”
– Siani A. (Class of 2020)
“I studied abroad in Florence, Italy at the Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute from May 22nd-June 23rd. Florence is the home to the birth of the Renaissance- everywhere I went was surrounded by the most beautiful art, architecture, and history. Before going to Italy, I knew very little about Italian culture or history, and even less about Renaissance art. During the month I spent in Florence, I found a new appreciation for the beauty of art and architecture that I never had before. I took a History class called Italian Renaissance, Civilization, and Culture where we got to experience the history of Florence firsthand, through field trips to the oldest churches in the city, and Renaissance-themed dinners. I think that learning about a different country’s history and culture is essential to understanding our own. As a History student focusing in American history, it was really interesting to learn about all the major historical events that took place in Florence, many of them being centuries before America was even discovered! I was so thankful to get the opportunity to learn about the Renaissance in the very place it began.”
– Emma Miller (Class of 2020)