SWAGS Study Away Experiences

Why study away?

The field of women, gender and sexuality studies is fundamentally international and interdisciplinary. The exploration of gender often requires students to pull from a variety of other fields, such as anthropology, history, literature, politics, race, religion, psychology, sociology, and the natural sciences. Taking women, gender or sexuality studies courses abroad exposes students to a range of cultural practices and ideologies, thereby developing a global framework to further contextualize contemporary issues like human rights, violence against women, and the LGBT movement. Study abroad courses on women, gender or sexuality are available almost anywhere in the world, and each will provide its own perspective and approach to the field of women, gender and sexality studies.


Consult with your SWAGS advisor to plan how best to complete the major requirements if you choose to study away during part or all of your junior year.

Major Credit

The SWAGS Department permits up to three “external courses” to be counted towards the major, which can include courses taken during a study away. Review the “External Courses” section on the Major Requirements page for the step-by-step approval process. We recommend that you obtain approval for your external courses before you depart Amherst for your study away experience.

Quotes from SWAGS Alumni

“I encountered a variety of personalities, as well as people with very divergent upbringings and I think I became much better at navigating these situations...I became informed about issues that plague other regions of the world, enabling me to make more crosscultural connections than before and think of certain topics in more comprehensive manners.”

Melissa Pineda Brown '20
(Amherst - Yale-NUS Singapore Exchange)

“[Studying away] was one of the best decisions I made at Amherst."

Alisa Bajramovic '18 (Arcadia-Univ of Edinburgh)

“I experienced immense growth as I was frequently removed from my comfort zone and required to adapt. I experienced so many new and unfamiliar things and missed home a lot which was a challenge I grew a lot by overcoming.”
Kathleen Isenegger '20 (IES Amsterdam)

“I was able to learn about the experiences of people of color in other countries, but not in the way I expected. I made friends from London from whom I learned more about black women's experiences in Europe. In my Linguistic and Intercultural Mediation class and in my Geography class, I learned about people of color and black immigrants in Spain in a way I was not able to do in person. Our [program] excursions taught us about the history and culture of nearby places we may not have had the chance to visit on our own. We went to Madrid and Toledo, Granada, Lisbon, and Gibraltar (stopping at a few cities between Cadiz and Gibraltar).”

Kennedy Reed '19 (API Cadiz)

“...my time at Howard has made me even more invested in my scholarship of the African Diaspora. I've gained a deeper understanding of the U.S. through my time at Howard. In part, this is due to the fact that I was studying in the nation's capital and learned more about the country through visits to museums and government buildings. But most of the time I spent thinking about this country was not in the classroom. My view of the U.S. was most shaped by the people I interacted with and the experiences I had.”

Amira Lundy-Harris '16 (Howard University)