Why Study Classics Abroad?
The study of Classical Greek, Roman, and other Ancient Civilizations will never be complete without taking time to study abroad. All students will want to find at least some time in their lives to travel around the Mediterranean Sea and to witness for themselves its extraordinary archaeological heritage. What makes Classics so special, however, is just as much the traditions of politics, law, art, and thought that are central to European (and American) history. Virtually any of NYU’s study abroad sites in Europe will confront students with the legacy of the Greco-Roman world, which has served as a model since the Renaissance. Some of the largest museum collections and the fullest receptions of classical culture can be found in great cities such as Berlin, Paris, and Florence. German, French, and Italian, along with English, are the main scholarly languages of Classics. Today the field is also becoming more global as we recognize the parallel transmission of “classical” cultures throughout the world, many of which took shape at the same time and ought to be studied comparatively. NYU is developing courses in Abu Dhabi, Shanghai, and other sites that challenge students to think about the Western Classics in a whole new context.
Where Can I Go?
The most obvious places to study the Classics abroad are in Greece or Italy. NYU Florence (Semester) and NYU Athens (Summer) offer the most convenient access to archaeological sites and museums in the Mediterranean. However, for some students we recommend a Semester at NYU Berlin, where they can study ancient art and have an opportunity to learn German. The question of what study abroad program to choose depends on the student’s plans and aspirations. Preparing for graduate study in Classics requires spending the maximum time possible studying the languages, Latin and ancient Greek. This can be tricky for students who wish to go abroad. However, there are several excellent programs in Athens and Rome run by other organizations for which it may be possible to earn credit towards the major at NYU. Links to these may found below. Finally, the NYU Classics department sponsors an excavation in Cyprus under the direction of Professor Joan Connelly, who regularly accepts undergraduate students. Other fieldwork opportunities are available to NYU students through the Institute of Fine Arts and the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.
NYU Florence (Semester)
NYU Berlin (Semester)
NYU Abu Dhabi (Semester)
NYU Athens (Summer)
The Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome
College Year in Athens
The American School of Classical Studies at Athens
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers other ways to study in Germany
What Courses are Offered?
“The Etruscans” (CLASS-UA 9295 – 4 points)
“Roman Art” (coming soon!)
“Ancient Art in Berlin: Discovering the Collections of Museum Island”
(CLASS-UA 9tba – 4 points)
Besides these two NYU sites with courses cross-listed for the Classics Major, NYU Abu Dhabi offers various Classics-related courses each year that may be counted for the major, for example, Ancient Mediterranean Philosophy. NYU Shanghai will hopefully feature similar opportunities in the future. At NYU Abu Dhabi and other sites it may even be possible to continue the study of ancient languages by tutorials with local faculty or by teleconference with New York.
When Should I Go?
The timing of the study abroad depends on the choice of program and whether one wishes to prepare oneself for graduate study, so it is important to consult with a faculty advisor. Students who have already taken a few Classics courses in their freshman year may wish to spend a semester at NYU Florence or NYU Berlin in their sophomore year, before dedicating themselves to Latin and Greek in their junior and senior years. Students intending to apply to graduate school in classical literature, archaeology, or history, ought to begin the Latin and Greek sequences in New York as soon as possible. They might benefit from a study abroad at one of the intercollegiate centers in Rome or Athens during their junior year, where they can continue their language training and gain first-hand experience with material culture. A summer program, such as the NYU program in Athens, is also a good way to get immersed in ancient culture without disrupting the language sequence.