BXA students are encouraged to study abroad to broaden their interdisciplinary experience. In the last five years, 34% of BXA graduating seniors have studied abroad.

Study Abroad Highlights

Madeleine Barnes
BHA, Creative Writing and Art: Prague, Czech Republic

Madeleine Barnes, Prague, Czech RepublicThe Prague Summer Program at Charles University gave me the opportunity to study poetry and photography for four weeks in the Czech Republic. Over the course of the program, I got to travel to different locations inside and outside of Prague, attend lectures and poetry readings, and get to know the country that has affected many of my favorite writers and artists. My photography class went on excursions to different historical sites, including the Prague Castle (which I am standing outside of in the photograph), Kafka's grave, towns on the outskirts of Prague, the concentration camp Terezin, and the Kutna Hora bone church. We also traveled to different artist's houses and studios and learned about their lives as artists in Prague (some photographers we met were Jan Pohribny, Jindrich Streit, and Miro Svolik). The PSP writing workshops were immersive and introduced me to writers from all over the world. Studying with them affected my writing and reading on multiple levels and furthered my interest in Czech literature and poetry. Both classes were eye-opening and directly supportive of my interdisciplinary studies at CMU.

Katherine Chin
BHA, Psychology and Architecture: Beijing, China

Katherine Chin, Beijing, ChinaStudying abroad in Beijing meant immersing myself in both the vanishing traditional lifestyles of old Beijing, as well as experiencing, first hand, the implications of a city in the face of rapid development and growth. Although I stood in awe before the innovative architectural masterpieces I learned about in school, I still found myself most attracted to the soon-to-be demolished old villages and slow-paced lifestyles. My interdisciplinary studies allowed me study the curious dichotomies that I encountered -- ancient and modern, old and new, rushed and tranquil, Chinese and Western -- from the perspectives of architecture and psychology, to better understand how the physical spaces we live in -- be it Beijing or Pittsburgh -- affect the way we lead our lives, and vice versa.

Nicole Rappin
BHA, Cross-Cultural Communications and Music History & Culture: Lima, Peru & Bergamo, Italy

Nicole Rappin, Lima, Peru & Bergamo, ItalyIn Peru I studied at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Lima where I spent a week doing a crash course in field research techniques at the Institute of Andean Ethnomusicology. After that I traveled to three different parts of Peru (Huaylas, Pisac, and the Mantaro Valley) to observe and participate in music festivals and collect audiovisual material. In between each trip I returned to the Institute to catalog my findings for their permanent archives. I study Music History and Cross Cultural Communications through BHA and this ethnomusicology program was a really direct fusion of my two disciplines.

In Italy I received TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification and then taught at an English immersion school in Bergamo, Italy teaching English to 6-8 year old Italian children. The experience was incredible. Having to communicate only in English to children who
don't understand any English really made me think about language and the other tools that we use to communicate. Teaching in this way really supported my Cross Cultural Communications major. Also, living and working with Italians fully immersed me in the Italian culture which
supplemented my Music History and Culture major as well.

Sarah Murcek
BHA, Psychology and Music Performance with a minor in Hispanic Studies: Madrid, Spain

Sarah Mucek, Madrid, SpainEstudio Sampere is a Spanish language school based in Madrid, Spain. Through the Carnegie Mellon Modern Languages department, students can take intensive language immersion classes and live with a host family for 4 to 6 weeks through Estudio Sampere. My concentrations are Vocal Performance and Psychology, but I am minoring in Hispanic studies and have always been very interested in the interaction between music and psychology in Spanish-speaking countries where music seems to be more intertwined with the culture. In addition to being able to attend festivals, flamencos, and block parties, Estudio Sampere offered daylong trips to historic cities like Segovia and Toledo. Madrid is a beautiful and exciting city with an excellent transportation system. It is very student-friendly with many special rates on metro tickets and museum entrances offered to students. However, one of my favorite parts of the experience was getting to know the "madrileños" (people who are from Madrid), whether it be the clerks at stores I frequented, my professors at Estudio Sampere, the maid in my host family's house, or members from the church I attended. All had very interesting perspectives to offer on the city, and on life in general which made the summer really special. Additionally, my oral proficiency and comprehension in Spanish improved dramatically over my four weeks in Madrid, and now I am looking into doing work interpreting for the mental health field and eventually teaching and doing music therapy both abroad and within Latino populations in the U.S.

Courtney Wittekind
BHA, Anthropology and Art: Burma/Thailand
Borders: A Transnational Photography Project

Courtney Wittekind, Burma/ThailandAs a junior in the BHA program, I spent seven months studying and researching abroad in Thailand, along the country’s western border with Burma (Myanmar). With the support of the BXA program, Carnegie Mellon’s offices of International Education and Fellowships and Scholarships, I was able to secure a Boren Scholarship, which funded my independent research and language study, and allowed me to design my own experience abroad.

Over the course of my time abroad, I worked on an independent research project that focused on gathering narratives of refugees, migrants, and displaced persons from Burma, currently living in Thailand. Using both traditional anthropological research methods, as well as participatory arts activities that asked research subjects to draw, paint, and photograph their experiences and memories, I was able to learn a great deal about the experiences of those living in the region. In addition to my research, I also participated in intensive language study, both with a tutor and in a traditional course in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

All of these experiences were incredibly beneficial- teaching me how to transfer the interdisciplinary concepts and ideas from my academic study, and apply them to real world situations and experiences.

Samantha Zucker
BHA, Linguistics and Design with a minor in Professional Writing: Rabat, Morocco

Samantha Zucker, MoroccoSIT Morocco helped me see the real world relevance of my studies in the BHA program. Their thematic semester, extreme integration into the community and month long independent study helped me better understand the country in ways I never imagined. The program guided my experience, but still let me apply my own knowledge to it. The theme of my semester was Migration and Transnational Identity, which allowed me an in-depth look at what identity really means in the 21st century. At the same time, the complex language situation in Morocco taught me how language changes and can be used, while also testing my abilities to find ways to communicate. The experience has changed how I look at everything I read and design, giving me endless experiences to draw on.

A selected list of places where BXA students have studied in the last few years:

  • Beijing Language and Culture University, Beijing, China
  • Boston University, London, England
  • Burlington College, University of Havana, Havana, Cuba
  • Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Ireland
  • Center for Art and Culture, Aix-en-Provence, France
  • Center for Balkan, Hellenic, and Mediterranean Studies, Athens, Greece
  • Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Cultural Experiences Abroad, Sorbonne, Paris, France
  • CUPA, Paris, France
  • Estudio Sampere, Madrid, Spain
  • Global Student Experience, Barcelona, Spain
  • Goethe-Institut - Munchen, Munich, Germany
  • IES, Barcelona, Spain
  • Institute for American Universities, Aix-en-Provence, France
  • Moscow State Linguistic Institute, Moscow, Russia
  • Parsons Paris, Paris, France
  • Pontifica Universidad Católica, Lima, Perú
  • School for International Training, Dakar, Senegal
  • School for International Training, Prague, Czech Republic
  • School for International Training, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Scuola Lorenzo De'Medici, Florence, Italy
  • SIT Study Abroad, Arusha, Tanzania
  • Speos Photographic Institute, Paris, France
  • St. Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Strate Collège Designers, Sèvres, France
  • Studio Art Centers International, Florence, Italy
  • Temple University, La Paz, Bolivia
  • The Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai, China
  • Tokyo Polytechnic Institute, Tokyo, Japan
  • Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, Lima, Perú
  • Universidad de Belgrano, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
  • Universidad de Sevilla, Seville, Spain
  • Université de Cannes, Cannes, France
  • Université de Grenoble, Quebec City, Canada
  • Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada
  • University College, London, England
  • University of Duesto, Bilbao, Spain
  • University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
  • University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  • University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • University of Wales, Swansea, England
  • University of the Arts, London College of Fashion, London, England
  • Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea

For more information on studying abroad download (PDF) the Study Abroad in BXA Advising Sheet and visit the Office of International Education's Study Abroad web site:

Contact: Christine Menand, Coordinator of Study Abroad and Exchange Programs, Warner Hall 322, Phone: 412-268-5231, Email:

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