Where Will You Go This Summer?

Now’s the time to start planning ahead. Take a look at what we have on tap for Summer 2017 faculty-led programs!

Application deadline: March 15th


*Countries shaded in cobalt blue and teal are locations of summer programs

Not sure which program is right for you? Contact an advisor at studyabroad@towson.edu!

Q&A with one of our previous study abroad superstars!

Dr. Alexandra M. Towns, graduated from Towson University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies.  Her study abroad experiences at Towson consisted of the German Language Immersion program in Summer of 2002 at Carl Von Ossietsky University in Oldenburg, Germany, the Spanish Language Immersion program in Cuernavaca, Mexico over Minimester in 2003, and finally the Butler University Study Abroad at Chilean Universities Program in Santiago, Chile over the Spring semester in 2004.  In 2015 she was also selected to be the Towson Honors College Alumnus of the year.  Dr. Alexandra M. Towns is now a medical ethnobotanist working at Naturalis and Leiden University.

Alexandra Towns

Q: You had the opportunity to study abroad multiple times while at Towson. What (or who) got you started and how did you choose your program?

As an international studies major, I was very motivated to learn about other parts of the world. Studying strictly in a classroom setting, however, was not enough- I realized that I needed to have my feet on the ground to really understand other countries. I was a Spanish language minor, so I wanted to not only improve my language skills in a Spanish-speaking country (Mexico 2003), but also to challenge myself to take university-level coursework in Spanish (Chile 2004). The desire to learn German (Oldenburg 2002) was motivated by my heritage; my mother immigrated to the US as a teenager from Germany, and although I had visited with our German relatives many times as a child, it wasn’t until college that I had a chance to really learn the language.

Q: Have your experiences abroad met your expectations? Exceeded them?

My experiences abroad, both as a Towson student and in my professional life, have continuously exceeded my expectations. Traveling, studying, and working abroad have had a major influence on the person that I am today.

Q: Your study abroad experiences were a large part of your time at TU. How have they affected your career path?

Before even applying to Towson University, it was my intention to work internationally. However, the opportunity to study abroad in different contexts provided the initial occasions to test out my ideas of living abroad and helped to build my skills and confidence. It also helped friends and family adjust to the type of lifestyle I would be living.

Q: Of all the places you’ve been, both study abroad and in your life after TU, do you have a favorite? Where and why?

I’ve been extremely lucky to have traveled and lived in many places across North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. I’ve backpacked across South America, worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, completed a doctoral degree in the Netherlands, researched herbal medicine in Benin and Gabon, attended an academic conference in Hong Kong, and traveled and visited friends all over the world. Each place has inspired, challenged, and surprised me in so many ways that I couldn’t possibly choose a favorite. But I can say that one place in particular has a very special place in my heart: Niger. It’s an incredibly humble location- very hot, dry, and dusty with some of the lowest human development indicators in the world- but also with some of the kindest, funniest, and most generous people I’ve ever met.

Q: Many returned study abroad alumni speak about an “ah ha” moment or a particularly powerful memory. What’s yours?

I can’t say that I have one particularly strong memory, but sense of smell is a really powerful source of remembering for me- be it a tea that I was introduced to in a country, a spice that was used in a specific cuisine, the odor of certain leathers used in artisan handicrafts, or just something in the breeze on a random Tuesday- I am immediately transported back.

Q: What would you say to students worried / concerned / afraid of studying abroad?

I would say to take those fears of studying abroad seriously- realize that there are real risks to your health, security, and well-being. Inform yourself how to avoid/prevent them by doing your research, talking with others, and taking all precautions, but then hop on a plane and go!

Student Blogging: Oldenburg, Germany


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend a whole semester as an exchange student in Oldenburg, Germany, studying at the Carl Von Ossietzky Universitat? Then follow along with Michele’s blog as she explores this historic city over the Spring Semester! Join her on this adventure into the heart of Europe as she discovers new foods, new places, and new people!

Airplanes and Wanderlust


Michele Chen

Oldenburg, Germany

Spring 2015

Q&A: Contemporary Art in Berlin with Carrie Fucile

We interviewed Professor Carrie Fucile from the Art department about her upcoming summer study abroad program to Berlin, Germany. Get to know more about her program here: http://wp.me/p2S0DC-mX

Carrie Fucile Towson

Q: Tell us a bit about your own background.

I was born in Baltimore and raised north of the city in Monkton. I left home to attend Dartmouth College where I earned a B.A. in Art History modified with Studio Art. After college, I lived in New York City for several years, working in the publishing industry until I decided to go to graduate school and pursue Fine Art as my career. I ultimately went to Brooklyn College and received an MFA in Digital Art.

I’ve traveled a fair amount in Europe and have spent a lot of time in Italy. I think I’ve been there four times. The second and third were in college: once on a tour through the country with my singing group and another as a study abroad student.  I studied Art History for a semester in Florence with my favorite professor, which was truly wonderful. I’ve also been to France, England, the Czech Republic, and, of course, Germany.

I studied French very intensely through my primary and secondary education and then when I got to college I started taking Italian classes. Recently I’ve attended German lessons at the Baltimore Kicker’s Club and the Goethe Institut.

I’ve been teaching Digital Art at the college level since 2006 at a variety of schools, including the University of Delaware, Rivier College, and UMBC. I’ve been at Towson since 2010.

Q: Why is Berlin unique for artists or individuals interested in art?

Berlin is the place to go in Europe if you are into art.

It is teeming with artists, musicians, filmmakers, museums, galleries, and alternative spaces. It’s a very international place as well—creative people come from all over the world to live there. The city has always been a center for alternative and artistic culture, but its recent rise to prominence in the art world happened after the fall of the Wall, when artists had access to cheap or free space that was vacated in the former Eastern sector. It’s been twenty-five years since that occurred, but the city still remains an extremely vibrant, inspiring, and affordable place to live and work.

Q: How will the individual projects benefit the students, what are some examples of projects they could choose?

For each project, students will be given a theme to respond to in any medium they choose. This allows students a lot of freedom to either continue developing a process they are already working with or explore new things. Each prompt connects to what we will be learning about and seeing at that particular time. The topics are: past/present, self/other, and local/global.

Q: What part of the itinerary are you most excited about?

I am thrilled to teach on site and not in the classroom. I can’t wait to introduce students to Berlin and the art it holds—much of which is very different from what they might have experienced in States. Some venues I’m most excited about are the Sammlung Boros Collection, the Me Collectors Room, and the Hamburger Bahnhof.

My favorite thing about teaching is the moment when students are completely amazed and excited by something they’ve never seen before or thought possible. There are going to be a lot of moments like that on this trip.

Q: What would you say to encourage prospective students to choose this program?

I think that this program will change your life and world perspective. I’m not kidding!

Summer 2015 Faculty-Led Program: Exploring Contemporary Visual Art in Berlin

Exploring Contemporary Visual Art in Berlin

Photo Courtesy of “Paradise in the World”

Berlin, Germany

Courses: ART 494 Exploring Contemporary Visual Culture in Berlin

Fearless Leaders: Prof. Carrie Fucile

Site visits: Museums, galleries, historic sites, and artists’ studios interspersed with theme-based art projects.

Did you know for this program students can explore the media of their own choosing!?

To see the Horizons program page click here!

International Studies Abroad: Student Blog

There are so many places to see all over the world and this blog is helpful when trying to get information on numerous countries at once. This blog was created by International Studies Abroad (ISA), a national organization designed to create programs to help students study abroad. This blog contains information about a wide array of different countries that ISA sends students to.

ISA Student Blog