10 Great Study Abroad Locations for Literature Students


1. London, England

Featuring the old stomping grounds of Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen and Orwell, London is one of the most popular study abroad destinations among literature students. The English capital features the largest concentration of universities in Europe, including the University of London and University College London. Not content just to live in its literary past, the city features a thriving scene of young writers.

2. Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, one of five designated UNESCO Cities of Literature, is another destination for lovers of English language literature. Considered among the literary capitals of the world, the city is the birthplace of Samuel Beckett, William Butler Yeats and, of course, James Joyce. Dublin is also home to the Dublin Writer's Museum and a very active literary community. In what is a widely recognized literary tradition, fans of Joyce's Ulysses emulate the Dublin walk taken by main character Leopold Bloom on June 16th, or 'Bloomsday.'

3. Paris, France

While Beckett and Joyce began their lives in Dublin, both spent much of their careers in Paris - only two of many famous expatriates to call the city home. France's capital, of course, has been home to many more French writers, including Marcel Proust, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. Many lit students pay homage to these authors by visiting well-known writing haunts such as Café de Flore on the Left Bank or Les Deux Magots on St Germain des Prés.

4. St. Petersburg, Russia

If you are a literature major and you want to improve your Russian skills, why not spend a semester or two in St. Petersburg? This city features the ghosts of two of Russia's most celebrated authors, Alexander Pushkin and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Pushkin, a Romantic-era author widely regarded as Russia's greatest poet, died in the city after being wounded in a duel. Dostoyevsky set Crime and Punishment in St. Petersburg, the city where he would eventually come to rest.

5. Venice, Italy

Venice has been visited by and featured in the works of such notable writers as Byron, Henry James, Marcel Proust and Robert Browning. Finding inspiration isn't difficult in this city, which is made up of more than 100 islands connected by hundreds of bridges. Taking a gondola ride through Venice's system of canals has inspired the imaginations of countless literature students.

6. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is the place where students come from around the world to walk the same streets trod by prolific authors. Prague's literary heritage includes the likes of Franz Kafka, Rainer Maria Rilke and Milan Kundera. The Prague Writers' Festival, which has its roots in London, is held each April and features readings, philosophical discussions and literary panels.

7. Jaipur, India

This beautiful desert city is a burgeoning literary hotspot. The Jaipur Literature Festival began in 2006 and is held each January. It has featured such writing dignitaries as Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie and J.M. Coetzee. The University of Rajasthan and a national university make Jaipur a cultural center in India. It is also a few hours from Delhi, providing quick access for students who like to be near big cities.

8. Tokyo, Japan

The capital city of Japan is also its cultural center. International students can attend classes at one of the national universities or at an institution that delivers instruction in English. Tokyo's strong literary tradition includes writers such as Kobe Abe, Yukio Mishima, Banana Yoshimoto and Haruki Murakami. March 2013 marked the first annual Tokyo International Literary Festival and is sure to be a feature for students each spring semester.

9. Melbourne, Australia

The cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne has a thriving publishing industry. The city is also home to the historic State Library of Victoria and has been designated a UNESCO City of Literature. Those who study abroad at Melbourne universities can attend the annual Melbourne Writers Festival in August. The event brings together more than 500 international authors.

10. Santiago, Chile

Pablo Neruda and Isabel Allende are two of many authors to put Chile on the literary map. Countless lovers of the poet Pablo Neruda arrive in Santiago with the hope of discovering in the city a mere hint of the passion demonstrated by their literary hero. International students can enroll at the Universidad de Chile, the very institution at which Neruda studied French as a teenager before publishing his celebrated collection Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.

Undecided about spending time away from a home university? Find out about the benefits of studying abroad during college.

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