Religion & Spirituality
The level of commitment to religious diversity and freedom can vary by country. It is important to research and understand the religious and spiritual beliefs of your host country. Spending time in a country where the major religion is different from your own can lead to a better understanding of your own notions of spirituality. Additionally, you may wish to connect with a religious community abroad to further your cultural immersion or find a source of support during your time abroad.
Religion & Spirituality Considerations Abroad
- Be sure to look at the student evaluations for your program to find helpful information and advice from Northwestern students who have already studied abroad.
- Look at international news sources like The Economist to get a sense of current political and societal issues in your host country.
- On the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project, explore religious change and its impact on societies around the world through topics such as how religious beliefs shape social values and political attitudes, trends in religious affiliation, and restrictions on the practice of religion.
- Read news and commentary on religion worldwide through BBC Religion and Ethics.
- On the CIA World Factbook website, look for your host country’s page and research the “People and Society” section, where you can find the religious breakdown of the country.
Religious & Spiritual Groups Abroad
For students searching for a particular religious or spiritual group abroad, the following sites may prove helpful:
- International Humanist and Ethical Union: IHEU is the world union of over a hundred Humanist, rationalist, secular, ethical culture, atheist and freethought organizations in more than 40 countries.
- Secular Web: List of organizations, including a limited number of international student organizations.
- World Buddhist Directory: Worldwide searchable database of Buddhist organizations.
- Buddhist Centers and Organizations: List of Buddhist communities in 66 countries.
- Church Finder: Limited international church listings.
- Christianity Today International: International network of Christian ministries.
Many denominations have their own church directories. Try searching for your denomination and your host country or city name.
- Hindu Temples Worldwide: Details of various Hindu temples in Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Australia, Europe, UK and the Caribbean.
- All Hindu Temples: Hindu temple directory in more than 50 countries.
- Islamic Finder: Directory of prayer times, Islamic organizations, and mosques worldwide.
- Muslim Internet Directory: List of organizations and online resources worldwide.
- Halal Restaurants & Stores: Directory of halal restaurants and stores worldwide.
- Jewish Virtual Library: List of synagogues worldwide.
- World Union of Jewish Students: WUJS is an international umbrella organization comprised of 48 national independent Jewish Student Unions around the world.
- KAHAL: Your Jewish Home Abroad: Wherever you’re traveling, KAHAL can connect you to immersive travel experiences in your local community.
- Union of Jewish Students: Organization supporting Jewish students, spanning 60 Jewish Societies (J-Socs), on campuses across the UK and Ireland.
- King's College London Jewish Society: King's JSoc is the social hub for Jewish Students on campus.