Religion and Spirituality

Overview

Before you depart for your education abroad program, you should research your host country’s cultural behaviors towards religion, including the dominant religion (if there is one) and the degree of religious tolerance in the country. Many times local religious practice intersects with gender roles to inform the way that people are expected to present or behave. If you plan to practice your religion abroad, talk to host country representatives in advance and look into opportunities where you might be able to worship and observe your religious tradition.  

We encourage you to discuss these topics with your advisers on campus and previous study abroad program participants. We also invite you to explore the following resources and insightful stories. 

UM Resources

Resources, Guides, and Success Stories

General Resources

Religious Diversity Abroad Diversity Abroad’s insightful tips 

profile of the world. 

BBC Religion and Ethics provides news and commentary on religion worldwide. 

The Pluralism Project: The Pluralism Project at Harvard University seeks to help Americans engage with the realities of religious diversity. 

U.S. State Department Religious Freedom Information: The annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom – the International Religious Freedom Report – describes the status of religious freedom in every country. 

For students searching for a particular religious or spiritual group abroad the following sites may prove helpful (adapted from Northwestern University Study Abroad) CHECK  

Agnostic/Atheist/Humanist 

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. 

Buddhism 

World Buddhist Directory: Worldwide searchable database of Buddhist organizations. 

Buddhist Centers and Organizations: List of Buddhist communities in 66 countries. 

Christianity 

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. 

Hinduism 

All Hindu Temples: Hindu temple directory in more than 50 countries. 

Islam 

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. 

Judaism 

Jewish Virtual Library: List of synagogues worldwide. 

Delegation of Jewish American Students: The mission of DoJAS is to provide American Jewish students studying abroad the resources, tools, and connections they need to meaningfully engage with the Jewish community and their Jewish identity. 

Kahal Your Jewish Home Abroad aspires to give Jewish students studying abroad each year the resources, tools, and connections they need to meaningfully engage with the Jewish community and deepen their Jewish identity during their semester abroad. 

World Union of Jewish Students: WUJS is an international umbrella organization comprised of 48 national independent Jewish Student Unions around the world. 

Kosher Restaurants & Stores: Directory of over 3,410 kosher restaurants and stores in over 70 countries.