THERE are growing opportunities for students of all ages to study and travel abroad in the quest to learn more about the world and its people. The options include college courses, language seminars, living with a family, reconstruction projects, archaeological digs, and bike trips. Here is a sampling: Toolbox tour of Italy and France
Experience local cultures in Italy or France while helping to rebuild historic sites. Sessions include two weeks in Saint Victor la Coste working on chapels, old houses, walls and paths in a natural monument, and three weeks of restoration work - half in France, half in Italy - at sites including the medieval abbey of San Michel Arcangelo in Montescaglioso, southern Italy. Work may involve masonry, tiling, stone-cutting, and dry-stone walling. No experience necessary. Minimum age is 18. Cost is $320 for the two-week session, $620 for the three-week program (includes air fare between France and Italy). Contributions cover housing, food, and all activities. Contact La Sabranenque, c/o John K. Simon, 217 High Park Blvd., Buffalo, NY 14226 or call (716) 836-8698.
Celebrations and schools in Japan
``Views of Japan'' is a three-week program for 25 people interested in Japan's education system. During the first week participants live with families in the Ngoya area and visit local schools. Next is a five-day seminar in Kyoto on Japanese culture and its relation to education. While in Kyoto, participants will witness the Gion Festival, where floats are paraded through the city streets. Participants also visit Takayama to discover its reconstructed farmhouses and nuri (lacquerware). An overnight stay in a Zen Buddhist monastery is available. The program is open to anyone and runs July 1-20. Participants can earn three graduate college credits. Deadline: April 15. Cost: is $2,991. Contact Helen Bechtolt, (212) 661-1414, Extension 1207, or Mari Eijima, (212) 832-1155.
Uncover dinosaur fossils in the Petrified Forest. Excavate Mayan ruins. Observe the behavior of Savannah antelope in Kenya. These are some of the programs available from the University of California's Research Expeditions Program. Participants make tax-deductible donations from $785 to $1,875 to pay for food, accommodations, and research costs. Partial scholarships are available for students and teachers. Contact University Research Expeditions Program, University of California, Desk K-05, Berkeley, CA 94720 or call (415) 642-6586.
Child care and college abroad
The American Institute for Foreign Study, in Greenwich, Conn., is offers a work study program with college courses in London, Paris, or Salzburg. Student live with families and earn money providing child care 15 to 20 hours a week. Child-care positions are also available without college study in Britain and Germany. Contact American Institute for Foreign Study, Dept. P-9, 102 Greenwich, CT 06830 or call (203) 869-9090.
Teen campout in Europe
For high school students, camping in seven countries in six weeks: Holland, France, Switzerland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Austria, and Germany. The European campgrounds are self-contained villages with laundromats, modern bath and cooking facilities, currency exchanges, restaurants, after-hours security, and sometimes even local entertainment. The itinerary includes cycling through the Dutch countryside, skiing in Zermatt, wind surfing on the Adriatic Sea, castle tours, a visit to the ancient Baths of Caracalla, an Italian opera, and the Salzburg Music Festival. Designed for ages 15 to 18, the $3,800 fee includes round-trip air fare from Chicago, all meals, overland transportation, camping expenses, and tour activities. Call Ms. Shiras, Terramar Tours, at (312) 295-7722.
British Isles on a budget
The Youth Hostels Association of England and Wales offers adult vacations that include cave exploring, cycling, gliding, parachuting, and rock-climbing. Participants spend 2 to 22 days in youth hostels, a dormitory-style hotel, most of which have via cafeterias or snack bars. Open to anyone age 18 or over. Cost: $115 to $300. Contact the British Connection, Suite 240, 2490 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield, CT 06430 or call (800) 654-2171 (in Connecticut call (203) 254-7221).
For more information
Books listing programs for overseas study and adventure include: ``The Teenager's Guide To Study, Travel, and Adventure Abroad'' by the Council on International Exchange, St. Martin's Press, 205 East 42 St., New York, N.Y., 10017; and ``Vacation Study Abroad'' edited by Edrice Howard, published by the Institute of International Education, 809 United Nations Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10017. A local bookstore may be able to order it for you.