International Education Office helps students find study abroad programs


Kelsey Latham Special to the Southern News

Globalization plays a large part in today’s world and students who want jobs in this increasingly diverse society should study abroad.

“It’s important for students to study abroad,” said Brendan Walsh, an SCSU graduate working in the International Education Office. “International experience is important to get used to interacting with other cultures.”

With over 200 different programs across more than 50 countries, five continents and several bodies of water, it’s a wonder where to begin. According to ISEP–International Student Exchange Programs– 283,332 students study abroad each year. To be one of those students the first mandatory step in the process of studying abroad would be to attend an information session which  is run by the office of International Education. The meetings are every Wednesday 1:10-1:50 p.m. and every Thursday 12:30-1:10 p.m. in Engleman Hall A-105.

The meeting will provide information about locations, cost, times of year to travel and more. Students will also be provided with qualification information such as the GPA requirement, which is a 2.75. A representative from the International Education office will available to answer any questions.

Although there are hundreds of places around the world to study abroad, even oceans, most students here at Southern are especially drawn to a select few. According to Walsh, in recent years the most popular place for Southern students to study was Spain. The ISEP handbook, which you can pick up in the International Education office, shows that Spain is so popular not just at Southern but for hundreds of other schools throughout the U.S. because of its many locations and different Universities throughout the country. The handbook also shows that students can study in Spain all year around, which is another reason it is so popular.

Other popular locations among students at Southern according to Walsh are, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Australia, all having similar time and location circumstances to Spain.

Studying abroad is open to students all year around, depending on where students want  to study time varies. So when is the best time to study abroad?

“There is no specific time that’s better to study abroad, it all depends on the student. But this year the spring semester is definitely more popular.” said Jasmine Sharif, a graduate assistant working in the International Education office.

Sharif also said that it’s best to speak with your advisor before deciding what time is best to study abroad. A lot depends on how far along the student is in their major, what classes they should complete while abroad, and what classes are being offered by the University they will be studying at during that particular semester.

To students, cost is one of the most important matters when it comes to studying abroad. According to Walsh the tuition fee should be equivalent if not very close to the Southerns tuition anytime of the year.

“Both semesters,” said Walsh, “are similar if not the same in cost for most countries.”

Studying in the fall versus the spring should not make a change in cost for the the full semester. However, studying abroad in the summer will be cheapest because summer programs are shorter in time. Most students studying abroad in the summer tend to study two to four weeks rather than four or five months, therefore summer sessions would be significantly cheaper. Another aspect that plays into cost is the value of the U.S. dollar. Students may pay more than their Southern tuition in a country like England where our dollar is worth less than the British pound. The cost varies but it should not be significantly higher than what students are currently paying to attend Southern.

With the help of the International Education office and the ISEP study abroad program, the opportunities are endless. Make an appointment with an International Education representative here at Southern.

Photo: Nico Trinkhaus – <a title=”Italy” href=”http://sumfinity.com/category/hdr-photos/italy/” target=”_blank”>Italy Photography</a> – CC-BY-NC

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