Breanna Brink, staff writer
College offers us countless opportunities to expand our knowledge, but not all of those opportunities take place inside the classroom. Study abroad is one of many ways students can learn about other cultures, grow as a person and further their major while experiencing the wonders of another country. Many questions like how to study abroad, where to study abroad and who is leading these trips were addressed at the study abroad fair, hosted on Oct 18 in the Trautman Union Building.
According to the Saint Martin’s website, the college has study abroad programs in hundreds of locations around the world. Students are able to pick from universities located in Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, England, Finland, France, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Korea, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Scotland, Spain, Wales, and more.
Before discussing which trips are being offered, here are some important things you should know about the study abroad programs themselves.
According to the school’s website and study abroad fair, the cost of a semester abroad can be approximately the same as a semester at Saint Martin’s and financial aid may transfer depending on the program. Students can also earn credits toward your major, minor, or general education requirements! This makes study abroad a great opportunity to do two things at once, knock off some requirements, and see another country. Although students should be aware that they already need to have 12 credits before applying (transfer credits do apply). To help you on your journey to another country, there are several scholarships offered through SMU. Two of the most popular scholarships discussed at the fair were the SMU International Experience Scholarship and the CEA Diversity and Other Scholarship. The International Experience Scholarship offers all programs the opportunity to receive 1,000 dollars for semester programs and 500 dollars for summer programs. The CEA Diversity and Other Scholarship offers scholarships ranging from 400 dollars to 2,000 dollars to students from diverse backgrounds or with personal experiences with diversity. There are several more programs offered, so students are encouraged to check with the SMU Study Abroad Office for details.
After deciding on a location to study abroad, students will need to get a passport. The office of International Programs and Development offers further information about filing for a passport and applying for programs that are being offered during the school year. The minimum GPA required for study abroad is a 2.7, but some programs do demand higher. Students should also be aware that they can not be on behavioral probation or have been on probation the preceding semester. Students can study abroad for a year, a semester, a summer, or take a short-term trip that may only last two-three weeks. The best part is that they don’t have to know any foreign languages before traveling.
Two of the most inexpensive and shortest trips were featured prominently during the fair. Both short term study abroad programs are conjoined with courses available to take spring semester of 2018, with tentative dates featured down below. Gender Studies and Psychology in Germany and Austria will span from May 16-29. According to the pamphlet “students will travel to Berlin, Germany and Vienna, Austria to complement studies of gender studies and psychology. They will look at the Berlin wall in depth, learn about the “pink” victims of the holocaust and explore where some of the most notable psychologists shaped their field.” This trip is being led by Professors Keri Graham and Jeremy Newton. This trip’s prerequisite courses either history of sexuality (HIS 395) with Graham or alternatively social psychology (PSY 395) with Newton.
The other study abroad trip-taking place from May 16-26 is the England and Scotland: History and Mystery trip led by Professors Stephen Mead and Julia Chavez. The pamphlet also offers this enticing description of the upcoming trip: “Travel to London, Oxford, and Edinburgh to complement studies of Shakespeare, Stevenson, Tolkien, Rowling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Robert Burns. See plays in London! Walk highlands in Scotland! and Visit libraries in Oxford. Students will even see a play at the Globe theatre!” There are three corresponding classes for this course, including Literary Studies (ENG 210), Literary Foundations (ENG 220) and Directed study (ENG 397), all taught by Mead.