Quinnipiac study abroad program on the rise

By on February 5, 2004

Many students would

say that one of the

biggest advantages of coming to Quinnipiac is its study abroad program. This program allows for students at the campus to explore someplace that they would ordinarily never visit. Students can experience food, culture, and history around the globe.

According to Patrick Frazier, director of the Office of International Education, there are currently about 60 students studying abroad, and the office is already starting to recruit people for studying next semester. Their goal is to see an increase of interested students from year-to-year.

“My hope is that at least 50 people sign up,” Frazier said.

Frazier received his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University, where his major dealt with the Middle East and Middle Eastern issues. He then went on to receive a Master’s degree while studying in Cairo, Egypt.

After being abroad himself, Frazier attests to the fact that there are several places around the globe for students to visit.

“[We’re] pretty open to studying in different areas. The major concern is academics and maintained facilities,” Frazier said.

While each location offers its own culture, some aspects remain similar to life at Quinnipiac. For example, according to Frazier,

Tuition and housing costs overseas generally tend to be the same as those in Hamden.

The study abroad program has been in existence for over four years, and there are specific criteria to be met for any student wishing to travel.

The recommended grade point average for the program is 3.0. However, there are some exceptions if students have a waiver signed by Bill Keep, vice president of Academic Affairs.

With many original faculty members remaining, there has been a recent influx of new ideas, and goals, with the new staff.

Frazier, who has been in the study abroad field for the last ten years, came onboard with Quinnipiac within the last six months. Since his arrival, the numbers have gone up in attendance for the study abroad program, and Frazier attributes this to “…a wider campaign by the Office of International Education.”

Frazier also considers the rise in interest due to faculty encouragement in classrooms, and students who come to the university with a pre-planned notion to travel.

“My expectations for my trip were exceeded from the moment I stepped off the plane. The beauty and lively industrial city of Monterrey provided a great environment to learn,” said Rebecca Lowenberg, an alumni of the study abroad program.

According to Lowenberg, studying in an different place, with a different culture, allows a student to experience invaluable opportunities.

“We have been completely immersed in Mexican culture and the knowledge we have gained could have never been attained within the classroom setting of the U.S. I found my experience very beneficial and enjoyable,” Lowenberg said.

Michael Thompson, another visitor to Mexico, agrees that studying abroad gives students a different perspective on studying and learning.

“I think that the study-abroad experience was very good for many of the students. It was a great opportunity to experience the life and culture of Monterrey,” Thompson said.

Aside from visiting one location, students can literally “broaden their horizons” by traveling to multiple places, during one semester.

Eric Sundstrom spent a semester at sea, on a cruise. He went to such places as Japan, China, Vietnam and Cuba; just to name a few. A program such as this enables students to tour the world, and at night sleep either on the ship or at a hotel on land.

In the past, Frazier has hosted a few pizza parties for alumni of the study abroad program.

“The party brought people together to talk about their experiences,” Frazier said. “People have a hard time telling others [who have not been abroad] about it, and it’s hard for them to understand it, if they haven’t experienced it.”

Frazier has been to many parts of the world, and chooses the Middle East as his favorite.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, a study abroad program is priceless.”


About Robert Ballard