Studying abroad: what you should know

By on October 10, 2006

Studying abroad is a popular thing to do while in college, and Quinnipiac is no exception. Most students go during their junior or beginning of senior years, and some go at other times depending on when it works best with their major.

“I went to Australia in the fall of 2005, and I think it is an experience of a lifetime I would never forget,” said senior Laura Larrivee.

Most students from Quinnipiac choose to study abroad in places like London, Ireland, Australia and Spain. These destinations offer many options for traveling.

“I recommend you do as much as you can afford,” Larrivee said.

“While I was in Australia, I traveled to places like Sydney, The Great Barrier Reef, Surfers Paradise, and ended my semester in Fiji,” said senior Caitlin Litevich.

People come home with so many stories and experiences to share with family and friends. The cultural experience is something that cannot be learned about in a classroom. It is hands-on. It can be interesting to see how classes are run differently and the way people from other cultures act and talk.

“The people, the culture, and the overall atmosphere surrounding me, were beyond my expectations. I would go back in a heartbeat if I had the ability to,” Larrivee said.

To start the studying abroad process, a student must attend an information session run by Patrick Frazier, the university’s director of international education. It is recommended to attend one early, even if the student is not sure if they want to go abroad. After the initial meeting, students have to figure out what country to visit, and then set up a meeting with Frazier to discuss their proposed plan of courses, fees and payments, and the cultural aspect of a country. At this time, an application should be sent out for a passport if a student does not have one already, and then another for a student visa.

The International Office encourages students to use programs that QU is affiliated with, including AIFS, AustraLearn, API, and Semester@Sea. Once the International Office approves a school of study, the application process starts. Once accepted into a school abroad, forms from the Registrar have to be filled out and courses must be approved. It is important to have options in case courses are unavailable upon arrival.

A packet of papers must be filled out and signed by various faculty members.

Once everything is set and ready to go, the last thing to do is bring the office a copy of the student’s passport, visa and flight information.

A mandatory safety and security meeting is held toward the end of the semester before going abroad. The three hour long meeting covers what to do in case of any type of emergencies, and other important topics.

“The safety meeting was informative and gave me ample information on Australia and going abroad,” Litevich said.

Frazier informs students of important information about countries, and Web sites for more up-to-date information. This meeting is extremely important because there are so many details about traveling abroad that are overlooked by students.

Another thing to note is that when studying abroad each student is only allowed two suitcases and one carry-on to bring with them for the entire semester.


About Marissa Criscitelli