Study abroad program offers opportunities

By on September 27, 2013

With more than 100 destinations available, the study abroad program offers many diverse learning opportunities to students of any major.

While students who study abroad will mainly complete credits for their UC electives, the Global Education department allows students from various schools to receive credits for courses directly related to their majors.

“We are working closely with the departments to offer more courses to students specific to their majors while they are abroad, but save your UC elective credits,” Director of Global Education Andrea Hogan said.

Whether it be a semester long or short-term program, students have the option to travel to Asia, Africa, South America, Europe or Oceania.

Over the past few weeks, there have been country-specific information sessions for areas in Europe, the United Kingdom and Latin America. Though students who plan to study abroad in the winter or spring semester must attend these meetings, all students are encouraged to learn more about education abroad.

Hogan said she recommends all students plan ahead if they hope to study overseas at some point in their college experience.

Aside from the country-specific information sessions that will be happening throughout the next two weeks, Hogan said students have other opportunities to learn about education abroad. Students can visit the Global Education’s office,  the Education Abroad portal on MyQ and the Global Student Ambassadors program where students who have studied abroad share their experiences.

“Health science and nursing students can complete some of their science credits in Ireland and Australia, while business and communications majors can take some of their required courses in places like London and Ireland,” Hogan said.

Senior Christine Fletcher studied abroad last semester in Spain, where she was able to take classes that counted towards her program of study.

“Since I am a Spanish major, it made the most sense for me to go to Spain,” Fletcher said. “I took two online education classes through Quinnipiac, and the other three classes were at the University of Seville in Seville, Spain.”

Fletcher said that although she speaks Spanish, one of her biggest challenges while abroad was understanding the professors, who were born in Spain and used expressions she had never heard before. However, her studies at Quinnipiac helped her to overcome the language barrier.

“All of the classes I took fulfilled my major requirements, so it kept me right on track to graduate on time,” Fletcher said.

Sophomore Tiffany Ruiz, a health science major pursuing physical therapy, applied to the program at University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia for the Spring 2014 semester.

“I should be taking four or five classes, one of which will be Anatomy and Physiology, and the rest will be elective courses,” Ruiz said.

Aside from her goal to expand her horizons as a student, Ruiz said she has always dreamed of travelling the world.

“I have loved travelling ever since I was very young,” Ruiz said. “One of my goals in life is to actually visit every continent, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so.”

According to Hogan, many students, like Fletcher and Ruiz, opt to study in Europe, Australia, Ireland or the United Kingdom.

“Even though students will have a great experience anywhere they go, I strongly encourage people to study in less popular areas like Costa Rica, the Czech Republic or South Africa,” Hogan said. “Students in these areas will get a very different experience, and will really grow as global citizens.”

While planning abroad, Hogan said students will gain a new sense of independence by simply applying to the program.

“The application process is extremely time consuming,” Hogan said. “I recommend that everyone starts early.”

The deadline for students who wish to study abroad in the winter or spring 2014 semesters is Oct. 15, while the GPA waiver deadline is Oct. 1. Students must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA to study abroad, but they can apply for a GPA waiver if they have between a 2.7 and 2.99 GPA.

Although the application process is lengthy, the experience is very valuable according to Hogan.

“In my opinion, you should earn three credits for the application process,” Hogan said. “But it is so important, because students need to plan in order to make it the experience they want it to be. The application is where you start this independent experience.”

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