Study Abroad: So Many Places to Go

Keenan Thungtrakul/The Avion Newspaper
This summer’s Greece programs were heavily advertised during the Spring Forum. While the program is expensive, this program is travel-intensive, with classes happening anywhere but a room. The Greece programs include a two-week sailing trip around the Cyclades Islands, with numerous chances to swim in the clear waters of the Aegean Sea.

Keenan Thungtrakul/Senior Reporter

Tuesday night featured a showcase by the Office of Global Engagement (OGE) of this summer’s study abroad opportunities, both for summer and long-term. There are at least 15 different summer programs to choose from, and this number does not include spring break programs or semester/yearlong opportunities too. The programs that were advertised the hardest were the two Greece programs. If you get a chance to go on one of these trips, you will have the time of your life. You will sail the Greek islands for two weeks, explore the mainland, then culminate in a discovery/research workshop with Aegean Airlines or a reflection on the impact the Greeks had on what it means to be human. Previous Greece programs had the opportunity to investigate the mysterious Antikythera Mechanism and conduct original research with the team leading the effort.

Keenan Thungtrakul/The Avion Newspaper / OGE student employee Sidney Bradbury shares her travel experiences with the group attending Tuesday’s Forum.

If such a trip proves to be too expensive, there are plenty of other options to consider. However, please be aware of deadlines. They can and will sneak up on you. The deadline for both Greece programs (Summer A and B) is Friday, 26 January. The Summer A deadline is Monday, 5 February and the Summer B deadline is Monday, 5 March. To apply, find the program that best suits your needs, then download the application from the Office of Global Engagement website. When you apply, be ready to put some money down. The initial deposit is $500, which includes a $100 application fee, which is non-refundable. Should you wind up withdrawing from a program before the posted deadline, they will refund the deposit in full. Withdraw after; you may face additional cancellation fees, so decide carefully.

Having trouble financing your study abroad plans? Well, financial aid does apply. However, they only come in the form of federal loans. School aid that applies in the spring and fall does not apply. Scholarships are available through the school and externally, and are excellent methods to fund your trip. Be aware that to qualify for school aid or loans, you must be enrolled full-time for summer (minimum 6 CR). The deadline to apply for internal scholarships is Thursday, 15 February. Student veterans seeking to travel can apply for the Wessel Scholarship, deadline Thursday, 25 January.

No matter the program, it is still cheaper to study abroad than take classes here on campus for summer. Exploring a new country is unquestionably better than staying on campus. Plus, you pay only half the tuition. The classes are instructed in English by ERAU faculty, and most if not all programs include 3-day weekends and field trips for students to travel. Program fees cover organized activities, lodging, and some food. International flights and most food expenses are separate, giving students the freedom to create their travel plans and explore the culture that they are being immersed in on the trip. Not interested in summer programs? Global Engagement also has shorter spring break programs and long-term exchange programs. Spring break programs require an additional lab fee to cover program expenses (check with OGE for whether they include flights). You’ll take the class here on campus and travel over spring break. On the other hand, an exchange program allows one to spend a semester or a full year in another country. There are both bi-lateral exchange programs and GE3 exchange programs specific for engineering majors. On an exchange program, you still pay ERAU tuition while you attend a partner university. From the words of OGE student employee Julianna Martorella, you’ll have the chance to stand out on a resume, network with and form friendships with people from around the globe, and have stories to share in an interview.