Written by: Olivia Hunt, Staff Writer Sonoma State STAR
Ever consider taking an education beyond the normal limits-- perhaps to the extent of venturing into another country? With about 20 booths advertising their programs, students wandered over and browsed the assortment of options in preparation for a potential study abroad trip. Traveling overseas to continue their education is a concept most students contemplate while in college but are intimidated by the idea.
The purpose of the fair is to educate students on the different options they have and what program suits their major. Because there are many concentrations within a particular major, it’s vital to research a program that meshes well with one’s singular interest.
There are many programs that are able to accommodate financial, location, housing and course credit needs. For example, DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia is a program geared towards those studying early childhood development.
Other programs that tabled at the fair have a broader spectrum of options such as CEA study abroad, which accommodates more majors and is involved in twelve countries. Matthew Janus, regional director, took the time to discuss the details of his program. Janus said a big focus of their company is career development in order to attract students hoping to gain experience outside of the classroom with internships, service learning and volunteer opportunities.
“We have internships in a lot of places that count as academic credit combined with courses students take so they’re always embedded in an academic framework,” Janus said.
CEA offers a global development certificate. Meaning a student is matched with a professional in their field of interest and meets with them periodically throughout the semester in order to learn how business works in that country.
“We are also focused on students gaining language acquisition,” Janus said. “Most of our locations require students to take at least one language course while they’re abroad in order the enhance the experience.”
Going abroad on an academic level while in college is only one approach to travel. Regional representativ Barbara Smith, was at the fair to discuss joining the Peace Corps. The only requirement for this program is a Bachelors degree in any area of study. In order to be considered, the online application must be filled out 9-12 months before the departure time. The student is are required to complete three months of training in order to acclimate to the environment and learn the local language, followed by 24 months of actual hands on work.
While in the country the student is working for, they receive a stipend that covers the cost of the flight, food and housing. Upon return, they are also given $8000 back in order to integrate back into the U.S. This is an example of how one can gain valuable life experience and education that may be less pricey with less specific requirements.
Global Student Ambassador Paige Cummings attended the event to make sure everything went smoothly and the students got what they came for.
“We offer a lot of different programs at Sonoma for working, interning, volunteering and studying abroad,” Cummings said. “Right now we have a lot of different vendors here to show their different programs as well as our own programs that we can give information for. We’re just trying to get as many people as we can to at least have a little bit of interest in going abroad and give everything an equal opportunity.”
The programs mentioned are only a portion of the many options students are given if they wish to travel abroad. International Hall is currently holding both group and individual informational meetings regarding studying abroad. More information onthe dates and times of the meetings can be found at seawolfliving.com