Studying abroad opens doors
Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 00:09
A recent study done by NAFSA: Association of International Educators found that approximately 1 percent of U.S. undergraduate students study abroad.
The statistic in Europe and Australia is closer to 10 percent, said UConn Study Abroad Program Specialist Abi Hastillo.
“In today’s global economy it makes you more marketable for job opportunities, and it’s the only time in your life you get to do it … It is a great time in your life because you are open to new ideas and people, and it shapes the person you are as an adult,” said Hastillo.
At UConn, 22 percent of students study abroad. This semester’s Study Abroad Fair to inform students of UConn’s programs is tomorrow, Sept. 12 from 4 – 7 p.m. in Rome Ballroom.
Sylvia Cunningham, a 5th semester journalism and political science double major, has studied abroad twice. “I think its one of the most important things you can do. … It’s amazing to live in another country and feel like you’re part of the city.”
Last semester, Cunningham studied at the Free University of Berlin. Her program was direct enrollment. Students of direct enrollment study abroad programs pay as if they belong to the host university.
Cunningham’s other experience was “UConn in Florence” during the summer of 2012.
“UConn in Florence” is a faculty-led program run by professors, with the majority of participants from UConn. Hastillo said there are many faculty-led programs that are shorter term, and run in the summer or winter. This winter there are two new faculty-led programs going to Israel and Martinique in the West Indies.
Exchange is another form of study abroad, which operates between UConn and one of its more than 40 partner universities. UConn students pay tuition to UConn and room and board to the host university.
“What’s great is students are still paying UConn tuition so they can use any type of financial aid packages,” said Hastillo.
In addition to sending UConn students to host universities, students from the abroad university come to UConn. The numbers do not always match up perfectly, but study abroad tries to keep them balanced over time, said Hastillo.
This semester there are 136 exchange students studying at UConn. Many of them will be at the fair to represent and talk to UConn students about their university.
Jack Cordner, a 6th semester finance and marketing double major, is taking the spot of a UConn student this semester who took his spot at the University of Melbourne.
Cordner choose to come to UConn for a variety of reasons. He had heard UConn had a great business school, thought the location was good for traveling to New York City and Boston and wanted to experience the basketball.
He said people should go his university because of its location in the city and the Australian culture. “Melbourne and Australia as a whole are very accepting. You wouldn’t feel estranged.”
Third party programs, such as Semester at Sea, will also be at tomorrow’s fair. Some of these programs also include internships or volunteer work. Although Semester at Sea is one of the most expensive programs, at over $20,000-$30,000 per semester, Hastillo said that a lot of third party programs have scholarships especially for students at public universities.
Representatives from various offices, such as individualized major, international studies, career services, financial aid and pharmacy awareness will be at the fair as well, Hastillo said.