Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Study Abroad Opportunities – A Great Way to See the World

By Melanie Cain

Imagine being able to attend class in a lush, tropical setting just minutes away from the ocean. Thanks to an agreement between UIS and Charles Darwin University, students from UIS can now spend a semester or a year studying at CDU, located on the northern coast of Australia.

Prefer something a little more Old World? UIS also has a new agreement with Veritas, a social work program in Romania.

Thanks to UIS’ Office of International Affairs, students also have opportunities to study in Japan, China, Jamaica, Poland, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, and Peru.

International Affairs director Jonathan GoldbergBelle highly recommends that students participate in a study abroad program. He says that by taking advantage of these great opportunities, students are able to “gain an understanding and appreciation of other cultures and people.”

GoldbergBelle also emphasizes that global experience can only benefit students when they reach the “real world,” because international business plays such a large role in the world today. “Gaining international perspectives can help you become a better person and a better citizen in society,” he says.

Jennifer Poss, a senior at UIS, took part in a trip to Ashikaga, Japan, in the summer of 2004 and has nothing but great things to say about it. She says she truly enjoyed the opportunity to communicate with the people, ask questions about the culture, visit different parts of the country, and participate in various activities. “I would definitely recommend that students participate in a study abroad program if they can. It’s so worth the time and money. You are able to learn so much about culture, language, and customs.”

And, since agreements like those between UIS and Charles Darwin, and UIS and Veritas, allow students to pay regular tuition to their home university, they provide a less expensive opportunity for students to travel and study internationally.

CDU, located in Australia’s Northern Territory, is an ideal location for students looking to spend some time in a beautiful and fascinating atmosphere. Near the coast, the tropical area is filled with luscious landscape, great beaches, and a gorgeous harbor. Further inland, savannahs give you a taste of the true Australian Outback. This combination of surroundings provides a great location for environmental studies majors, but the option is open to students of all majors.

The other new addition to the Global Experience Program, Veritas, is a social work program in Sighisoara, Romania. This arrangement provides internship opportunities for students in the field of social work; however, students in other majors are also encouraged to participate in the program in order to fulfill AST requirements.

Study abroad opportunities for UIS students continue to expand as International Affairs works to secure other options in various areas around the globe. For more information, you can e-mail the UIS Office of International Affairs or visit www.uis.edu/internationalaffairs/studyabroad.htm.

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