Become a ‘global citizen’

Michael Lewis

Students offered opportunities to study abroad

As part of Global Awareness Week, the Honors College sponsored a meeting for students interested in studying in Ireland.

Credit: Andrew popik

Imagine yourself attending classes in Palazzo dei Cerchi, a historic 13th century building in the heart of Florence, Italy, or strolling through Leicester and its university in Ireland, located an hour from London, with roots dating back to Roman times.

The opportunity exists for students to select a program, determine the costs, pay for it and pack their bags on the way to a new adventure.

As Global Awareness Week concludes, students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to experience another culture and become a “global citizen.”

“Studying abroad is a tremendous benefit for any student,” said Carolyn Sampson, coordinator of admissions and study abroad. “It gives a student an opportunity to see the world, gain a global perspective and find out what their own country is all about.”

Study abroad programs allow students to spend two weeks to an entire school year immersed in another culture fulfilling the requirements to graduate by earning credits.

According to Sampson, the biggest problem is finding the money to pay for it.

All programs charge an administrative fee of $150 for Ohio residents and non-residents. Health insurance is required by paying a fee of $150.

Each program fee varies depending on the country, but most fall between $3,000 and $9,000 per semester. Program fees include tuition, accommodations and an allowance of meals per week, but they do not include travel expenses such as airplane tickets. Several programs are available for students who are unable to spend an entire semester abroad.

Financial aid is available to help pay for most of the programs. Scholarships are also available through the university and the Internet.

“It is affordable,” said Tara Jackson, financial aid coordinator.

Application deadlines vary between programs. Most applications for fall semester must be submitted between April 1 and mid-May. Applications for spring semester must be submitted between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30.

The director of Center for International and Comparative Programs, Mark Rubin, reviews applications. Students are notified within one or two weeks.

Some common myths about the study abroad program are: Students will not be able to take courses in their major; students have to take courses in their major; it will not help a student get a job; or it is simply too dangerous to travel outside the United States.

Students will be able to take courses in their major, but they may also take courses in their minor. When students return, their academic work will be evaluated and credit will be applied accordingly. Those interested should have a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA to be eligible for most programs.

In today’s job market, employers are looking for overseas experience, according to research by the office of CICP. In most countries of the program, crime rates are much lower than in the United States.

“No matter what the situation is between two countries, all the people have feelings,” international student Miquel Angel Hernandez Ruiz said. “When you have direct contact with people, you know their feelings.”

Why should students study abroad?

Many different reasons were given by students who spent time away from home. Some said it helped break down stereotypes, or it taught them about their own individual boundaries. Others said it helped them value their family and friends more by being away from them.

“Some people feel it’s in their soul, and they want to see the globe,” German program manager Judith Carroll said. “Some want to experience the culture and the land of their ancestors.”

Kelly Mata, international student adviser, said she feels the program helps to build character.

“It gave me a lot of confidence in myself,” she said. “I guess if you can make it by yourself in another country, you can do anything.”

For questions about the various programs, contact CICP at (330) 672-7980 or visit their Web site at

Contact ethnic affairs reporter Michael Lewis at [email protected].