By Cadence Russell
Studying abroad is back. After being put on the back burner and having faced increased challenges and changes with the COVID-19 pandemic, Global Programs has been ramping up its global courses offered for the upcoming semesters.
“There are so many reasons why study abroad is important. It gives students the opportunity to go out and see the world in a way that they will never be able to again – what job will give you a month off to study and travel?” Elizabeth Renner, Coordinator for Global Programs said.
“It allows students to grow as individuals, challenges their perspectives, and makes them take a critical look at the world. It is a transformative experience that will expand a student’s concept of themselves and their place in the world,” Renner said.
COVID-19 has been a heavy hitter to study abroad programs at universities around the world.
Here at Daemen, Global Programs is offering two courses through their office that are run by faculty, one to Australia (Coral Reef Field Survey, Summer 2023) and one to India (Paralegal Service Learning, January 2024).
“For most students, it takes about a year to plan for study abroad,” Renner said. “This gives students time to research and find a program that best fits their study abroad goals, speak with their faculty advisor, have coursework approved, fill out the necessary paperwork, and apply for scholarships.”
Students have till Oct. 16 to apply for the Australia course and until the spring semester for India.
Global Programs is also partnered with four other study abroad programs, AIFS, CISabroad, ISA/TEAN, and Spanish Study Abroad, all of which offer a wide range of courses throughout the year.
“As soon as a student has decided they want to study abroad, I suggest they contact GPO asap so that they can look into programs and classes being offered so that they can get the most out of their experience, as well as adequately plan out when they are going to go and for how long,” Derrick Lemon, a history and political science major, said.
Lemon studied abroad in Costa Rica in the summer of 2022.
Cost can often be the biggest barrier for students interested in studying abroad.
The cost differs based on a variety of factors, including when, where, and how long the student is interested in studying abroad, but there is help in the form of scholarships, both outside, and Daemen institutional ones.
“I was able to study abroad by applying for many different scholarships,” Akayla Embry, psychology major (2023), who studied abroad in Italy in the fall of 2021 said.
“My biggest scholarship was the Gilman Scholarship which gave me $4000 to put towards my study abroad fees,” Embry said.
Over and over, the best piece of advice given if someone is interested in studying abroad was to start planning early.
Though Renner did mention they have had students plan a study abroad program at the last minute, starting planning early, even if it’s just casual interest, can set the student up for a more successful, and less costly trip overall.
“To start the process to learn more about study abroad, a student can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“One of the Global Programs Office staff will reach out to the student to set up a meeting,” Renner said.
Students can also begin looking at programs under the ‘Explore Programs’ tab at www.daemen-sa.terradotta.com.
There, they can get a feel for potential programs and costs, along with the experience the study abroad program might bring.
“If you are interested in studying abroad, do it,” Tiffany Stayer, who studied abroad in Spain in the spring of 202, psychology (2023) said.
“It is likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and while you may travel after you graduate, it will not be the same as living and studying in your host country, meeting and regularly interacting with the people who live there, and learning the ways of life there,” Stayler said.
Studying abroad is more than just the experience, in fact, it has real career implications as well.
Only about 1 in 10 U.S. college students study abroad, with 64% of employers considering study abroad to be important, according to the Erasmus Impact Study.
“I’d say to just go for it,” Embry said. “There is a lot to be scared about with the unknown but it could potentially be one of the best experiences of your life that you’re missing out on.”