Study Abroad Applicants Increase for 2012 Programs
Lily Alvarez, Tower Staff
November 4, 2011
Filed under News
The Catholic University of America Education Abroad experienced a 22-student increase in applications to Study Abroad in the fall and spring semesters of 2011-2012. In the 2010-2011 year, 177 students went abroad. This year the number of students has increased to 199 students, not including the summer programs. Almost a third of the scholars going abroad are Architecture students, while the rest belong to other majors. The length of the Study Abroad programs can be for one summer, one semester, or even one year.
There are more than 18 different destinations the University has to offer. These includes Japan, Spain, Italy, Mexico, and many other countries. According to
Ella Sweigert, director of CUAbroad, the most popular destination is Rome.
Some interesting but uncommon destinations that the CUAbroad program offers include Rabat, Morocco; Cape Town, South Africa and Salzburg, Austria. Only one student traveled to Morocco during the Spring 2011 semester, while two students are traveling to Cape Town Spring 2012, both of whom are currently studying in the Oxford program.
“What I expect of this study abroad experience is to be outside of my comfort zone, to be able to immerse myself in the Italian culture,” said Lauren Scharmer, a sophomore social work major.
Scharmer is planning on studying abroad in Rome in the spring. She said that she can’t wait to get there and experience what the city has to offer. There are many cultural and historical sites to visit, as well as many opportunities to have fun and learn.
“The process of arranging a Study Abroad experience was not difficult at all. CUA students are fortunate in that the university makes it very easy to study abroad; the application process is straightforward, and it’s usually not difficult to transfer course credit,” said Mickey Jackson, a CUA student currently studying abroad in Oxford.
Jackson plans to continue his Study Abroad experience in South Africa in the spring semester. He said that studying abroad can open doors for new college and life experiences. Being immersed in a new culture can change the way a person sees and thinks about things. It can provide a wider picture of the changes that the world is going through.
Picture yourself in a different country, speaking another language, in an environment you are not familiar with, eating food you didn’t know existed. Jackson said that although this can be intimidating, it is a valuable opportunity that can mold a person’s character and point of view.
“A semester in Africa will give me an opportunity to leave my comfort zone and gain a firsthand perspective on life in what is still, in many respects, very much a developing country,” Jackson said. “In addition, CUA’s Cape Town program offers a wide course selection and the opportunity to participate in field research, which will be a great experience as well.”
Current students abroad offered advice to those who are considering studying abroad sometime during their CUA career: bring comfortable clothes, pack lightly, prepare to walk a lot, dress nicely to make a good first impression and travel as much as possible.
“The idea of studying in another country can be somewhat intimidating, but there are a lot of CUA students who have done it and are more than happy to answer any questions that you have,” said Jackson. “If you want to talk to a student about a particular program, just contact CUAbroad and they’ll put you in touch with someone. Above all: make the most of it. Once you graduate into the real world, you probably won’t get the chance to spend four or five months at a time exploring other countries.”