‘Experience of a lifetime’ awaits students

by Martha I. Fernandez
Staff Writer

A different culture, new food and a variety of languages are a few of the components of experiencing ULV’s Study Abroad programs.

The University offers a variety of programs for students to take advantage of and make college at ULV and in another country as fulfilling as possible.

Dr. Al Clark, coordinator of Study Abroad said, “Study Abroad is the experience of a lifetime. It’s something you can tell your grandchildren about. For most, it’s the highlight of their college experience.”

Unfortunately, only about 5 percent of the student body participates in this opportunity.

Clark said the Brethren Colleges Abroad program (BCA), founded 31 years ago, is the most convenient program for students to take part in. This program is put together through an effort of the six Brethren colleges. Every site has a director who is staff from one of the Brethren colleges whose job is to make students’ experiences abroad as comfortable as possible. Students can keep their full-time status, financial aid, and ULV rights and privileges such as health insurance while they study abroad. All credits earned while studying abroad are ULV transferable.

Leos can spend a semester in Europe studying in Barcelona, Spain; Chel­tenham, England; Marburg, Germany; Athens, Greece; or Strasborg and Nancy, France. If a student wants to travel in the Americas, programs are offered in Quito, Ecuador; and Xalapa, Mexico. In Asia students can travel to Sapporo, Japan; and Dalian, China.

However, to study in France, Germany, Spain, Mexico or Ecuador, students must be fluent in the native language and have the approval of a ULV foreign language instructor.

China and Japan offer language intensive study, therefore students with a desire to learn a new language are welcome. Some schools have a strong emphasis in other areas. Nancy has a business graduate program and Cheltenham has a very strong education major, as well as others.

Senior Joel Gingrich studied in Cheltenham during Fall 1993. “I would go again in a split second,” Gingrich said. “You have a lot of time by yourself and find out a lot about yourself.”

A unique campus is that of Athens, which is a part of ULV and has many of the same attributes. It has a population of about 900 students, 21 full-time faculty, labs, and a library. General education requirements, business and behavioral science courses are abundant at this school.

“In general, students can work out G.E. requirements, major courses and even internships,” Clark said. “Internships are available in about all majors.”

The costs of Study Abroad is computed by adding tuition costs at ULV, board at Stu-Han or Brandt, a 19 meal plan, and $400 in fees. These funds cover full tuition and board in another country.

Most programs also set aside about two weeks to travel around the country and to sightsee. This is also covered by the original costs. The Ecuador program takes an excursion to the Galapagos Islands. In Dalian, trips are offered to Beijing. The program in Barcelona takes tours to southern Spain and sometimes into Morocco.

The education systems in other countries differ from the United States. At times a special curriculum is drafted in order to give students grades.

Gingrich said that most courses were 50 percent based on a paper and 50 percent test. Readings for a course are left up to the student’s disposition and attendance does not count as much as it does here.

Deadlines for applications for the BCA program are April 15 for the fall and Nov. 1 for the spring. The executive director for the BCA program is Dr. Alan Deeter, who will be on campus Oct. 13 from noon to 1:20 p.m. to answer any concerns of students.

January Interterm also offers opportunities to travel abroad. Intensive Spanish language training is offered in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Clark said that occasionally some professors offer courses around the world. This term a trip to Brazil is being offered by Dr. George Keeler, associate professor of journalism, and Don Pollock, associate professor of communications. A business course is being offered by Dr. Htien Han while students travel throughout South America. He also sometimes leads trips around the Pacific Rim.

In the past, Dr. Jonathan Reed, professor of religion, has taken students to Israel and Dr. Sharon K. Davis, professor of sociology, has offered a course in England. A political science course has been offered by Dr. John Jang, professor of history and government, to Hong Kong and China.

For further details, books on studying abroad are available in Wilson Library with more information.

Martha I. Fernandez, Features Editor
Martha I. Fernandez
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