At The University, students are privileged with the opportunity to study abroad in nearly any country they please. From Ireland to Jordan to South Africa, the possibilities are potentially endless.
Students who study abroad frequently claim that the experience is life-changing and encourages personal growth and development. It provides students with the chance to develop a new set of skills that will help them socially, academically and professionally. Not to mention, it is a successful way to stand out in a slew of sameness.
Students at The University tend to study abroad for a full semester; however, unlike some universities, Scranton offers students the option to go abroad during summer break or intersession rather than during an entire semester. As stated on The University’s website, “intersession study abroad programs are offered by private study abroad providers or by other American universities that work collaboratively with The University of Scranton.”
Speaking another language is not a requirement for students to study in a different country. With careful academic planning, students should also graduate on time. The earliest one can go abroad is in the second semester of sophomore year, and all majors are welcome. Generally, a GPA of about 2.8 is required. Security and safety of all students studying abroad is also a major concern for parents and faculty, and The University takes into consideration the possible risk factors involved in traveling to a foreign country.
According to Michael Simons, the director of The University’s study abroad office, about 70 students and faculty members went abroad over intersession. This number is typically the same over summer break.
“I received three phone calls from parents, and they said what an amazing experience studying abroad was for the students and how much is has enriched their lives,” Simons said. “It can be a truly transforming event.”
He also says that students tend to become more appreciative of their surroundings and are often more aware of things that are different.
Studying abroad over intersession gives “people who are not able to do a semester an international experience,” Simons said.
Senior Lisa Giordano decided to travel to Florence, Italy. Giordano was eager to learn about a different culture and explore new places in such a beautiful country.
“Studying abroad in Florence was like nothing I have ever experienced before; it truly became my home over intersession. Learning about the differences in culture was amazing and seeing all of the amazing structures and buildings was something that pictures can do no justice to,” she said in a recent email interview.
“If I could describe my experience in one word, that word would be ‘memorable’,” Giordan said. “I am very blessed to have had this experience, and everything that I saw and visited has given me long-lasting memories that I will carry with me forever.”
Although it is typical of language majors and minors to travel to the country they are studying, students are not restricted to a particular country by virtue of their major.
“You don’t need to do what has been done before,” Simons said. “There are lots of interesting places that students can go.”
The process for accepting applications to study abroad for the Fall and Spring semesters has begun. For more information, check out The University’s study abroad website.
Feb. 13, 2015