Studying beyond the books

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The college offers students to economically study abroad

By Tucker Swiastyn

Photo by Anya Ivantseva
Photo by Anya Ivantseva


cswiasty@jccc.edu


Students have the power to make it possible for themselves. Determination and commitment create a possibility to become a reality. The thought of studying abroad may seem out of reach for many, but the college provided and continues to provide ways for students to experience different worlds.

The study abroad program at the col­lege allows students to study in 27 dif­ferent countries through programs such as Central College, IPSL and CCIS. This gives students a choice to study on almost every continent.

Money is the issue at heart. The cost of programs has scared many away from the chance to experience different cultures.

At this time, China is the most cost-effective study abroad trip at the college. . With a price of $4,000 a semester, the average tuition cost here at the college, a student could study abroad in China. However, traveling will always have a cost.

“If it is something you want, then isn’t it worth working for? Just like col­lege, you have to show up every day, you have to pay every semester, you have to do the work,” said Administrative Assis­tant of International Education Barbara Williams. “If you can make college hap­pen and you want to study abroad bad enough, then you can get a job and save your money to make it happen.”

Four-week sessions are available for students who might not have the funds for a one-semester or two-semester trip. Also, if a student is a Pell Grant recipient here at the college, they are eligible to ap­ply for the Gilman scholarship.

The Gilman Program distinguishes itself from other programs by awarding over 2,000 scholarships up to $5,000.

From helping and working with countless students who have studied abroad, Williams has seen students make the money for themselves, go to the coun­try of their choice, experience the culture and return.

“Students learn more about them­selves, who they are, their inner strengths, what they’re made of. You learn a lot about your own culture,” Williams said. “You have grown up in this country and have almost absorbed everything through osmosis. You are culturalized as a child.”

What the unique experience study­ing abroad has in contrast with traveling abroad is tourism. Studying abroad takes away the tourist experience and creates a way for students to live and be immersed in the culture.

“If you go to study in a different coun­try, you realize your whole life you’ve grown up looking at this map of the world,” Williams said. “And you know in your mind all these people that live in these countries, but when you go there and you live there and you study there and learn about that country and culture, it opens your mind more to the reality of opportunity. It brings you back more hungry to learn more.”

The study abroad program is open to all students who are hungry for the expe­rience that it has to offer. It has brought many students to a place beyond what they have imagined was possible.
 

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