Study Abroad: There's no reason not to!
Students brave soggy conditions to attend Study Abroad Fair.
February 2, 2006 1:05 PM
Despite the abundance of rain and lack of tents, an enthusiastic group of SF State’s International Education Exchange Council (IEEC) members participated in the “Around the World” Study Abroad Fair in the Malcolm X Plaza yesterday.
Both resident and exchange students answered questions to interested students, stressing the positive experience that will come out of studying in another country.
“They came as boys and they’ll be leaving as men,” said IEEC officer Osilone Abebe, referring to the exchange students she met through the program.
The California State University (CSU) International Programs and the SF State Bilateral Exchange Programs are official study abroad programs offered to SF State students of any major. The main difference in the two programs is the first lasts for the entire academic year, while the latter is one or two semesters in length. The Bilateral Programs are only open to already existing SF State students or incoming SF State students, and the deadline to apply is March 1.
The deadline to apply for the CSU program for fall 2006 was on Wednesday, Feb. 1, however, possible extensions will be given - depending on the program - making the final deadline on Monday, Feb. 6.
Since eligibility depends on individual students and the particular country or program of interest, the best ways to find out more about studying abroad are to either meet with an advisor, or attend an informational meeting. Study Abroad informational meetings are held throughout the day in the Study Abroad Office, located in the administration building, room 450.
Student grade point average, preparation and prerequisites will be considered, but most programs only require one semester of a language class in order to participate.
IEEC advisor Marisa Thigpen stated that money will not be an issue. There is no application fee or foreign student tuition to pay, making tuition fees exactly the same as they are at SF State, she said. Regular SF State financial aid is applicable and scholarships are also available. Thigpen emphasized that most countries have a lower cost of living especially compared to an expensive city like San Francisco.
Students concerned about the program delaying their plans to graduate in four years need not worry either – all credits received abroad will appear on transcripts as resident credit, according to Thigpen. Registration priority will be given to international students, which is especially beneficial to those with impacted majors, making it easier to take classes needed to graduate, she said.
Even though her abroad experience held her back some, one SF State senior did not mind the time lost.
“Regardless of how much time I may have lost, I know that I’ve grown as a person,” said
Traveling abroad is worth prolonging the college experience, according to Thigpen. “I don’t know why there’s this rush to graduate on time in four years," she said. “Unless you have a job lined up for you, then why does it matter if it takes a little longer?"
Another SF State student learned a great deal during her time as an exchange student.
“You meet people from all over the world and travel around, and then realize how things are really different but also similar at the same time,” said Kristin Anderson, 21, a liberal studies senior, who studied in Amsterdam. “It makes the world seem smaller.”
For more information about study abroad programs, visit www.sfsu.edu/~studyabr.
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