Study abroad grows amid budget uncertainty
December 7, 2008 1:50 PM
While many academic programs face cuts to their schedule next semester, one SF State department is seeing an increase in its offerings—study abroad.
According to My Yarabinec, associate director of the Office of International Programs, five new OIP programs have been added in 2009—all of which will offer students a full load of transferable classes.
“I think that, in a positive sense, while they are talking about cutting courses here, students may be better off going abroad,” Yarabinec said.
David Wick, coordinator of Study Abroad Services, said 80 percent of those programs are bilateral, meaning the number of students sent to study abroad from SF State is equivalent to the number of incoming international students.
“It is not like we are giving up seats to non-resident students, we send the same exact number [of students] out,” explained John Van Savage, director of the College of Business, who helped create some of the new study abroad programs being offered by the OIP.
Among some of the new programs are a hospitality program in China and Hong Kong, a business program in Germany, Rotterdam and an economics program in Prague.
As Wick and Van Savage both separately explained, the process of adding new programs involves a specific educational department that is looking into having students study abroad and a long process of strengthening relationships and negotiating specific requirements that will benefit students.
According to Van Savage, another benefit of those connections is the high level of education students will receive. He said that most of those universities offer top programs in each specific area.
“We are in a position where we can be picky to where we send our students because of our location,” Van Savage said.
Rommel Cruz is a 22-year-old hospitality major who, according to his own words is one of the "guinea pigs" for the new hospitality program in Hong Kong. Apart from the university's budget cuts, he originally decided to apply to the program because he said it will be good to his education.
“It has been pretty much a long process,” Cruz said. “I was excited to see what kind of classes they offered, I looked for classes that were equivalent to the classes here and it was really hard to find classes that are equivalent to ours here.”
The OIP usually has two students study abroad through a new program instead of the regular five to 10. Dec. 15 is the priority deadline application for the fall of 2009, and Feb. 1-March 1 is the final deadline for fall 2009 applications.
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