Open house presents study abroad options

Carol Matteucci

Carol Matteucci

By Nick Zombolas

The Study Abroad Office (SAO) opened its doors Tuesday to students looking to travel to Latin America and Spain next semester.

At the open house, students learned about 200 different programs offered in the program.

SAO has an open house for Europe studies, today from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in room 101 of the International Studies Building. There will also be an open house for Middle East and Africa studies on Sept. 28.

According to Gina Bartucci, an SAO adviser, students can choose to study in a total of 47 different countries around the world.

“No matter what you plan on studying, there are programs available for all interests,” she said.

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Students become eligible to study abroad once they have completed their freshman year. A 3.0 GPA is also recommended. However, students with a lower GPA are also considered for the programs.

Most programs offered by the University do not cost much more than the normal tuition and fees for the University.

“The British exchange program is only $1,500 more per semester,” Bartucci said.

Other prices are dependent on the location of the program and students can use financial aid and scholarships toward a study abroad program.

When considering college credit for the programs, students can earn about eight credits for a program over the summer, 16 credits for a semester program and 32 credit hours for a program that lasts an entire year. Bartucci said more hours are also available based on the program.

While studying in another country, students live with a host family, in a residence hall or in an apartment with other students. Bartucci said there is a three-step process in applying for a program.

“First, students should attend one of our First Steps meetings. These are fantastic meetings where students can learn more about different programs,” she said. “Students should then look through the different brochures and information we have. Third, they can set up an appointment with an area adviser to discuss a specific program.”

Tim Fellin, senior in engineering, studied mechanical engineering in Germany last semester.

“Half my family is from Germany and I took German in high school,” he said. “I thought it would be cool to experience another culture.”

Fellin said the experience was a positive one.

“I had the time of my life. I would go back in a heart beat if I didn’t have to graduate,” he said.

Fellin also said the program was affordable because he earned $700 from a fellowship and the exchange rate was good.

“It was very affordable,” he said. “My plane tickets were even paid for.”

On average, Bartucci said between 1,400 and 1,500 students study abroad each year. This number has been increasing slightly over the past few years.

Students interested in learning more about different programs can visit the SAO resource room in the International Studies Building, 910 S. Fifth St. Students can view videos on programs and foreign universities, look over peer advising sheets and talk with different members of the office.