Students take semester to travel, study abroad

Reporter and Reporter

Some students only dream of taking a semester to study in another country, while others make it a reality.

Education abroad has become popular with some students in recent years.

Nora Solomon, coordinator of Education Abroad, said the locations students travel to most are Austria, Spain and France.

The programs have become more popular with some students because it gives them an opportunity to travel while still going to school.

“Students are realizing the importance and relevance of study abroad in relation to their careers,” she said.

When students go overseas for their program each of them may have a different experience.

“Some students will attend classes in a host University while others will study specialized things,” Solomon said. “Some students will go for community service and others go for internships.”

Solomon said the University is there for students during every step of their program.

“We are always here in the event of an emergency,” she said. “We are here for students from the beginning.”

Sophomore Eric Batts will be studying abroad in London, England, next spring.

Batts chose to study in London so he can continue to work on his acting, he said.

“I’m going for theater and to study theory of theater and work on the craft of acting,” he said.

Choosing London was an easy choice for Batts.

“I love the people, the food is great and the theater in London is exceptional,” he said.

Junior Reanna Farr spent five weeks in Florence, Italy, at Studio Art Centers International Florence.

While studying at SACI Florence, Farr took art classes as well as traveling around Italy.

“I took a painting conservation class,” she said. “I got to restore paintings from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.”

Farr said she did not experience a lot of culture shock, but she did have to adjust to some differences.

“It was definitely different,” she said. “Suddenly going from food with a lot of preservatives to all natural foods was probably the most different. I had to go to the store every other day.”

Sophomore Suzanne Hirsel is currently studying at Escuela Universitaria Cardenal Cisneros in Alcala de Henares, Spain, completing a part of her degree requirements for being a Spanish education major, according to an email from Hirsel.

The school Hirsel attends offers classes made up of all University students who went there to study.

Hirsel is enjoying her time in Spain, but wishes one thing was different.

“I like it, but I wish I was taking classes with natives instead of just the other students from BG,” she said. “It’s taught completely in Spanish so I guess that makes it different from BG minus the Spanish courses offered.”

When adjusting to her new surroundings, Hirsel admits it was a bit hard at first.

“The only thing I had to adjust to was living in a busy city,” she said. “It’s not Madrid, but with the closeness of all the buildings, lack of green space, bus lines, plaza life and multi-story buildings everywhere, my suburban skills can’t really help me here, but it didn’t take long to adjust.”

Studying abroad is recommended by some students who have done it.

“I definitely recommend taking the opportunity to study abroad for a semester, or even a year,” Hirsel said.

The Education Abroad Office offers information sessions a few times during the week for students interested in the program. You can contact the Education Abroad Office at 419-372-0479.