With second semester already in full swing, students are finding themselves thinking about what to do with their spring and summer. A summer spent studying abroad could open up a world of new perspectives, and the University of Saskatchewan’s Go Abroad programs are here to help.
The U of S has developed relationships with various international institutions to offer a large range of summer term study options. From France to the Philippines, or Denmark to Russia, courses offered in English are available to students across a variety of majors — if you have an interest, there is likely a program for you.
Some highlights of this year’s programs include a chance to study Russian culture at the North-Eastern Federal University in Siberia, and an opportunity to study at the beautiful Bifröst University in west Iceland — a campus situated between a volcano and a glacier!
There are also courses available in French, through the Mission Interuniversitaire de Coordination des Échanges Franco-Américains exchange program — an organization that coordinates exchanges at various Parisian universities — and German, at the Hessen International Summer University. These programs would be perfect for students who would like to fully immerse themselves in their host country’s language.
A major hurdle for many who wish to study abroad is the financial strain of international travel and the other hidden expenses that come with it. For many programs though, accommodation, meals, transportation, health insurance and field trips are included in their fees. Students may only end up paying for travel costs and personal spending, provided they receive enough funding from outside sources.
Some programs offer bursaries to aid students in financing and additional grants are offered from many sources. The U of S International Student and Study Abroad Centre will provide students with $250 for programs less than one full term — perfect for those short summer terms — until available funds are exhausted. More funds are available for longer stints abroad.
The centre encourages any students who feel their finances could get in the way of their chance to see the world to come and talk to them about funding options, as various opportunities for funding are available and are given based on program, financial need and academic merit.
Students may also wonder at what point in their academic career it would be best to take advantage of a summer abroad program. Chantal Hanson, an international education officer at the U of S Study Abroad Centre, has some advice.
“Any time is an ideal time to participate in a Study Abroad summer program! Some of our partners’ programs do only accept students at a certain academic level but if a first-year student is interested in studying abroad in the summer I would strongly encourage them to come into the International Student and Study Abroad Centre to discuss their options,” Hanson said.
Nervous first years with a passion to see the world should not fear stepping out of their comfort zone and taking classes in a new country. Those who feel overwhelmed by the application process can also take full advantage of the services offered by the Study Abroad Centre.
“The only thing a student needs to start the application process is the desire to study abroad. From there, [we] can assist you in finding what is the right fit for you and how to proceed with the application process,” Hanson said.
A summer abroad is a big decision for anyone and should not be taken lightly. That being said, application deadlines are fast approaching, some as early as Feb. 1. Travel is something many students wish to experience in life, and an opportunity to take part in another culture and further one’s education shouldn’t be glanced over.
The International Student and Study Abroad Centre has drop in hours from 1 – 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9 – 12 p.m. on Wednesdays. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 306-966-4925.
Image: Theodocia Quagraine