On Oct. 19, the University of Saskatchewan hosted a travel abroad fair outside of the Neatby-Timlin Theatre on the second floor of the Arts Building. Various booths were displayed by the College of Arts and Science, Edwards School of Business and St. Thomas More College, offering students learning options for different locations and courses.
In order to offer diverse options for students wanting to go on exchange, the U of S has partnered with 136 institutions in 40 countries worldwide. In these study abroad programs, students pay tuition to the U of S but take courses that can transfer back for credit at the partnering university.
Brooke Malinoski, a fourth-year political studies honours student and vice-president academic of the U of S Students’ Union, shares her semester-long experience as a visiting student at Oxford University and the benefits of taking part in a travel program.
“While on study abroad, learning is not restricted to the classroom. Everything is new, so everything is a learning experience. Looking back, I feel like I grew up a lot during my year abroad. Now I am much more confident in my ability to overcome obstacles, something that benefits me in both my studies and at work,” Malinoski said.
The International Student and Study Abroad Centre is able to help any student who is thinking about taking part in a study abroad program. The application deadline for all study abroad programs in the 2017-18 session is Feb. 1, 2017.
Aside from the College of Arts and Science, STM offers two programs: Intercordia, an international service learning program where students travel to Central and South America for eight weeks, and Spring Session in Ukraine, a five week program where students study language and culture in western Ukraine.
Chelsea LaVallie, a fourth-year international studies student, participated in two spring study abroad courses, one in Paris and one in Brussels. LaVallie believes that study abroad offers a unique experience that students cannot get in a regular university setting.
“Yes, you are engulfed in the culture of the city or area you are studying. We would read about the stained glass windows of the Notre Dame, then take the Metro to the actual structure to see these windows first hand … It’s just such a different experience to the classic classroom setting. We get out more, the discussions are more laid back and you get to make friends along the way,” LaVallie said.
Study abroad programs also offer students the chance to travel by themselves or with friends after the program, as well as the ability to earn credits towards a degree. In addition, some programs are taught by U of S instructors, which means that students can build a bond with the faculty outside of the classroom.
Jaclyn Morken, a fourth-year English major, went on a study abroad program to Rome in spring 2016 for the course titled History 308: Rome: Building and Living in the Ancient City.
“I definitely believe studying abroad helped my learning experience, just because of the nature of the course itself. I appreciated the fact that we learned the course material while we explored the city, rather than through a lecture, because I personally find it far easier to learn by engaging directly with the subject matter rather than learning about it while sitting at a desk,” Morken said.
LaVallie shares two pieces of advice for any student considering taking a travel abroad course.
“First, if you are on the fence about travelling, the least you can do is apply. This gives you time to think about it more, figure out funds and, if the class maybe doesn’t specifically work for your degree, get department permission … Second, if you have the means to do so, absolutely travel after the class.”
Graphic: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor