Thirty-one Troy students are currently overseas as part of various study abroad programs for the 2015-2016 academic year.
This number includes yearlong and one-semester exchanges. The students are in countries such as South Korea, Holland, Germany, Spain, China and Canada.
Maria Frigge, director of study abroad, said she recommends that students participate in these programs to help boost their resumes.
“The main thing that matters to students would be that they can put it on their resume, which means you’re going to be set apart from everybody else when you are applying for a job,” Frigge said. “Sometimes there are hundreds of applicants for a job, and that is something that will help you stand out.”
Several opportunities for students to study overseas this summer are coming up, such as programs to study Spanish in Argentina; business, sustainability and Spanish in Costa Rica; criminal justice in England; History and French in France; Spanish in Spain; Korean culture in South Korea and biomedical sciences in Spain and Morocco. A trip to Japan is also in the works, but the logistics have yet to be finalized.
The prices for these trips range anywhere from $1,000 to $3,033. However, for students who cannot afford these, there are several scholarship opportunities available.
One scholarship that the university provides is the Chancellor’s Award for Global Competitiveness, valued at $750.
According to Frigge, it is “an award that anyone who wants to study abroad in any way can apply. You have to have a 2.5 GPA, a letter of recommendation and to write a letter stating why you want to go abroad.”
Students do not have to be traveling on long-term semester or yearlong programs. Most recipients of this award travel abroad on the short-term, faculty-led trips.
About 79 students received this award in the past year, totaling to $58,500 awarded.
“Being in another country with a different language and culture than mine has been an eye-opening experience,” said Taylor Wilson, a junior English major from upstate New York who is studying in Bielefeld, Germany. “It’s been a roller coaster of ups and downs, but it’s totally worth it. I would do it all over again if given the opportunity.”
“It gives new perspectives on life and a better appreciation for home. Even if you can only manage two weeks over the summer, I highly recommend studying abroad to all.”
Frigge also said that studying overseas gives students a chance to look at their own culture and reflect on where they came from and where they grew up.
“You learn to interact with people from different cultures,” she said. “You might even learn a second language.
“You’re going to run into someone from a different culture. It’s going to change who you are and how you look at life.”
Austin Willingham, a junior communication major from Decatur, studied in Sweden last semester and said that study abroad has been a life-changing experience.
“Although I learned many things from an educational standpoint, the real lessons I learned were about myself,” he said. “I was exposed to many different cultures and types of people, and it made me realize how simple-minded I was and how damaging it is to be that way.
“You truly miss out on great opportunities by being that way. My one piece of advice for anyone thinking about studying abroad: go for it. It’s a crazy thing to think about, but it will benefit you personally, emotionally and mentally!”
To see more on students’ experiences and get information on different study abroad programs, Frigge said to visit the Troy University TroyAbroad Facebook page. She can also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.