BROOKINGS, SD (KELO-AM) The other side of the world is waiting. And the Study Abroad Office is ready to help students get there.The Study Abroad Office coordinates many different opportunities for students looking to study in a foreign country, including faculty-led programs, exchange and provider programs. The staff focuses on helping students identify the best placement considering major, budget, timelines and personality.
In the past year, the Study Abroad Office has experienced significant grown in the number of information requests from students, from approximately 50 in 2012 to more than 340 requests in 2013."Students are beginning to recognize how much study abroad is an academic program more than a trip," said Sally Gillman, study abroad coordinator. "They're choosing opportunities that are really contributing to their major."The study abroad opportunities are among the items measured by the National Survey of Student Engagement, more commonly known as NSSE. The survey is currently being delivered via email to first-year and senior SDSU students this semester.While State participates in the survey every other year, NSSE annually collects information from four-year colleges and universities about student participation in programs and activities. The results provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and their benefits attained from attending college.Students are asked about the following:
- Level of academic challenge
- Student engagement of the campus activities
- Student/faculty interaction
- Learning with peers
In the 2012 survey of SDSU students, NSSE found that 55 percent of the respondents tried to better understand someone else's view by imagining how an issue looks from his or her perspective."Studying abroad as an undergraduate student is amazing opportunity to gain intercultural competence," said Briana Troske-Litz, graduate assistant for the Study Abroad Office. "Students will be able to take many unique courses while abroad, but also learn more about themselves."Program optionsFaculty-led programs are a great option for students wanting a shorter experience or interested in studying in a group. Students travel with other SDSU students and are led by SDSU faculty members usually over winter break, spring break or during the summer.During the 2014-2015 winter break, Stacy Scramlin of the animal science department will lead "Expand Your Horizons in South America," a program to Argentina and Uruguay to study agricultural practices and systems while Billy Wilburn of the communication studies and theatre department will lead the "All the World's a Stage" program to England. Students will explore London theater by attending classical, drama, comedy and musical productions as well as visiting the Globe Theatre. One of many options for 2015 spring break is a service-learning program to Belize. A choice in summer 2015 has students expanding their language skills in Germany with the "Berlin to Black Forest" German language program. Contact the office for the other options.As for provider programs, SDSU partners with several entities that offer study abroad programs in almost every nation. Students can choose from fall and spring semester programs, yearlong programs, or summer programs. Students have the opportunity to take academic classes or do service-learning projects.ISA, one of the providers, has more than 250 programs in 22 countries including Latin America studies in the Dominican Republic; economics in Czech Republic; and language, literature and culture in Peru. CIEE, another provider, has more than 199 programs in 42 countries such as summer tropical ecology and conservation in Costa Rica; community public health in Botswana; communications, new media and journalism in Spain; and global architecture and design in Germany.Studying abroad provides students with an opportunity to learn about themselves and be independent. They also make connections with students from around the world that will last a lifetime. Students can take classes that could work with any major and those classes will contribute to a unique SDSU degree and, ultimately, enhance their resume."When a student studies abroad, they experience a renewed sense of purpose and gain many skills that will help them in their future career," Troske-Litz said. "This is the perfect time in your life to study abroad so do it!"For more information, visit www.sdstate.edu/studyabroad and follow www.facebook.com/SDStateAbroad. Contact the staff via phone 605-688-4122 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgAbout the South Dakota State University Office of International AffairsThe Office of International Affairs is the hub for international student services and undergraduate admissions, ESL program, study abroad planning and community connections programs. All services and activities are intended to help enrich experiences and expand global engagement for students, faculty and staff at SDSU.