Jan 212003
 
Authors: Adrienne Hoenig

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Studying abroad can cost students less than a regular semester at CSU.

CSU hosts exchange programs with 19 universities around the world. Students can stay as close as Canada or go as far away as Japan. Programs that are not directly sponsored by CSU can still be counted for credit, as long as it is approved by the administration.

“Students can go pretty much anywhere in the world that there’s a university,” said Karyn Sweeney, study abroad advisor at CSU.

The price for studying abroad has a wide spectrum as well.

“Some programs are cheaper,” Sweeney said. “But some are more expensive, mainly because of airfare.”

The least expensive program is in Prague, Czech Republic. Studying at the University of Economics in Prague has an estimated $6,009 price tag for one semester. This includes tuition, room and board, books and supplies, health insurance, student visas, personal expenses, airfare, and study abroad fees.

Compared to attending CSU for one semester, in-state students spend an estimated $7,726 and out-of-state students pay about $12, 361. The most expensive study abroad program, at Kansai Gadai University in Japan, runs approximately $11,510 per semester.

The University of Pittsburgh offers a study abroad program to students from any university called Semester at Sea. It has a session every semester that offers students a 100-day voyage around the world. The price of Semester at Sea varies according to trip.

Catherine Wolfe, a senior health and exercise science major, returned from a semester at sea at the end of the fall 2002 semester. She said it was one of the greatest experiences of her life and strongly recommends that students explore Semester at Sea as a study abroad option.

“It was amazing,” she said. “I got to have so many new experiences with so many different kinds of people.”

Ali Cochran, a sophomore liberal arts major, is taking her advice. She plans to study at sea in spring 2003.

“I can’t wait,” Cochran said. “It is going to be so cool to see so many different people and places.”

Different universities around the world also have different focused study areas.

“Just like CSU has different majors, different schools abroad have different majors,” Sweeney said.

All classes that students take while studying abroad automatically transfer as electives, unless signed off otherwise by an advisor.

Most study abroad programs have minimum academic requirements. Sweeney said it’s a good idea to have at least a 2.5 to 3.0 GPA before applying. Some programs, like those in France and Spain, also have a language requirement. However, many foreign universities offer classes taught in English.

To apply, students must be at least a sophomore, be in good judicial standing, have a letter of recommendation from a faculty member and write an essay detailing why he or she would be a good study abroad candidate, Sweeney said.

Zac Einerson, a junior history major, spent a semester studying in Prague. His experience abroad changed the way he views the world and himself. He said any student who has an opportunity to study abroad should do so.

“In today’s America it is more important to study abroad than it was a few years ago,” Einerson said. “The experience enabled me to rebuild my world from a base of respect and understanding of the world and myself.”

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