Feb 172004
Authors: Jamie Way

For Sara Vaccariello, a study abroad peer adviser, a delayed graduation was not a concern. She took an intensive program in Spain to develop her fluency and was able to earn six credits. She said her experience abroad benefited her in countless ways.

“It makes you a more well rounded person,” Vaccariello said.

CSU students interested in studying abroad may have one less thing to worry about if they spend time researching the foreign university that would best fit them.

Graduation does not necessarily have to be delayed by spending a semester or year in another country.

“There may be people who think they can’t study abroad, because it might put them behind,” said Karyn Sweeney, a study abroad adviser. “It doesn’t have to (slow graduation).”

Many foreign universities offer programs in English, according to Sweeny. The Czech Republic, Japan and Hungary are among the programs in which students are not required to have any prior experience in the native language of the country.

“There’s something out there for everyone,” Sweeney said.

The amount of credits a student may take is dependent upon the university they choose to attend, Sweeney said. To insure a student’s classes will transfer properly, he or she can fill out a form with an academic adviser.

“Before students go abroad they do an academic transfer evaluation form,” Sweeney said.

It is possible to study abroad without delaying graduation, according to Mar/a del Mar Lopez-Cabrales, an associate professor in the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department. She works closely with a CSU program in Spain, which offers the same classes as the Fort Collins campus.

“The program offers credits that are transferable,” Lopez-Cabarales said. “Before leaving, you have to talk to an adviser.”

She said that studying abroad is generally beneficial for learning a language.

“It depends on your ability… but I think for the majority of students, study abroad helps a lot with language skills,” Lopez-Cabrales said.

Studying abroad may benefit students in a variety of ways and is affordable, Lopez-Cabrales said.

“When they come back, they are different people,” Lopez-Cabrales said. “They have been exposed to challenges and a different way of living and perceiving reality.”

Students can live for nearly the same cost abroad as they can live for here, said Mike Wagstaff, a study abroad peer adviser.

Wagstaff said that graduating on time is not a problem if students plan ahead, but it was not his main concern when he chose to study in Austrailia.

“Even if it set me back an entire year, studying abroad was a more valuable experience than any drawback you could think of,” Wagstaff said.

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