Sep 152011
 
Authors: Jordan Jacoby

Study abroad coordinator Chris Churma has seen the world. Through CSU’s Semester at Sea program he has been to the Bahamas, Cuba, Brazil, South Africa, Tanzania, India, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan.

Students dreaming of exploring the world and experiencing different cultures like Churma can visit the study abroad fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Lory Student Center second floor ballrooms.

“There will be study abroad programs and exchange relation programs at the fair,” Churma said.

The office has more than 1,000 different study abroad programs from short-term to long-term programs.

“Study abroad programs can be taken for credit or not and CSU has around 900 students who participate in study abroad every year,” Churma said.

The fair has booths set up for students to explore the different programs.

“It’s a great place to start,” said Russell King, a senior and study abroad peer advisor. “From there, students should come in and talk to us.”

Students said they would try to enhance what they’ve learned in school by experiencing other cultures.

“I would do study abroad in Spain since I have taken Spanish and I love their culture,” said undeclared freshmen Mark Goetz. “I would possibly look into it at the fair.”

All of the people in the study abroad offices have experience with study abroad themselves.
“I went to Prague in the Czech Republic,” King said.

King took classes there and also played lacrosse on a Czech Republic team.

“I spent last semester there from February to May,” King said.

He added that he was given the chance to visit other countries in Europe such as Ireland, Switzerland and Spain, to name just a few.

“I did study abroad twice as an undergrad and I did Semester at Sea,” Churma said. “It is a great way for people who want to get a cross-culture experience.”

On the Semester at Sea, students take classes on a ship where they go to nine or 10 different countries along the way.

“With this program I visited the Bahamas, Cuba, Brazil, South Africa, Tanzania, India, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan,” Churma said. “You can get more information about this program at the fair.”

Many students are afraid to do study abroad because they feel as though they will not be able to afford it or the credits won’t work with their major, but that assumption is wrong, Churma said.

“There are options for all majors, and if it is planned right with the advisor and study abroad office, students can still graduate in four years,” King said.

“If students are receiving financial aid, that can be used for study abroad courses too,” Churma said. “There are also scholarships available through the study abroad office.”

The program could even help students who participate with his or her career.

“Study abroad is a great experience for personal and professional growth,” King said. “Study abroad also looks great on a resume.”

Freshman natural resource management major Clay Kungel said he is not sure if he wants to participate in a study abroad program.

“Colorado State has a great program for my major so I would be missing out on some classes here,” he said.

Kungel added that study ing abroad would be a great opportunity to experience new culture; it would be a good way to get out of your comfort zone.

“Study abroad was the best decision I made at CSU and made me get out of my comfort zone and meet friends all over the world,” King said. “It was a very positive experience.”

Collegian reporter Jordan Jacoby can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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