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A GLIMPSE OF STUDY ABROAD:Kiyomizudera
Butai in Kyoto, Japan. / Photo by Clint Gleave
April 20, 2009 | LOGAN -- Taking the
opportunity to travel to another country to further
an education “can be one of the best experiences for
a student,” says Kay Forsyth, the director of the study
abroad program at Utah State University.
An average of 350 students study
abroad as exchange students every year at USU. These
students travel to all parts of the world. Some attend
schools in Europe, Japan, China, and even Ethiopia.
Most students attend summer semesters, but others will
attend during the fall or spring semesters or even both.
Students pay USU tuition prices per semester when they
Chris Hudson said, “The cost is worth
it, especially when you’re only paying USU tuition costs
and getting to go to another country.”
Other schools that are not in partnership
with USU but are affiliated are also available. The
affiliated schools offer the same programs as the partnered
ones except in price. A student attending an affiliated
school does not have the benefit of paying USU tuition
cost to attend. The student must pay the intended school’s
tuition costs as a non-native would.
Most schools offer both on-campus
and home stay programs. On-campus is when a student
chooses to live in the school’s dormitories. The dorms
are generally international so students will be living
with other international students. In the home stay
program a student will live with a family off-campus.
“I really enjoyed my home stay
experience,” said Clint Gleave, who attended Kansai
Gadai University in Japan in 2006. “The family I was
living with was awesome. They were all great cooks and
really lenient with me. I would come home at some crazy
hour in the night and they didn’t have a problem with
it.” Gleave is a junior attending USU. Students also
have the choice to live off-campus at their own expense.
Chris Hudson had the opportunity
to experience two countries when he studied abroad.
“I was in an environmental performance program. I got
to stay in England for four weeks and in Italy for one.
It was really cool to see how dark and droll England
is compared to how sunny and bright Italy is.”
An environmental performance is when
the actors use real locations for their show. Hudson
and the students he was with performed in an old house.
They would act out a scene and when it was over they
would move to the next and the audience would follow.
“These plays use real environments instead of built
stages, it’s really cool.”
Sometimes a student may experience
a dramatic situation, like Serena Decker.
“I was riding on the train
to go to Kyoto, Japan, and when I got off the train
I realized that I must have dropped my wallet," she
said. "I totally freaked out! I had all my identification
in it besides my passport and a lot of yen. I jumped
on the next train back and I checked with the station
office to see if someone turned in my wallet. I was
so surprised to see my wallet there and nothing was
stolen. That’s when I learned that rumor that most Japanese
citizens don’t steal is true.” Decker went to Kobe University
As one can see, the opportunities
offered by studying abroad are endless. Learning about
the generosity of others, living with a completely different
family, and performing a play in an on-site location
are just fractions of what Decker, Gleave, and Hudson
got to experience.
Decker said, “I would recommend getting
scholarships when looking to study abroad. If someone
has enough money saved up and scholarships and loans
to pay for a year’s worth of expenses, they wouldn’t
have to find a job and can spend more time exploring
the culture they plunged themselves into.”
“The most important thing a
student should walk away with from their experience
is the appreciation and better understanding of another
culture unlike their own,” said Forsyth.
The Study Abroad Web site for Utah
State is www.usu.edu/studyabroad. The site has
all the information a student will need if they plan
to study abroad.
Some scholarship opportunities can
be found at: www.cdsintl.org, www.iie.org//programs/gilman/index.html,
www.marshallscholarship.org, www.nscs.org, www.iie.org/nsep,
www.phikappaphi.org, www.rotary.rog, www.woodrow.org/public-policy,
honors.usu.edu/, and www.usu.edu/finaid/scholarships.