Graduates and students alike dream of traveling all over the world. That desire is one that only grows as the years go on, but not many have the means to get up and leave their lives behind—neither work nor school schedules could be so appeasing.
One way students can continue their schoolwork while traveling is to participate in a study abroad program. Many community colleges have at least one program per year, and universities usually have them as year round programs in different countries.
This year, Fullerton College will head to London during the spring 2016 semester and offer classes in critical thinking, literature and history where all credits are transferable to Cal State Universities and Universities of California.
In addition to the travel experience, Fullerton College’s study abroad website states that:
- Community college students who study abroad transfer faster than those who do not
- Students who study abroad finish their Bachelor’s Degrees faster than those who do not
- Students who study abroad report that they enjoyed college more than students who do not
And most importantly:
- Students have the opportunity for a change in scenery leaving Southern California to a completely new country
Study abroad programs help students by putting them in a new environment and forcing them to become better leaders who can adapt to new social and cultural settings. Many employers also see students who have traveled abroad as stronger candidates with international knowledge and skills.
The requirements are fairly easy to meet and are the same requirements for a transfer or graduation, but the cost has a lot of students turning away.
On top of needing 12 college credits, completing English 100 (or an equivalent class) with a “C” or better, a GPA of at least 2.5 and being over the age of 18; a trip may cost roughly $10,000. But this includes airfare, housing, entrances to museums and tours and an Oyster Pass, which covers traveling through the city via public transportation.
Although the amount accounts for several accommodations, the dollar figure is very intimidating. What students don’t know is that financial aid is available for study abroad programs along with scholarships.
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is one of the more popular scholarships to apply for. They offer over 2,700 awards that can be up to $5,000—half of what is needed for the program in only one scholarship.
Fullerton College also offers scholarships through the John T. Walker and Joy A. Wanden Study Abroad Scholarship program as well as the International Students Program Fund.
With scholarships and financial aid available, students should not feel discouraged to apply solely because of finances. The deadline to apply for the upcoming London trip is October 1.
The travel dates for this session go from March 1 to May 17. For more information visit study.abroad.fullcoll.edu.
For more information on the Benjamin A. Gillman International Scholarship, visit http://www.iie.org/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program.