New study abroad application deadlines offered by Fairfield’s Office of Study Abroad are expected to make planning excursions abroad easier for students.
“We’ve really tried to break up our deadlines to accommodate students and get the most amount of students abroad,” said Nicole Moffa, Program Manager of the Office of Study Abroad.
Previously, these sessions all shared a common February deadline. Now, the new application deadlines correspond to the varying academic sessions. According to Moffa, student applications for Fall 2017 must now be completed before Dec. 15. Summer 2017 applications will now be due by Feb. 1, 2017 and Spring 2018 applications are due by May 1, 2017. Moffa suggested that multiple deadlines might be more
efficient for students planning to go abroad because the application due date will now be closer to their semester of departure.
While many programs exist, the Office of Study Abroad has newly launched programs including, but not limited to, The Cultural Introduction to Italy program, the Engineering in Nicaragua program and Healthcare in Cuba, according to Moffa.
The Cultural Introduction to Italy program will be offered in Fall 2017 and is designed for undeclared students, typically sophomores. Courses in the program focus on the core curriculum to explore various areas of study while abroad, such as history, religious studies and natural science.
“To be able to explore the core earlier rather than later is really great for students to declare their majors,” Moffa said.
Sophomore Tom McDonough, who has not yet declared a major, thought that studying abroad during sophomore year may not be the most effective.
“I think it is an interesting and fun sounding program, but I think being centered on campus is more beneficial to the hectic nature of sophomore year,” McDonough said.
Another new option is the brand new Engineering in Nicaragua program set for Fall 2017. The program is open to sophomores. During the semester, students will take various engineering courses conducted in English to satisfy requirements for their majors, Moffa explained.
Students will have the option from May 16-25, 2017 to take a course abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia. The course offered, HI 276, will satisfy Fairfield’s 200-level core History and World Diversity core and is hosted by Dr. David McFadden, Professor of History and Professor Elena Syssoeva, instructor of Russian.
For business students looking to take courses as well as find an internship, new programs exist in both Sydney and Barcelona. The Sydney program will be available both during fall and spring semesters, whereas the Barcelona program will only be offered during the spring.
“Students are not only able to explore their academic major within a global context, but they’re also able to see companies in a global context while they are overseas,” Moffa said about these two programs.
Junior Colleen Green sees value in these types of programs for students in the Dolan School of Business.
“I would definitely be interested because many abroad programs only offer core courses to take and it can be difficult to find business courses to take abroad,” Green said. “Also, companies really value international experience because it helps students better understand international markets, so an internship overseas would definitely give students a competitive edge.”
Healthcare in Cuba, an option for those not able to schedule studying abroad during the academic year, is a new spring interdisciplinary course. The program is open to all upperclassmen in good academic standing and will occur during spring break from March 11-18, 2017. Healthcare in Cuba is an embedded course, meaning that the course meets during the spring semester as a regular course, as well as during spring recess.
Program Coordinator of the Office of Study Abroad Meghan DeCotis suggested that those wishing to study abroad should begin planning early in order to efficiently manage courses taken both on campus and abroad.
“Definitely the earlier the better because it’s important that your study abroad fits with your academics and vice-versa,” DeCotis said.
In regards to planning courses to take abroad, Moffa noted that students have the ability to take courses while abroad that satisfy requirements in their respective majors.
“You can take more than just core abroad. I think that’s a common misconception on campus,” said Moffa.
For any student planning to apply for study abroad, DeCotis said that a mandatory information session is required prior to opening an application. She noted that these sessions prepare students and ease the application process. DeCotis also recommended that after attending a session, students meet with their academic advisor to discuss their academics abroad.
Overall, there are over 60 programs to participate in, giving students options in regards to their academic experience abroad.
“Get outside of your comfort zone. That’s what it’s all about,” DeCotis said.