CSU expands study abroad program

Studying abroad just got even broader.

This year CSU International Programs added programs in Austria, China, Australia, Ecuador and more.

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CSU students are traveling abroad at higher rates than ever. Last year a total of 1,372 students traveled abroad through programs offered at CSU, experiencing new cultures and coming home with new ideas.

“We have over 840 students traveling abroad annually who are receiving credit. Last year we also had 532 students who went abroad and did not earn credit but conducted research or went on service learning trips like the alternative breaks CSU offers,” said Laura Thornes, CSU’s director of Education Abroad.

In addition to the basic study abroad programs, CSU also offers summer internships, field study programs and alternative spring and winter breaks, according to Thornes.

Many of these programs also allow students opportunities to advance their language skills or to do philanthropic work with cultures for short amount of time Thornes said.

“I believe students should spend time abroad just to understand how big the world is compared to America. It is a humbling experience for anyone,” said Alex Colquhoun, a senior anthropology major.

According to Colquhoun, creating long-lasting friendships from around the world was the most invaluable thing he experienced.

Many students believe going abroad will hold them back from graduating on time, however Thornes said students from all majors have the possibility to go abroad and maintain their graduation rate.

“Currently the majority of students going abroad are liberal arts majors because it is flexible, but CSU is working hard to create programs to students across the board can have the chance to learn abroad,” Thornes said. “For instance, this summer we are offering Grand Challenges in Engineering, a program where select engineer students can learn about engineering during the summer months.”

During this time students will take a look at the longest high-speed train network and the world’s largest hydroelectric power plant.

Several other new programs include Global Sustainability in Nicargua and Learn and Serve in Ghana, among others which can be found on the International Programs website.

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Ivy Hunt, a senior natural resource major studied abroad at the University of Leicester in the spring of 2013.

“My learning had to do with adapting to social norms,” Hunt said. “I wanted to experience England as a local … and it took a little hard work to get into friend groups, but it was worth it.”

According to Thornes, everyone should have the experience. Whether it is a year, a semester, a summer program or an alternative break, it opens eyes and creates international relationships and friendships.

“If you pick the right program it will cost you a little more if not less than a semester at CSU and you can still graduate in 4 years,” Hunt said.

The Office of International Programs website has many opportunities for scholarships to make studying abroad not only a possibility but make it also feasible.

“Students want research programs, internship programs, alternative breaks so we are doing our best to keep adding new programs so every student who wants the chance to go abroad can,” Thornes said.

Collegian Reporter Josephine Bush can be reached at news@collegian.com