By Lisa Nault
Imagine waking up early in the morning and carrying your suitcase down the stairs to the car. You get to the airport and it dawns on you that you are about to go on an adventure. It is both scary and exciting at the same time.
Traveling is one of the best experiences a person can have. Lots of people desperately want to travel to as many places as possible during their lifetimes.
Some students are going to be traveling over spring break next week. When a person travels they get to try new food, experience a new culture, and see how other people’s lives may differ from their own.
Simmons College has a study abroad office to assist students in traveling, giving them the opportunity to study for a long period of time in another country.
Simmons Study Abroad offers semester, summer, and year- long programs for its students. According to the study abroad website, these programs usually are orchestrated by non-profit organizations.
Simmons along with the Colleges of the Fenway (COF) also have some faculty led courses involved in traveling. These courses tend to involve students focusing on one subject or country and can last between one to four weeks.
Simmons students can also participate in exchange programs and volunteer/internships abroad. Depending on what the individual student wants there are options to help find the perfect fit for that students needs.
Is there a certain place the student wants to go? Is there a specific field the student wants to be focusing on? How long does the student feel they want to be studying abroad? By having multiple programs all with unique characteristics, Simmons helps students make the best-informed decision.
If you are interested in applying to a program, the process is simple. The very first step is to look into the approved study abroad programs to make sure the place you want to go is available.
Next, you should talk with your academic advisor to make sure you can fulfill the necessary credits you must earn. Also, speaking to your financial aid advisor would be helpful in order to plan budgets and cost.
After that the next step would be to create an accountant and start an application on cof.studioabroad.com. Then apply for a passport or make sure the one you have is valid for six months after your return.
There is a greater detailed explanation on the process of how to apply to a program which can be found online on the Simmons College website under the study abroad section.
Students sometimes wonder what would they get out of studying abroad. According to Laura Biren, ’12, the experience of going abroad “made me become a stronger person — both physically and mentally — and also more independent.”
Being able to live on your own in a place that you are unfamiliar with in a way forces you to learn to become self-reliant a gain a sense of confidence in the decisions you make.
Studying abroad has also been known to help students find a new appreciation for life. “Studying and living among people different than myself allowed me to become immersed in new languages and cultures that enriched to my study abroad experience and life as a whole. The benefits to studying abroad are endless, providing students with an amazing opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and see what the world has to offer,” said Miranda McDaniel, ’13.
No matter how long the programs are, studying abroad is an experience every student should have while the opportunity is available to them.