Students continue education, spending summer abroad

Roberto Hodge, Multicultural Editor

Nearly 100 students are participating in faculty-led study abroad programs for the upcoming summer session, which is an increase of seven students compared to last season.

Kurt Olausen, the director of study abroad, said the amount of time students spend varies depending on the program and credits taken for the summer session. He said in the summer, the office sees a lot of faculty-led programs because of time availability.

Olausen said once students arrive at their destination, they often spend more time in a location; he said it is a way to do something that helps them educationally, but also gain independence.

“It’s probably more fun taking a summer class in Italy than Charleston,” Olausen said.

Olausen said 11 faculty-led programs are available for the upcoming summer, such as Australia, New Zealand, the Bahamas and Belgium. Students participating in the program are coming from the education departments, College of Arts and Humanities and School of Business.

“It’s a pretty nice spread,” Olausen said. “It’s nice geographic and academic coverage.”

He said the program with the most students enrolled is the Bahamas with 21 students who are all from the education departments. Those who are spending their summer in the Bahamas will spend their eight-weeks in a classroom, but also in the environment learning about marine life. However, the smallest is India with four students whom are also from the education department. Because of a lack of enrollment in study abroad for the summer, they have had to cut eight programs.

Olausen said the summer sessions are usually smaller sessions because students do not take as many credits for classes. He said the students who are in the independent sessions of the study abroad may be able to take the most credits — usually six and some may go as high as nine.

The cost of the summer programs varies because it is based upon how many credits taken as well as financial aid. One of the challenges Olausen said is when the full academic year is over and they want to spend a summer abroad they find out most of their aid was spent on the two semesters and the out of pocket expense for summer becomes high.

“They aren’t always cheaper,” Olausen said of the summer sessions abroad.

Olausen said one of the goals for the fall semester is to do more of a collaborative effort with departments for abroad programs. He said one of the collaborations for the fall is the business and communication studies majors are going to Ireland together, which was happenstance.

The two departments were going to Ireland separately and through talks they partnered up for the destination, which Olausen felt that it was a “win-win” situation.

“(Their) program has the potential to be a 25-student program,” Olausen said.

The office is also moving forward with a new website and online application process with the fall, which will be eliminating all paperwork and making everything digital.


Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].