By Maxime Devillaz
Assistant Sports Editor
With the spring semester off to an icy start, many students might be thinking about heading off to another country, perhaps to escape the snow, maybe to immerse into a different culture. Students interested in traveling overseas, while maintaining their academic obligations, can take advantage of Post’s Study Abroad program.
The LIU Post Study Abroad program offers many opportunities for students from all majors to study abroad. Patricia Seaman, director of the Study Abroad program, encourages students to seize the opportunity to travel abroad. “We currently have between 75-100 students who study abroad each academic year, but we are always trying to increase awareness and participation in the program,” she said.
All students in good standing, who have completed one full-time semester, are eligible to study abroad. Seaman believes the largest misconception that prevents students from participating is its perceived inaccessibility. “Students, who do study abroad are often amazed at how easy it is to put the whole process together. Financial aid is available, every major field of study can partake, and study abroad is an experience available for every student,” Seaman explained.
The program has a couple of standard destinations. “Australia and England are the most popular destinations; perhaps because they are both LIU programs, so financial aid and scholarships directly apply,” Seaman said. In other words, these affiliated programs allow students at Post to use the financial aid they normally are entitled to, including most scholarships.
However, there are lots of alternative routes for students who seek to experience other countries. In fact, LIU host’s Global College, which holds centers in China, Costa Rica, India, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey. LIU Global is attractive to students participating in the four-year-long Bachelor of the Arts program. However, the school’s involvement in Global College makes it an option for students to visit these countries even for semester-long studies, according to the LIU Global website.
Each regional program provides an overview of the history, politics, culture, ecology, and economy of the area. In addition, students take essential language courses and have the freedom to choose from an array of courses, including independent studies.
Nevertheless, if an especially attractive country or field of interest applies to a student that is not offered directly by LIU Post, the option to work with a company indirectly through the Study Abroad program counselors is also possible. However, these non-affiliated programs do not necessarily grant students their scholarships from Post.
Christoffer Andersson, an international student from Sweden, is familiar with the concept of a non-affiliate program in which his dream of studying in Hong Kong, China, became real. “LIU Post did not have direct exchange programs with Hong Kong Polytechnic University. So instead, the organization I went with, GlobaLinks, organized apartments in the central areas of the city, which worked perfectly fine,” he said.
The many alternatives to go for, makes it difficult to list specific costs. “The cost is dependent on each individual program. However, the affiliated programs will cover tuition abroad, although room and board fees will vary depending on the program,” Seaman said.
Due to Andersson’s choice of picking a non-affiliated program, he had to pay slightly more than the tuition at Post. Although, taking advantage of the opportunity to visit China was, according to him, definitely worth the price. “Hong Kong is an amazing city for students because of its extraordinary mixture of attractions. Everything from high quality nightlife to cultural, and historical monuments lies behind every corner,” Andersson said.
Too many options can leave interested students feeling overwhelmed. Therefore, Seaman emphasizes the importance of asking the program counselors for assistance.
“Each student’s program is unique and developed in conjunction with academic counseling to ensure that the student will receive not only an enriching experience, but also one that will complement and enhance the work they do on campus,” she said. Seaman also points out the fact that the vast majority of programs will give students credits to their major here at Post, which makes the valuable time abroad even less of a waste.
Students applying for an affliate program, can start the program the beginning of their sophmore year, through the first semester of their senior year, and before the beginning of their senior year in case of a non-affliates program. The program generally works on one or two semesters; fall, spring or summer.
“I would highly recommend every student at Post to take advantage of a semester abroad,” Andersson said. “From other people, I know who have been a semester abroad, they only have positive feelings towards it.”
Every semester, representatives from the different programs come to inform students interested in studying abroad. Students, who missed the information table on Feb. 12, in the Hillwood Common’s Lobby, during common hour, can attend the next sessions on Feb. 19, and 25, every date represents a different destination.