Study abroad takes students around the world

With over 800 academic programs in 75 countries, Guilford College’s Study Abroad Office has something for everyone.

“If you want to study something in Iceland, we can set that up for you,” said Robbie Van Pelt, interim assistant director of study abroad.

Guilford not only hosts programs in many different locations, but also offers many different program styles. Some programs are faculty-led, while others are faculty-coordinated or Guilford affiliated. The Study Abroad Office can help interested students decide which location, type of program and subject matter works best for them.

“Our first question to students is not, ‘Where in the world do you want to study?’ but, ‘What is it you want to study?’” said Interim Director of Study Abroad Daniel Diaz. “We would work with you to connect your academic and professional goals with your personal travel interests.”

One of Guilford’s most popular study abroad opportunities is the College’s fall program in Munich, Germany, which has been running for 40 years. This year, Associate Professor of Physics Don Smith will be leading the trip.

Students interested in the opportunity met on Wednesday, Jan. 17 to speak with Smith, as well as students who participated in the 2017 trip, sharing memories and advice for incoming participants.

“Munich is in the center of a lot of iconic cities,” said Jameson Lynch, a sophomore who went on the 2017 trip. “Make sure you explore to the fullest extent.”

While on the trip, students are able to venture outside of the city and take a trip to Berlin. Despite the availability of these opportunities, Smith believes that finding activities in Munich is easy.

“You can stay plenty busy without traveling all over,” said Smith.

Classes offered in Munich will span many different majors and departments and are taught by both Guilford professors and local teachers. Smith will be teaching several physics classes at different levels. German, political science and film studies classes will also be available.

Aside from its fall programs, Guilford offers a number of shorter study abroad programs during the summer. One such program based in Oxford, England will be run by Visiting Instructor of English Caroline McAlister. Students participating in this program will study famous fantasy writers such as C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and Philip Pullman over a one-month period.

If Guilford doesn’t offer what a student is looking for, they are able to access other academic programs through Guilford’s affiliated study abroad, which is a more independent experience than the College’s faculty-led study abroad programs.

“Students would be more or less on their own,” said Diaz. “They have a cite coordinator or another school we partner with, but these are more independent.”

Guilford also offers internships abroad. Students can work in parliament in Dublin, Ireland or practice journalism in Spain or the Czech Republic.

Since opportunities like these can be expensive, Guilford offers students financial aid and scholarships.

“All students currently receiving a Pell Grant for financial aid is automatically eligible for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which can award up to $5,000,” said Diaz.

Diaz feels that study abroad is beneficial for all students.

“The question to students is, ‘How are you going to connect with the world?’” said Diaz. “Study abroad is perhaps the safest, easiest, academic, professional way to do that.

“Study abroad is something that will follow you for the rest of your life in this really great and fun way.”

Study abroad applications are due by Feb. 23. More information is available to students at http://studyabroad.guilford.edu/ or at the Study Abroad Office in King 108.

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