Studying abroad is one of the most advantageous opportunities offered to college students. Not only do you get to travel to a foreign country to learn about their culture and lifestyle, but you also get to earn credit towards your degree while doing it. The International Services and Programs (ISP) Department at the University of West Georgia aims to create these opportunities for UWG students through partner universities and short-term study abroad programs.
Currently, ISP offers programs in France, Germany, Costa Rica, Italy, Hungary, China, India, Russia and England. Short term programs can range anywhere from one week, like the Management Department’s Spring Break Trip, to 10 weeks, like the German Department’s summer trip. Students can also opt to take a full semester or academic year in countries such as England, France and Germany. Approximately 190 UWG students are currently enrolled in short term programs, and around 10 students have gone abroad for the entire fall semester.
“When students do an exchange program they are UWG students, so they earn UWG credit, pay tuition and fees here and then go study abroad,” said Maria Doyle, Director for International Services and Programs.
Choosing to study abroad can be especially rewarding for students working towards a language major or minor. The programs directed towards languages are Germany, France and Costa Rica.
“Studying in the country is truly the best way to learn the language because you have to use it. You also realize it’s okay if you make a mistake because they’re really happy you tried and eventually you do get it right,” said Doyle.
ISP emphasizes sending our students abroad, but every semester UWG also welcomes new international students to our campus. Currently there are approximately 170 exchange students on campus, with the majority coming from Germany and France.
This semester marks the beginning of ISP’s new Buddy Program, which pairs a UWG student, typically one that has studied or is interested in studying abroad, with an international student. The program was developed to help international students adjust to our campus and also to give UWG students a chance to learn about different cultures.
“I’d like to see us find ways to reach out and engage students on campus. We want to get more students involved in ISP activities and allow them the opportunity to get to know international students,” said Doyle.
For students interested in studying abroad, ISP will be hosting a Study Abroad Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Technology Enhanced Learning Center.