It’s not too late for students to apply for a summer trip abroad with UWG offering many diverse cultural experiences and a plethora of scholarships that lower the cost drastically. International Languages and Cultures (ILC) in particular allows students to receive credit hours on top of unforgettable immersive adventures.
“Within our program, there are three Study Abroad Programs, one to Vienna in Austria, one to Heredia in Costa Rica, and one to Tours in France.” said Dr. Lisa Connell, French Professor and Program Coordinator for International Languages and Cultures (ILC).
“They’re four weeks summer culture and language immersion programs, and students can earn up to 6 credits for the coursework they complete [abroad], and it also is a chance for students to really get immersed in the language, sometimes for the very first time, outside of the classroom,” said Connell.
While the cost for Costa Rica and France may be beyond the average student’s pocket capacity, UWG and other donors give out awards to lower costs. Furthermore, the application is free and takes no more than five minutes to complete. The only requirement is that the student take a 1001 course in the respective language.
“One of our students in the French Program, she [took 101 and went abroad], and it was a really great experience for her. She was in 1001 and then went to France, but she was also the recipient of the Coca Cola Scholarship, which is a $5000 scholarship for first-gen students with under 60 credit hours and so that was a wonderful surprise for her to have earned that scholarship.”
Students who have not yet taken a course in any languages, are still able to take 1001 in the spring and go abroad in the summer.
There are also national awards and many other opportunities that lower the costs of the programs. Students are even eligible for scholarships by simply checking a box on their application.
“I can speak for ILC in particular, about every year we give away close to $10,000 in scholarships to support study abroad students,” said Connell. “These come from a variety of donors and endowments, so we’re really fortunate to have that support both internal and external. Also the Office of Education Abroad on an annual basis gives away a scholarship for students in any program going abroad.
“Students who are able to invest their time into the scholarship search process, generally compensated with some really fabulous opportunities,” continued Connell.
The Vienna program in particular guarantees lowered cost for students with immense thanks to the Halle Foundation which has been granting German language students the opportunity to study abroad for nearly half the cost.
“For the German Program, Dr. Tweraser has been instrumental in gaining support from the Halle Foundation,” said Connell. “And they have enabled students to participate in the German Program for— It’s an exceptional opportunity— for basically less than $2000 for an entire program, but that’s because of what he’s done with the Halle Foundation and what he’s created for students for that program. It’s an amazing opportunity.”
The Halle Foundation in general has been instrumental to funding many Study Abroad programs, making them affordable for students who would not afford it otherwise.
In the name and legacy of Claus Halle, who fought in the Nazi army in WW2 as a teenager, after the war he wished that Germany would never repeat history, and so believed the best way to prevent another calamity was for America and Germany to build a bond— which he also believed was achievable through helping the younger generations. After his and his wife’s passing, the foundation has been maintaining the goal of bridging across cultures and incentivising strong friendships between Europe and America.
ILC hopes that their students not only create bonds across seas, but also create irreplaceable new memories.
“I know that in Costa Rica this past year, they had some really incredible adventures and excursions through the forest and doing ziplines, and really taking advantage of the natural environment there,” said Connell. “But they also had cooking classes students could take advantage of.”
Students interested in a cultural adventure are encouraged to apply, even if they are unable to later there is still the possibility of scholarships. For questions, either contact Connell, or the program directors being Dr. Felix Tweraser for the Vienna trip, Dr. Karen Dollinger for the Heredia trip and Claire Ezekiel for the Tours trip. Applications and additional information for study abroad programs can be accessed here under their respective countries: https://www.westga.edu/academics/education-abroad/study-abroad-programs.php