Students, faculty support study abroad despite lack of applicants

By: Rachael Stewart 

September 18, 2013

The study abroad program: it’s an opportunity of a lifetime, a chance to immerse one’s self into the culture of a new place and a dream trip. From London, England to Salamanca, Spain, students have the ability to stay and study in a foreign country, complete with transportation, food, housing, and more for around the same price, or even a fraction, of the tuition of Dominican University. Yet, the experience and memories are priceless.

 “Life was completely different, there was always a trip or new experience in my immediate future when I was abroad,” says Monica Cano, Dominican student and study abroad veteran. 

 Cano has advice for apprehensive students interested in studying abroad, “Study abroad is not mission impossible.  Dominican not only helps fund it, but also really helps make it fit into your 4 year plan.”

With all of the great things that the study abroad program has to offer, it is surprising that last year some trips were cancelled, including the London trip. In regards to the London program, Study Abroad director Sue Ponremy states, “We simply didn’t have sufficient applicants. The London program will definitely be offered to interested future students.”

Even though the program is still being offered this year, there is some important information that should be known to encourage students to take advantage of this amazing program.

First off, everything transfers. All credits earned abroad are applicable to Dominican credits and all Dominican and federal financial aid is available when studying in the different countries because students actually register as Dominican students for the school year and then proceed to take their classes overseas. The only thing that does not transfer is work-study, because students cannot work while studying abroad.

Also, students do not pay for tuition, but for their cost of the trip as well as a shared cost for the directors going on the same trip. So if there are more people on the trip, the cost will be lower and vise-versa if there are less people on the trip. 

According to Cano, there are also options for students who want to study abroad, but do not feel comfortable with being away for a full year, “Students can take part in yearlong, semester, or short term programs. Also, students can stay with fellow Dominican students upon request while studying abroad.”

There are trips that appeal to everyone, even for those in sports, clubs, or who just feel that they cannot commit to a long term trip.

Student and study abroad attendee Brittany Rapala expressed positivity when asked about her trip, noting that if possible, she would do it again, “The experience was difficult at times, yet very worth while. It’s not as intimidating as it seems, just learn how to read maps and navigate without GPS!”

Study abroad is not just an academic program, but more of a life changing experience. From embracing the culture of a new land, getting an education in a beautiful country and making memories that will last a lifetime, study abroad provides students with not only a thriving learning environment, but also an experience that most people could only dream of acquiring.