By Alana Hu
Rather than having an extended winter break or taking classes online or on campus, more than 20 students studied abroad during January term.
For two weeks, students and two faculty members traveled to Italy for an art and literature study tour, visiting Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan, and taking side trips to Pompeii and Pisa.
Led by professors Melinda Posey, department of art, and Jason Crawford, department of English, students earned up to seven academic credit hours.
The trip allowed students to receive credit for Arts in Western Civilization, World Literature I and II, or Walking for Fitness.
Students varied in studies from nursing to communications and sports medicine. The trip was open to Union faculty and staff and all current students of any major who were able to experience firsthand the historical sites that pertained to what they were studying.
“While this trip was not specifically for me as a nursing major, I was able to take a world literature class that would go towards my core classes,” said Kenley McQuiston, junior nursing major.
Other students ventured to different countries alone to study at universities.
Cara Myatt, senior Spanish major, spent the month of January in Calparaisao, Chile, after discovering its international studies abroad program at a fair at Union.
However, before she could travel to study at Pontificial Universidad Catsmica, Myatt had to apply to be accepted into the program and complete a rigorous application process.
“As a Spanish major, I have to immerse myself in the Spanish language and culture as much as possible if I want to successfully master the language,” Myatt said. “You can’t truly become fluent or proficient in another language unless you are living in the authentic context in which it is spoken.
“Studying abroad gives students the chance to broaden their perspectives of the world and to become more culturally competent. Anyone who has the opportunity to study abroad should definitely do so.”
The School of Business will offer a study abroad trip to Paris in summer 2013.
Titled “Business Meets Fashion,” the trip will allow undergraduates to earn three hours of upper division credit and graduate students to earn three hours for international business credit.
Individuals also have the opportunity to study abroad within their majors.
Holly Harris, junior Spanish major, will travel to Chile and study at Viña del Mar University through CEA Global Education in July.
Once Harris chose the program, she met with Vicki Malone, study abroad adviser, who helped her begin the application process.
“It can be scary to begin the study abroad process because you are working through so many different organizations, but with guidance, it is more accessible than it seems,” Harris said.