Study abroad, explore the world

Steven Hawkins

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San Diego City College offers a variety of Study Abroad programs to current students interested in expanding their horizons and learning useful life skills.

Marion Froehlich, the International Education Coordinator of City College, stated that “students make progress towards completing the requirements of their educational plans to transfer to a four-year university while participating in an enhanced learning experience in another culture.”

The program offers a rare opportunity for students to grasp a new outlook on the world.

“While studying the history in Argentina,” Froehlich explained, “they can understand it better because they are living with people who have lived through times of historical upheaval, such as the Dirty War.

The students who studied there for Fall met with a mother who lost her son during the Dirty War, and watched her march in front of the equivalent of our White House to protest these disappearances, according to Froehlich.

Esteban Frausto, a City College student majoring in anthropology, said his experience was like a “full frontal force” and almost an “epiphany,” in that it helped him realize that anthropology was exactly what he wanted to be doing.

“The trip changed and influenced me in many ways,” Spanish major Maya Espinoza. “I made friends with views that contrast mine which I never would have met in San Diego. My entire lifestyle changed so much, and I have made resolutions to continue to include some of these changes in my American life.”

Being thrown into a strange and new environment may be difficult and frightening at first, but at the same time it can be a beautiful learning experience, leaving students with the skills and know how of competent world travelers and navigators.

When asked about some advantages Study Abroad students have over other students, City College scholar Sarah Alami shared some wonderful insights from her previous Argentina trip.

“I believe that most of the students who have been abroad are more open-minded,” Alami shared. “They probably adapt more easily to different environments. They also have the chance to a wider perspective of life in general. It is good for their personal development; studying abroad opens your eyes.”

The prospect of committing oneself to a Study Abroad program may also raise the issue of one’s financial situation, as some of the programs can be around $6,000, but Esteban notes one “shouldn’t let the price frighten you.”

“There are plenty of scholarships out there specifically for such programs, you’ve just got to do the work and start applying for them,” Esteban advised.

With a few tips in the right direction, Froehlich shared some information on a couple of very helpful scholarships.

“The Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship offered by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, awards $3,000 – $5,000 scholarships to U.S. citizens who are Pell Grant eligible,” Froehlich explained. “A significant number of City College students have been awarded these prestigious scholarships. Many of our students would not have been able to even consider studying abroad without one of these.”

Alami, who’s done independent travels and programs in the past, says that in order to have the best experience, students should “go for a study abroad program with a group, or at least something organized by the college.”

“My experience in Argentina, the one organized by City College, was my best experience abroad,” Alami shared.

For more information, visit the Study Abroad office in room A-1-Q, Monday – Friday, 11a.m. to 4p.m. and also on the school’s website at http://www.sdcity.edu/CampusLife/StudyAbroad.aspx

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