The Peace Times

Study Abroad Goes to Spain, Italy and France

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Rachael Thomas

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William Peace University’s Study Abroad program allows students to travel, learn, and experience a variety of cultures outside of their own.

The college has been taking its students to different countries for years now.  Peace has gone to places such as Tokyo, Japan, the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, and will be traveling to Spain, Southern France, and Italy in May of 2018.  Trips to Austria around Europe are in the works too.

Through the program, students are exposed to a culture that is new and very different from their own, along with receiving school credit.

“You learn about your own culture and you think more about your own culture when you are in another country,” says Adair Robertson, the Associate Professor of Mathematics and Coordinator of International Studies at Peace.

Robertson has been on many of Peace’s trips and believes studying abroad is very beneficial to college students, both educationally and culturally.

“It sets you apart from the crowd,” she says. “You were willing to do something outside your comfort zone.  I think it makes you look distinctive.  It’s a great talking point at a job interview.” she says.  “I don’t believe we can have peace on earth until we all see that we’re just humans.”

The Institute for International Education of Students surveyed students about the positive impacts of studying abroad.  They found that 98 percent of the students felt that studying abroad helped them understand their own culture better, while 97 percent said it increased their maturity and 96 percent said it increased their self-confidence.  Meanwhile, 86 percent of students said their educational experiences were influenced and 75 percent felt it had impacted their future careers.

Katherine Bobbit, a junior and anthropology major at Peace, recently attended a trip to Mexico.  While there, Bobbit learned more about speaking Spanish and communication.  She did have to work for credit during the trip, but she still enjoyed the experience.

“Do it if you can,” she says. “It’s definitely very beneficial to you.”

“It’s just good to get out and really broaden your brain and see what other people are like,” says Bobbitt. “And it’s a very humbling experience as well, because you are very much put in a situation where you don’t know the right and wrong answers to everything.”

Shorter, non-semester trips focus around certain majors and are led by instructors who teach the subjects.  However, students outside of the trip’s specific major are still welcomed to go.

When it comes to preparing, Peace researches the area they plan to travel to and hire a native, full-time guide.  Paying for the trip usually averages around $3,800.  This covers airfare, ground transportation, hotels, meals, and the guide.  Scholarships are also available to help with some of the cost.  A student must be a have a 2.6 or higher GPA and be a full-time Peace student, while the cost of the trip with also affect if they receive the scholarship.

All students are welcomed to attend a trip they won’t forget.

If interested in studying abroad, students can contact group leaders Adair Robertson at [email protected] or Kathy Corley, an Adjunct Instructor at Peace, at [email protected] for details, any questions, and how to be involved.

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Study Abroad Goes to Spain, Italy and France