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Reducing Misconceptions About Studying Abroad

by Jennifer Sanguano

On their goal to reduce misconceptions about studying abroad, the Center of International Studies hosted one of their two annual Study Abroad fairs informing CCSU students of upcoming programs.

The main purpose of the fair is to inform students about the study abroad program and its benefits, but mainly to squash the misconceptions students have about going abroad while in college.

“One of the misconceptions about study abroad is that is not affordable, but you just have to pick the right program,” International Education Coordinator Erin Beecher said. Beecher is in charge of the organization of the fairs and the study abroad program at CCSU.

There are other misconceptions about studying abroad besides the financial aspect that might keep students from exploring the programs offered at Central. These can also include the amount of paperwork for registration and the trip, the academic benefits and even the lack of knowledge of a foreign language.

When it comes to paperwork, the application and registration is electronic and simplified. For visas, Beecher is also involved with the process to help students.

“I work with the students in the visa application process. Not all students will need a visa, it depends where you are going to study,” Beecher said.

The study abroad fair offered a friendly setting with CCSU volunteer students who have experienced the exchange program themselves. This helped students get a more personal perspective about studying abroad.

“Come talk to any student that has done it and they’ll convince you to do it,” Beecher said.

Senior communication major Lily Maniscalco was one of the volunteers offering information and sharing her experiences studying abroad in Italy.

“I know a lot of people are under the impression like, ‘Oh I don’t speak the language, I can’t afford it or it’s so much work,’ and it’s really not. CCSU makes it so easy for you to do anything you need to do and get there,” Maniscalco said.

New and returning students who attended the fair were able to ask questions to volunteers about their own experiences abroad. Sophomore social work student Jayde Hickman attended the fair hoping to learn more about the CCSU study abroad programs.

“I think it’s very well organized, I like hearing other people’s experiences. I would like to hear more of some of the cultural differences and just about the program itself,” Hickman said.

If you interested in studying abroad and missed the fair here is some information about their programs:

The Center for International Education offers two different programs to study abroad throughout the year.

The first is the short-term International Program in partnership with the CCSU Academic Department. It consists of courses abroad taught by CCSU faculty, offered in the winter, spring and summer. Most of the programs are open to first-year, sophomore, junior, senior and graduate students. Students can earn regular Central credits and will receive a letter grade. Some of the countries included in this 2018 program are Japan, England, France, Italy and Australia to name a few. Students don’t have to speak the language to attend most programs.

The second is the Semester Abroad program, consisting of students going for an exchange for a full semester to a CCSU partner university. With more than 17 partnerships with universities around the world, this program offers the complete study abroad experience. Cost and registration varies depending on the partner university, but in most cases, students will pay normal tuition, fees, insurance and in some cases accommodation charges to CCSU. Some of the partnership universities include Shandong Normal University in China, University of Economics Prague in the Czech Republic and Lorenzo de’ Medici in Italy. Students don’t have to speak the language to attend most programs in the Semester Abroad programs, either.

More information about registration, deadlines and prices can be found at the CCSU CIE page online.