One Chance to Study Abroad

Tamara Hacopian, Staff Writer

Studying abroad may be the best way to step out of one’s bubble and discover a whole new world. It can give students the opportunity to venture forth and explore distant surroundings. It can also provide a life changing experiences that a classroom setting could never do, expanding their world view and helps them co-exist with other cultures.

GCC’s study abroad program was formally established in 1990, but was suspended two years later due to financial problems. The program was re-established in 1996 and students have since routinely traveled to Europe, Tahiti, Bali, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina.

It wasn’t until 2009 that the study abroad programs began to regularly take place during the summer. According to instructor Laura Englund-Krusse, who has worked with past study abroad programs, the programs had to be cut back in the last few years after a budget crisis. She said they are at a rebuilding point.

Unfortunately, the much-anticipated program in Greece this summer has been recently cancelled because not enough students were enrolled.

“We had 14 applications, but we only had seven deposits,” said Study Abroad Director Cameron Hastings. “We had airline deposits due [last week] so if we didn’t have a minimum number of students by then, we weren’t going to pay for the airline deposits because they were non-refundable.”

The minimum number of students needed for the program was based on the price set with the vendors. The rate is based on 25 to 28 participating students but at least 15 students were needed.

“If we don’t have that many students the price goes up for everybody,” said Hastings, “because you have fewer students that are sharing the cost.”

All four previous programs in Greece have been successful.

“I guess we didn’t canvas enough people effectively,” said Professor Eric Johnston, who would have been one of the instructors to guide students in Greece this summer. “Maybe, for a lot of students, six units and having a good time overseas just don’t go together.”

Students were required to take Introduction to Archeology (Anthropology 103) and World Mythologies (Humanities 115), each worth three units.

The Japan study program slated for this summer is still going strong with about 28 participating students thus far. Instructors Shihoko Tatsugawa and Mari Lopez will lead students for a duration of one month, exploring Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and other cities. It will take place from June 15 to July 16. Students must take one of two Japanese language courses while in Japan.

The program fee of $3,995 includes roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations, some meals, guided tours, and excursions.

The last program scheduled in Japan was in 2011. “Because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster we had to cancel that program,” said Hastings.

It is not too early to start saving up money for the study abroad trip to Bali and the trip to Ireland and England for summer 2015. For $2,495 (international airfare not included), the program will take place for a duration of 22 days. Students will stay overnight in Dublin, Galway, and Oxford. The courses offered are Contemporary World Problems, European Immigrants in the US and English Field Studies . It will be conducted by instructors Dennis Doyle, Elizabeth Kronbeck and John Queen.