If you’ve ever wanted to adventure abroad and immerse yourself into foreign cultures, don't be afraid to take the first step.
With more than 25 destinations available through UCF for studying abroad, there are plenty of options for students to choose from when deciding to join the Study Abroad Program. The program is designed to offer students unique opportunities that will enhance their abilities to become more successful in a globalized community. There are study-abroad opportunities for anyone from business majors to political-science enthusiasts.
A Study Abroad Fair will be open for all students on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Pegasus Ballroom, providing students with all the ins and outs of studying abroad.
The mission of Study Abroad is to provide an intensive academic opportunity for students. For this reason, it’s advised to first discuss the option to study abroad with your academic adviser and the Study Abroad Office — located in the International Office in Millican Hall, Room 107.
The Study Abroad staff recommends asking yourself one question: Why do you want to study abroad?
This past spring semester, Josh Zvibleman, a senior finance major, had the chance to explore the culture of Barcelona.
“Do your research on the country before you go. If you go for spring, it is cold all over Europe for most of the time you are there, so pack warm clothing,” he said.
Zvibleman enrolled in the Exchange Program at UCF, which is a semester-long adventure that enables students to study and travel throughout their journey at a more independent level. Juniors and seniors with at least a 3.0 GPA can apply, and some students may also have the opportunity to live with a host family, depending on the program they choose.
The short-term programs last between two to six weeks and usually take place during the summer. Most are faculty-lead expeditions offered to all students who are in good standing at UCF.
Some students, like Zvibleman, find it hard to make the decision on whether or not to travel abroad. They may find themselves mostly worrying about the cost and language barriers.
But with the encouragement of his parents and the convincing brochure on Barcelona, Zvibleman decided to apply right away. He soon realized that all of his worries were unnecessary.
“The program had its ups and downs,” Zvibleman said. “For me, the ups definitely outweigh the downs. I met so many truly amazing people and visited many majestic places that every day; I wish I could be back. After studying abroad, you develop a severe case of wanderlust.”
The Study Abroad Office will not only help you narrow down your study-abroad options, it will also provide you with information to help establish your goals for learning abroad. It can provide information about payment options, transportation, applications and available scholarships.
“The goal for the Study Abroad Programs is to internationalize the campus and to provide the opportunity for exchange students to learn in the U.S.,” said Study Abroad Academic Adviser Christopher Cook.
Zvibleman said his experience was worth every penny.
“Immerse yourself in the surrounding culture. There are holidays and festivals going on every week, wherever you are, so join the locals," he said.
Tiffani Daniel is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.